Real Talk

This isn’t your ordinary Contiki love story

Have you ever heard those love stories about couples meeting on the road? You know, the ones where two people meet during a holiday, have a fling, go their separate ways and eventually become one of those travel couples that we’re Insta-jealous of? Before I left for vacations I thought to myself, “Maybe I’ll meet the love of my life and everything will change.”

Maybe I just read too many love stories.

Oddly enough, I ended up meeting the love of my life on the road — only, I didn’t realize it at the time. My travel love story has a better end than a beginning and middle. We were on a Contiki tour, and I don’t even remember our first conversation.

For four years, neither one of us were at a point in our lives where we were willing to make sacrifices for the other. I lived and worked in New York City, and he had a life in Brisbane. It was tough – in those love stories about people meeting on the road, one of them always drops everything to move abroad for the other. That didn’t happen for us. We met, said goodbye and then chatted on FB messenger for four years — neither one of us having the courage to take a leap of faith.

RELATED: THE IMPLICATIONS OF FALLING IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY

One day, I reached out to him to let him know that I would be travelling to Southeast Asia in a few months. It turned out that he had the same plan as me. He was leaving for a six-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia just a few days after me. Game changer.

We both had our own itineraries, but we managed to meet up in Malaysia. But then, everything changed: I received an awesome opportunity to move to Australia and decided to cut my backpacking trip short to live in Melbourne. It was a weird situation for us because I had to say goodbye to him and move to his country — and he just left it for six months. Great timing. We exchanged an emotional goodbye and I began the next chapter of my life in Australia.

Although I thought it would be a smooth transition to settle into a foreign way of life, I felt restless and overwhelmed. I moved to a country that’s on the other side of the world from my home. I had no friends, I didn’t like Vegemite, I hated driving on the wrong side of the road and I had to handle adult things in a different country. As exciting as it was, it was also a culture shock. It didn’t help that Jack was always on my mind. A few months after moving to Melbourne, I got a call from Jack. He said, “I’m coming home.”

RELATED: HOW TO HANDLE CULTURE SHOCK WHEN MOVING ABROAD

Couple-in-NYC-falling-in-love

Jack took a huge leap of faith for me. He cut his backpacking trip short, packed his life in Brisbane and drove down to Melbourne. He seamlessly moved back home and to a new city for me. He found a place to live with another person who was also on our Contiki tour (small world) and found a job all within a week of moving. I was so impressed (and slightly jealous) that he did all of this without any dramas.

After his big move, I nervously asked him how he felt about the whole situation. I know he gave up a lot to be with me, and he said, “You’re what I want at this point in my life and nothing else matters.” Things finally fell into place.

Byron-bay-couple-falling-in-love

I learned a lot from our odd relationship-situation. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, “What will be, will be.” It can be annoying to hear (trust me, I’m the least patient person), but rather than look for love or force a relationship at the wrong time, I let fate run its course. A few leaps of faith and four years later, I ended up with a guy I met briefly on Contiki. It’s just one of those things you can’t plan.

RELATED: THESE 5 LOVE STORIES PROVE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE ON A CONTIKI TRIP

Have you found love on the road, or on a contiki? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…