Romance on the road can be one of the biggest travel life lessons that we can experience.
Our travel love stories can become a big part of our adventures and linger for years to come in our memories.
I still fondly remember the guys who I met my travels and the fleeting travel romances forged in destinations across the world.
Brief flings, hookups, dating disasters and full-blown relationships all have a way of impacting our adventures and even our lives. A little romance can often be one of the best outcomes of travel.
Travel love stories
When we are in the zen of travel our emotions can be heightened. Sunsets seem dreamier, food tastes fresher, possibilities seem endless.
With your feelings dialled way up, it can become easy to convince yourself that a scruffy German called Wolfgang, with a mere $12 to his name, is “the one”.
High on cheap cocktails and moonlit walks on the beach, is a sure-fire way to get swept up in the moment and make starry-eyed plans to “meet in Paris”.
Romance stories from the road
The problem with travel romances is when you actually meet up away from the beaches, or the mountains, or the frenetic energy of a busy city, there’s a danger it can all seem a bit beige?
Keeping an exciting connection alive once the holiday is over can certainly be a challenge for couples, especially if there is a big distance involved.
Travel romance is definitely one of the more emotive travel lessons that we can learn.
So do travel romances ever really work out? Here’s a collection of inspiring travel love stories from travel bloggers.
These tales include times when they found long-lasting romance on the road and also some heartache.
Tinder travel romance
My story starts in Christchurch, New Zealand 4 years ago. While I was backpacking, I turned to Tinder not to seek romance, but to gather some tips for places to explore in the area and, quite frankly, beat the monotony of my own company.
After I matched with Kazimir, we immediately hit it off and the next day he suggested taking me on a walk around Christchurch. What better way to get the scoop on a new city than with the help of a local?!
That day was notable for 3 reasons: Firstly, it happened to be Valentine’s Day! A fitting occasion to meet someone special.
Secondly, that morning a 5.7 earthquake struck the city, so I was definitely keen to escape the shaky old hostel. Lastly, of course, it’s the day I’ll treasure as the day we first met.
We talked, walked, and explored some gorgeous spots of a city I now love. I felt so at ease with this handsome man, and we arranged to meet a handful more times.
A month or so later, I left New Zealand to continue my travels and I didn’t think we’d see each other again. But yet, our connection only got stronger.
Later that year he came to stay in the UK with me. When we were reunited, I knew we had something worth trying. We endured long distance for 3 years after, before we finally moved to Australia together.
I’ll never forget that bizarre start to our relationship. Because of that dramatic earthquake to trigger our meeting, I like to say he rocked my world! Contribution by Suzy Stories.
We met on a dating app
This is a story that was actually rejected by BBC travel for their ‘chance encounters series’. It was the first day of my round the world trip. A trip that was meant to last six months that has now stretched past the six-year mark and still climbing.
I was jet-lagged, having just flown from the states to the south islands of Thailand, a trip that took more than 30 hours in total.
Exhausted but unable to sleep I was chatting with a couple of different guys on dating apps with 0 intention of meeting that night. In fact, I was already in bed happily watching ‘Breaking Bad’.
One guy stood out- cute, Eastern European, very my type. He asked if we could meet for a beer and I said maybe tomorrow.
He said that night was his only available night as he was travelling with a friend and they had plans. Wasn’t meant to be, I told myself as I directed my attention back to Breaking Bad.
But, as I sat there, I thought- isn’t this why I left home on this big adventure- to meet new people and explore new places? And now, some good looking guy is asking me out for drinks and I’m begging off to stay in my hotel and watch Netflix? How lame. I asked him where we could meet?
We met for drinks and then bought more beers to take back to my room., staying up all night talking.
We debated religion and politics, played our favourite music for the other one, eventually chatting until sunrise. We took our beers to the beach to watch the sun come up as others did yoga and went for their morning runs.
Romance in Bangkok
After that night I assumed I would never see him again but we stayed in contact and actually met up a couple of weeks later, this time in Bangkok. And then again, and then again.
Him being a flight attendant and me being a traveller our romance played out all over the world. In more than 2 years of dating, we visited nearly 20 countries together.
We went hiking to see the ‘death corpse flower’ in Malaysia, went scuba diving off of Indonesian islands and hurled tomatoes at the La Tomatina festival in Spain. He even came home with me one year for Christmas.
Sadly, after two and a half years the romance didn’t work out but the friendship remains to this day. Contribution by Foodie Flashpacker.
Los Angeles love story
I had a friend in high school that I’d talk to throughout the years after we graduated from college and started our lives. Oddly, we’d reconnect randomly throughout the years and lose touch for some reason.
In 2011, I moved from Columbus, OH to Los Angeles, CA to get a fresh start. In 2016 she messaged me and asked how I was doing and we started talking more and more every day.
After 2 months she came to visit me for my birthday and we had a lot of fun. We explored the city, hung out with friends, walked the beach, and started developing feelings for one another.
A month later she came to visit me again and we just clicked. Within a month and a half, she had packed up her life in Ohio and moved to San Diego with me.
Travelling full time as a family
In December 2017 we got married, had a baby in November 2018, and now we travel the world full-time as a family.
It is unbelievable how we reconnected 11 years after our first meeting when we were 16 years old in high school.
It just goes to show you that love can show up when you least expect it. Contribution by It’s a Family Thing.
Quitting work to travel around Europe
When my contract ended at work, Julie decided to escape her stressful tech job to travel around Europe with me for two months.
We bought flights, a six-week Eurail pass, and a four-week Britrail pass; everything else we booked as we went along. So much fun!
Wonderful memories of bartering various country currencies (pre-Euro) for enough German Marks to buy another Hofbrauhaus beer, picnic meals on balconies overlooking the Florence duomo and French Alps, and so much more.
Road trip romance
In fact, we had so much fun that when the trip was over, we decided to keep travelling.
A friend worked in a foam factory and custom cut a six-inch thick piece of foam to fit in the back of our SUV.
We spent the next 14 months road tripping the US and Canada, camping most nights inside the snuggly confines of our temporary wheely home.
Such experiences can make or break relationships, and we decided to stay together and get married.
Love on a tour bus
My fiancé (Daniel) and I met travelling in Europe about 7 years ago. To be honest, it didn’t start out nearly as romantic as most would assume. We were young, 21 years old, and on a Contiki bus tour.
For those of you who don’t know, these organized bus tours take you to tons of amazing places, but they do focus on partying quite a lot.
What started out as a fun travel fling though did eventually change into something a lot more. After the Europe trip ended, Daniel and I kept in contact somewhat online.
A year later I moved from Canada to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. Daniel, who is Australian, and I reconnected and started a real relationship. And well, the rest is history!
Backpacking as a couple
We lived in Australia for a couple of years together before packing our bags and heading to South America.
We have been backpacking as a couple for the last 4 years and currently work full-time on our travel blog business together. We are currently in the process of planning our wedding which will be held in Fiji next year! Contribution by Destinationless travel.
We met on Instagram
I met my partner while he was on a job in my home town, London. He is Dutch and was in London making a video for the drone company DJI.
We had been speaking via Instagram DM for a while about my drone obsession, as I wanted some tips on which one to buy.
We met at the station near my house, I had just finished a night shift as I worked as a nurse, no idea how he stuck around after seeing me after a 13 hour night shift.
I ended up being his tour guide around London for 4 days, and he kept postponing his flight home as we wanted to spend more time together!
Quitting our jobs to travel
Following this, I had already booked a trip to Amsterdam, where we met again and had our first date. Then soon after he drove to London and whisked me off on a road trip around Dorset.
A few months later we had both quit our part-time jobs to travel full time! Now we run a travel blog and videography company. We have spent a while living in Bali and have travelled to over 20 countries in the last year alone. Contribution by Solar Powered Blonde.
Romance on the Taipei MRT
I moved to Taipei in 2008 as an English teacher, planning to stay there for one year tops. Having recently ended a relationship on a sour note in my home country, I went most of the year without dating.
That all changed one day when I was riding the MRT to work. Listening to music on headphones and tapping my foot, I was approached by a local woman the same age as me, but nearly a foot shorter.
She asked me a few of the usual questions, but unlike most such conversations, she wasn’t looking to practice English. She was nervous but clearly interested.
We swapped numbers
I got off at my stop, and so did she. As we parted ways, she grabbed my hand and wrote her number on it (in those days we still exchanged numbers). I decided to ignore the unspoken rule of waiting a day, calling her 10 minutes later.
We met the following night for a drink, shared a taxi home, and had a kiss to remember outside her door (that is, until we were interrupted by my future father in law, who pulled up beside us on a scooter and pretended he hadn’t seen a thing).
Little did he know that the foreigner before him would be living in his home a few years later, or that he was to become a proud grandfather of two! Contribution by Spiritual Travels.
Falling in love while studying abroad
I never planned for this to happen. I studied abroad in San Diego, (I am from Germany originally) and I was supposed to return home after 3 years in the US. Well, fate had other plans. One day, he showed up in my class.
A new guy that I had never seen before at my school, which was unusual because with only 150 students at the university and me working at the front desk, I knew everyone. So, of course, I had to investigate.
We started talking during our break and ended up in the same group project, so we chatted frequently and became fast friends and study partners.
I was about to finish my MBA and then do a 1-year work exchange in San Diego before returning to Germany, so I was not looking for a serious relationship.
Well, that plan didn’t work out too well. After being friends for a few months, we started dating and things went really fast after that.
I moved in with him a few weeks later and we got married less than 1.5 years after we met. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and as happy as ever! Contribution by San Diego explorer.
Love in the Philippines
I met my husband 7 years ago travelling in South East Asia. We both were travelling solo and due to unplanned circumstances ended up in San Fernando, a small place in the Philippines at the same time, neither of us were planning on being there.
We stayed in the same dormitory at a small surf hostel. In fact, we were bed neighbours. Soon after meeting, we realized we loved the same things; surfing, diving, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
We decided to continue travelling together. After two months of exploring the Philippines together, I had to go back home. My husband decided to continue travelling and went to India.
Meeting up in Nepal
Two months later we met up in Nepal and did our first multi-day trek. We hiked to Everest Base Camp. Since then we’ve been travelling together for 6 years.
Somewhere during our Latin America hitchhiking adventure, we decided to start a travel blog just for fun.
Now it’s our full-time job. 3 years ago we got married. We still travel full time visiting our home countries Russia and South Africa every year. Submission by Stingy Nomads.
South Korea travel romance
I met my husband in 2014 when travelling through South Korea by myself.
I had just finished university and had a graduate job waiting for me starting 2 months later. I took the opportunity to go for 2 months to travel in Asia before starting work.
My whole trip included one month in China, two weeks in Korea and 3 weeks in Japan. It was one of the best trips of my life and I had so much fun discovering Asia.
Connecting through Airbnb
In South Korea, I tried to stay in Airbnb’s and do Couchsurfing as I read it was quite safe for a woman to stay with families there.
I met my husband when staying in his Airbnb in Gyeongju and as he had time off work those days, he showed me around the city.
We had such a great time together and immediately clicked. I actually never expected to see him again after leaving but he came to visit me in the UK 5 months later.
Since then we have been inseparable and we are now living together in Seoul. I absolutely love living in Korea and writing a Korea Blog. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Contribution by Be Marie Korea.
Couchsurfing love story
During my semester break some years ago, I decided to travel through southern Europe with a good friend of mine.
Since we also visited the beautiful city of Barcelona on a budget and wanted to get to know a few locals, we decided to use the Couchsurfing platform to stay at home with locals.
Little did I know that I would get to know my future husband during my short time in the Catalan capital. And also I would have never thought that I would fall in love with the guy that hosted us in his flat.
The chemistry between us was just right from the start. Only ten days after I left Barcelona in the direction of Paris, our host from Barcelona, Eduardo, came to visit me in the city I used to study in Germany.
We spent a few days together and even went on a weekend break travelling to Amsterdam by bus. This little trip should become just the first of many trips we would do together.
Because only a few months later I moved to Barcelona to be with Eduardo.
Since then, we started working location independent, travelled together to more than 20 countries, and even got married a couple of months ago. Contribution by Vicki Viaja.
When travel romance doesn’t work out
I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone special while I was travelling. I had planned the trip for months and wanted to get out on my own and enjoy my freedom.
But then I met him in Backpacking in Peru. He was a tour guide and was sweet and funny and kind. He really seemed like a nice guy, which should have rung alarm bells for me straight away. My taste in men hasn’t always been the best!
However, we hit it off and spent the weekend together. I told him that I’d been cheated on before, that all I wanted was honesty. I didn’t think that was too much to ask?
I wasn’t stupid though; I didn’t think it would last. I carried on my travels for a week and he took a tour group to a different part of Peru, then we met up again back in Lima.
When we were together it was wonderful. I felt a strong connection to him and when he told me he loved me I didn’t hesitate to say it back.
We met in Peru
We’d spend a week together then, thanks to his job as a tour guide, he would leave Lima for a couple of weeks at a time, and we’d meet up again when he came back. I’d go travelling in the meantime, exploring more of Peru.
Then things started to change. I had the chance to go to Venezuela, and I couldn’t turn that down. I didn’t forget that this trip was for me but leaving him was hard.
I knew that if I left things wouldn’t be the same. We kept in touch, texting as often as we could, but gradually contact became less and less, and when I really needed to talk to him, he didn’t his phone.
He had a girlfriend the whole time
When I returned to Peru a month later, I didn’t really expect anything to happen between us, but he said he was desperate to see me.
We got together again, and he invited me on a trip to Bolivia with him. However, I quickly realised he was spending a lot of time on his phone. It turned out that he had a girlfriend. That he’d been with her the whole time, ever since I met him. And she was pregnant.
I was heartbroken. I felt so stupid, somehow believing that we had something special when I really should have known better.
He was the one that pushed for us to see each other again, the one who said I love you. The one who lied since the moment I met him. Love on the road can be fun, but it can be painful too. Contribution by Tales of a Backpacker.
One of the most important experiences, when it comes to travel, is meeting the locals. I’m always looking to get to know the traditions and costumes.
I love spending a morning doing people-watching in a café or making new friends in a bar.
This is why I use Couchsurfing as much as possible. For those who don’t know of it, Couchsurfing is an app where you can find a couch to crash on, [and to offer your own], for travellers looking to stay with locals.
Little did I know that not only this app would allow me to make friends in many different countries, but it would also introduce me to the love of my life.
Croatia love story
After a quick visit to Croatia 5 years ago, I stayed in touch with the guy that let me use his couch for the night.
I was backpacking around Europe then, so a month after we met we decided it was time to meet again. True to travellers’ style, we set a date in Slovenia, halfway from where we both were.
The rest is history. After a few years of long-distance, I moved to Croatia. Now, more than two happy years later, I can say that travel romance is wonderful. Contribution by Experiencing the Globe.
A Rome love story
My husband and I first met in the Roman Forum in 2001, when he was there as a tourist backpacking around Europe and I was working as a tour guide.
He fell in love with the city immediately (it would take another year before he fell in love with me) and decided to stay and become a tour guide himself. So we became colleagues, and then we became good friends.
We bonded over our mutual passion for travel and our desire to see the world.
We travelled the world together
When he told me that he was planning a three-month overland trip through the Middle East from Cairo to Istanbul, I presumptuously invited myself along.
I wanted to see that part of the world too, but I was nervous about going there myself, so tagging along with him seemed like a great idea. Though we were not yet a couple when we first started planning the trip, we were by the time we set out on the road.
For the next few years, we spent about half our time working in Rome to save money while exploring the city and dining in its amazing restaurants.
We spent the other half of our time travelling the world in the off-season. Six years after we met, we returned to Rome to get married. Contribution by The Nomadic Vegan.
We eloped to Vegas
A 22 year old UCLA senior meets a 25 year old party loving, San Diego surfer in a Mexican bar and sparks fly. Sounds like a movie but it was a life changing Spring Break trip.
The bar was Carlos O’Breins and he was wearing an unfortunate blue striped tank top with day-glow pink lining. After spending hours chatting on the beach he told me he was going to marry me.
We returned to California, LA and San Diego respectively, visited each other, became quickly inseparable and decided to elope in Las Vegas. It had been 6 weeks since we met and the tank top was discarded!
We’ve been married for 30 years, have 2 kids in their 20s, travelled to all 50 states and 40+ countries over the years.
Almost empty nesters, we embarked on a travel challenge to visit 50 new countries in our 50s and we detail it all on our blog, The Evolista.
Spending time together, being with our family and sharing fun travel adventures is our dream come true. Bon voyage! Contribution by The Evolista.
Hostel travel romance
In late 2015 I was living in a hostel in Dunsborough, Western Australia when I met my girlfriend, Roxy.
I had flights and accommodation already booked to go to New Zealand but a week before I was supposed to leave I cancelled my plans to stay and see how things with Roxy would work out.
It was easily the best decision I have ever made and we spent the next 4 years travelling full time throughout Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.
We met in a hostel
Over the last 4 and a half years, we have spent nearly every second of every day together which seems crazy but has always felt pretty easy.
Roxy is the planner and I am happy to go along with whatever off the beaten path adventure she creates which is what makes it work.
I am originally from Ireland while she is Canadian and we have recently settled in Vancouver, Canada.
We are adjusting to a more settled lifestyle but have grand plans to travel the world once again soon. Contribution by The Coastal Campaign.
Thailand travel romance
I know a lot of people are probably sceptical of travel romances and if they can actually work. But the thing is, they can and they do! I was travelling solo in Thailand when I met a handsome guy on an island.
We instantly hit it off and talked well into the night. We made plans to meet up the next day for dinner and after that—we were inseparable for four days.
Our time together came to an end when I had to fly home but I had hardly made it to Bangkok when he called me on Facetime. And just like that, our romance continued.
Making long distance work
I’m American and he’s Dutch. We never talked about how difficult it would be to pursue a relationship or how many obstacles would be in our way.
We simply kept talking because we enjoyed hearing from the other. We planned to visit each other because we wanted to see each other.
We did a long-distance relationship, visiting each other whenever and wherever we could, and were engaged in less than a year. Now we’re married and living in the US! Contribution by Jetset Jansen.
A sunset date in California
I was about to graduate from college and had my whole life ahead of me, I didn’t have time to meet some guy. Or so I thought!
In the winter of 2014, I found myself in a small, college beach town in the central California coast, visiting a friend. While there, I met a dorky guy who asked me on a date to see the sunset along the beach.
Relocating to California
Sunsets and beaches are my favorite things in the world, but I wasn’t sure about getting in a car with some guy I barely knew. Luckily, the friend I was visiting encouraged me to go on the date, and I’m so glad she did!
That first sunset date lasted over five hours and segued into a day trip up to explore San Francisco. We found a lighthouse that’s only open two days a week for three hours each day, open on the day we were there. It was kismet.
As I fell in love with the city, I fell in love with him. A few months later, a day after my college graduation, I relocated to the California coast. It’s been almost six years and I’ve loved every single one. Contribution by Sea salt and fog.
Left home to travel the world
I quit my job and left home to travel the world when I was 19. First stop was sunny Costa Blanca in Spain. Romance had its own plans though as I met my husband about an hour after arriving.
Some 30 years later when our daughters left home, we travelled the world together. Juan and I bought a one-way ticket to Nepal and trekked the Himalayas, journeyed 2 months overland through India.
We enjoyed living in a rural village in Thailand and New Year’s Eve celebrating with the monks.
Taking a slow boat down the Mekong in Laos, rushed through Vietnam on a 15-day visa, and chilled for 4 weeks in a beach cabin in the Philippines.
Digital nomad life
The ultimate digital nomad life, moving on where and when the fancy took us, sleeping in overnight buses and trains.
We’d stop for a few days in places we felt at home in, me writing my travel articles, Juan going out cycling and chatting to the locals.
And then he wanted to come home, so we didn’t get to the faraway lands of Australia and New Zealand.
That’s what being a couple is really about, respecting each other’s dreams and agreeing on limits. I found a cheap flight home via Singapore, Greece and Bulgaria so no complaining.
He cleverly tempted me back for a while with promises of the Amazons, our South America adventure, but that’s another story, another chapter in our lives that we embarked on together.
Travel romance can be a transformative experience as you have seen from this collection of travel love stories.
Sometimes things work out when we fall in love on the road and other times it can leave to heartbreak.
No matter how it pans out, you can learn from each and every romantic encounter on the road.
Have you ever had a travel romance? Did it work out? Let me know in the comments below.
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