Travel love stories have become a cliché for women who venture out into the world. But there are all varieties of a love story that can intertwine with travel. It’s not all Eat, Pray, Love out there! Rather, the reality for women who travel is that love can arrive – or be elusive – at any stage of life. Similarly, travel is simply a factor that can unite or divide lovers.

Falling in love on the road is common enough. Whether it lasts forever or just for a moment in time, these experiences are a part of who we are as we move through the world.

Since it’s that time of year (*groan*), we asked our Wanderful community to share their travel love stories. And they sure delivered!

From the lovely and romantic, to the hilarious, the sad, and everything in between – we all have some stories to tell.

Without further ado, please enjoy this fun compilation of travel love tales…or something like it!

When Travel Love Stories Look Like Eat Pray Love

From Amanda Walkins

That cliche version of a travel love story? Yeah, that’s mine!

He was working as a scuba instructor on a Caribbean island. I was supposed to be on a 6-week backpacking trip.

But I never made it past my first stop. Literally – my first full day on the island – and there he came, strutting down the beach, looking all handsome.

Yes, dear readers, I really am that cliché.

We met, talked, and fell off the deep end. Within seven days of meeting, I moved in with him. The next day, we rescued a street dog together. And my five-day island trip turned into three years of beachfront living.

Don’t worry, friends. At the end of three years, we did not part ways! We moved to Scotland, where we were married in the charming capital city of Edinburgh. He even wore a kilt.

We met in Honduras, he is Irish-Colombian, I am from the United States, and we live in Scotland together. Such is the multi-layered background of a travel-loving couple!

 travel love stories from Amanda Walkins - her wedding photo holding hands in Edinburgh
Photo credit Carolyn Henry Photography

When Travel Becomes Your Love Language

From Cindy Ladage

I can’t say we fell in love on the road, travel came later in our life. We actually met at a local Springfield, Illinois, haunt. But we have used travel to celebrate anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and any other romantic excuse ever since.

For me, travel is a way to find each other again away from all the struggles at home.

We live on a farm and our home is where the business is, so while the country is a peaceful place, it is also the office. And, sometimes, the only way to rekindle the romance is to hit the road.

Recently, we headed to beautiful Sanibel Island for sun and fun and a reminder of how much we enjoy one another’s company.

Travel love story from Cindy Ladage and her husband standing on the beach in Florida

When Loving While Traveling is Tough

From Nora Dunn

In 12 years of full-time travel, I had five relationships (and a few….ahem….encounters).

I learned so much about relationships during this time! Things like, how travel dramatically accelerates the natural progression of a relationship.

Or how much communication – and even sexual fidelity – varies with culture. Or how much it sucks to get dumped via instant message.

And also, how easy it is to find companionship, but how difficult it can be to find compatible love on the road. I summarize my collection of romantic experiences, along with lessons learned, on my website, in a post all about Love on the Road.

Nora Dunn tells travel love stories - posing with her sunglasses lifted

When Love of Travel Brings You Together

From Vicky Sosa

I met Mark through Twitter over three years ago and quickly learned that we had a lot in common. We both loved to travel and it turned out we were both nomadic house sitters.

Over the years we ended up meeting a few times for breakfast or lunch while we were house sitting in the same cities. We also chatted here and there as we moved around; we exchanged stories of the pets we were caring for and talked about the city we were staying in at the moment. Then last summer we were both going to be in Miami for a few weeks.

We ended up spending more time together and we realized we really liked each other. We knew that a relationship together would have to start off as a long-distance relationship because we both already had a few house sits and trips scheduled. However, we wanted to give it a try.

We talked every day and eventually, we were able to start house sitting together. We have been on the road together now for a few months and already have house sits scheduled together through most of 2020.

We’re so happy that our love of travel brought us together and are excited to continue to travel and explore new places together.

Vicky Sosa and partner with a sunset over the water telling their travel love story

When Malaria Leads to Love

From Rachel Heller

My husband and I met back in the 1980s in Malawi, central Africa. I was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching at a secondary school in Mzuzu. Albert was a Dutch volunteer working as a dentist at the local hospital. We saw each other now and then in passing – it wasn’t a big town at the time – and I thought he was absolutely gorgeous.

Nothing really started until the 4th of July, about a year into my term in Malawi. I had a party and, surprisingly, he showed up. We danced, and there were sparks, but we didn’t talk much. I hoped he’d show up at a friend’s party the next night so I could see where this spark led.

The next morning, I woke up with malaria. It had happened before, and I took the pills and hoped to be well enough to get to the party that evening. By the afternoon, I knew that it just wasn’t possible.

The following day, feeling somewhat better, I was taking it easy at home when I heard the sound of a motorcycle outside. It was Albert: he’d heard I was ill and had come to see how I was. We sat, we talked, and that was really when our relationship started. As he got up to leave, we kissed for the first time.

So that was almost 35 years ago. We’ve been married for almost 30 years. It must be love.

Rachel Heller and family posing together for travel love stories on Wanderful
Rachel, Albert, and their two children

When Those Travel Love Stories Stay Offline

In our Wanderful community, we also had lots of women quickly chime in on this conversation. There were a variety of travel love stories of varying lengths and impact, but most of those stories will remain untold in this digital world.

The telling and retelling of our adventures (and misadventures) often stays among close friends. It’s a time-honored tradition of storytelling!

We won’t dare divulge the secrets of our sisterhood here. 

We’re here for your stories – no matter where they take you. Wanderful exists so we can all step beyond the cliché tropes assigned to women who travel. We all have stories to tell. And we all have adventures to pursue.

Whatever your travel love story might be, we’re here for it. The good, the bad, the ghosting, the LDR, the challenges, and the triumphs of life as a travel-loving woman. It’s all part of our journey.

Do you have travel love stories to share? Join our community and find your sisterhood of women who love to travel.

We understand what it’s like when you combine your love of travel with your love life!


Feature image photo credit Carolyn Henry Photography