Falling for a Traveller: My On the Road Relationship

We met in a bar in Bolivia.

I'd been in the city of Sucre just under a week, living in an apartment with a couple of guys who were due to leave the next day. They dragged me out to a place crowded with backpackers and young locals for a final night of drinking and goodbyes.

An English guy was sitting at our table. The heat was palpable; we couldn't stop looking at each other, accidentally touching knees, stealing secret smiles whenever we could. Our parting hug was filled with infinitely more meaning than it should have been, and I walked back to my apartment wondering what on earth had just happened.

Because my apartment suddenly had two spare rooms, and his homestay situation was uncomfortable at best, he moved in the next day. Suddenly I'd gone from solo female traveller, ardently volunteering my way through Bolivia, to a bright eyed, stomach fluttering bundle of nerves. Was he trying to hold my hand as we walked through the vegetable market? Could I kiss him in public yet?

There were no rules set; nothing to hold either of us in the same place. He was in the city for the next few weeks, same as me – but he was at the start of his trip, travelling upwards to Peru and Ecuador, and I was vaguely planning to go down through Chile to Argentina. Eventually we settled on a compromise; neither of us had been to the Salt Flats yet, so how about we go together?

As I left our shared apartment and hauled my backpack right next to his on a Bolivian bus, I was worried. I knew this unexpected turn of events was proving more fun than I'd ever anticipated, but was I selling out on the solo travel thing? I didn't want to be that person who changed their plans for the sake of a new relationship. I didn't want to feel like I was giving him the upper hand – that I was going to blindly follow wherever he went, and ignore all my own plans.

But there was something pulling me in; an intrigue that I couldn't just abandon without giving it a chance.

A little romance backstory

My history of travelling and relationships is a tricky one. I haven't had a huge amount of boyfriends in my life: travelling so much tends to put a lot of people off. So it's no surprise that many of my relationships came to an end explicitly because of travel.

There was my first boyfriend, who I met when working backstage in a London theatre, and who I had to leave for two months when I went to study in Florence, Italy. During that time apart he got keener, but short life in Italy made me steadily realise I didn't want to be with him anymore.

Next was the friend who decided to come travelling around Eastern Europe with me for a few months, slotting himself into a trip I already had planned – and then a few days before leaving, we somehow found ourselves in a relationship. That one escalated very quickly. I said I loved him outside a monastery in Lithuania, before I knew what love really meant. Once we got back to England the penny dropped, and I had to spent an agonising first term at university knowing things had to end.

Then came my biggest relationship, with a guy at uni who I actually did love, and who bravely saw me through the death of my mum and the worst period of my life. Seven months after she died, a year and a half into our relationship, I flew to San Francisco for my year abroad and he couldn't handle the distance. A phone call break up that he barely let me protest over, just eight weeks after I'd arrived in the States, left me utterly broken. I didn't have much faith in men for a long time after that.

Just before I left for South America, I had a stop-and-start 'something' with someone, but I had an escape clause – a one way ticket, the start of my longest trip to date – and I couldn't promise him anything he might have wanted.

And then came South America…

I arrived in Ecuador as a single woman, and I was happy about it. Despite various parts of me craving the attention, care, and love of a relationship, I was so excited about being in South America that I put those feelings to one side and got on with my life.

I made it to Sucre after nine months of travelling, during which my plans were vaguely strung together by a succession of volunteer projects in five different countries.

In those nine months I'd taught English in Ecuador and drunk ayahuasca in Brazil, played jenga with favela children in Colombia and fixed artificial limbs in Bolivia. I'd hung out on beaches with groups of fellow volunteers, made fleeting friendships in hostels and savoured the more lonely life in a few cold hotel rooms.

More importantly, up until Bolivia I'd known where I was going next. The beginning of this relationship somehow coincided perfectly with the end of my imagined route – but travelling with someone was never part of the plan.

Particularly a guy who I was really starting to fall for.

I reasoned that after the Salt Flats we'd probably go our separate ways, and that would be that. Except somehow getting there took longer than expected.

We got distracted by drinking wine in plazas filled with palm trees and enduring the joys of Bolivian buses, and when our tour of the flats came to an end, the idea of going in different directions had been forgotten.

Making the decision to follow, not leave

Eventually I threw caution to the wind and went north, on his planned route. We spent two more months together; Christmas in Bolivia and New Year in Peru, hiking in canyons and eating in markets. I couldn't have been happier – and then I read an email from England in a hostel kitchen that made my heart go cold.

I left him in the bright cold sunshine outside Cusco airport, blinking back tears as I reached the top of the escalator and walked away. Flying back to London with just a few days notice was totally unplanned, but something I had to do.

One of the biggest factors in my decision to go home was not knowing if I'd ever see him in South America again – he was continuing up to Ecuador, a country I'd spent five months in, while I had a job waiting for me in Medellin. Surely that would mean I'd fly straight from England to Colombia?

Well, no, as it turned out. After a little deliberation, I chose a few weeks sunning myself on the Peruvian coast instead – plus a few more weeks travelling as a couple. I eventually peeled myself away to start work in Medellin, but he arrived a few weeks later and moved into my new apartment.

Living together, round two

Sharing an apartment for the second time was probably the biggest test of all; for the first time in six months, we weren't actually travelling together anymore.

He was still in traveller mode, taking Spanish lessons and exploring the city, while I was working eight or nine hour days in a newspaper office. Alarms rang daily at 6.15am and I dressed in the dark while he slept, not coming home until twelve hours later and in need of a beer and the space to clear my head from work.

Suddenly the stress of keeping up to date with my own writing for this site, as well as committing myself to the newspaper job and to our relationship, began to show itself. There simply weren't enough hours in the day to get everything I wanted done.

I also started to realise just how much a part of my South American experience he had become. His flight home loomed ever closer, and with it came the knowledge that I'd be back to myself again but irrevocably changed; a solo traveller now wanting someone specific to share things with.

Splitting ways: from Colombia to England

After a final week spent on the Colombian coast, we parted ways – properly this time, with continents and international flights between us.

Now he's on a plane back to England, and I have to readjust myself to life here without him. There's a double bed that feels a lot bigger; a spare set of keys on the table; food in my fridge that was intended for recipes I didn't think up.

There's a fear, too, about what will happen later. When I finally go back to London. Because why should a relationship that works amongst Spanish conversations and on the curving mountain roads of night bus routes make the same amount of sense among the London tube network and weekend pints of beer in the local pub?

It's strange to think that, even after six months of spending most of our waking moments together, I don't know him in his London life. We only know the travellers in each other.

So how do I feel about it all, six months after accidentally beginning a relationship in a Bolivian bar? Now that I can feel his absence so keenly in my empty apartment? Now that I'm nervous about going back to London for an entirely different set of reasons than I initially anticipated?

Well, it's pretty simple really.

If I hadn't fallen for him, I would have continued through South America by myself, working on volunteer projects, meeting people in hostels, practicing my Spanish, and discovering the continent alone. But without him, I wouldn't have hiked into canyons and out again, or gone caving for the first time, or clambered up rocks and repeatedly faced my fear of heights.

I also wouldn't have started doing more exercise, learnt how to cut an onion quicker, wouldn't be buying leaves of fresh aloe vera for sunburn, or got into the habit of buying boxes of incense.

I wouldn't have laughed half as much. I wouldn't have felt so happy half the time. And most of all, thanks to him, I've refound a confidence in myself that I lost sight of a long time ago. So even if things don't turn out the same way in London that they've been in South America, I'll always be grateful to him for that.

So I think what I'm saying is take the risk. Make the jump. Go further than you think you should, than you normally would, because maybe it'll end up being something really rather special that you could never have predicted.

Have you ever had an unexpected relationship when travelling? How did it turn out?

About Flora

Flora Baker is the founder and editor of Flora the Explorer, where she writes about her travels around the world, her volunteering exploits and her ongoing attempt to become fluent in Spanish by talking to anyone who'll listen. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

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84 Responses to Falling for a Traveller: My On the Road Relationship

  1. Kara May 16, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    Beautifully written. I’ve never had a relationship on the road myself but I do know that even when not traveling they can definitely complicate things!

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

      Complicated, yes – but in rather a good way πŸ™‚

  2. Amanda May 16, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Such a beautifully written post, Flora. And it’s great that you were able to have such a different adventure! I hope things work out (assuming you both want them to) when you go back to London!

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Thanks Amanda! We’ll see what happens..

  3. Adam Pervez May 16, 2014 at 4:00 am #

    A beautiful account of love on the road. So personal yet so relatable and good on you for recognizing all the positives. I’m sure everything will work out as it should. Good luck!

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Thank you Adam πŸ™‚

  4. Ed Graham May 16, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    Great post, best of luck to you Flora! I know travel has really heightened my relationship even though maintaining a relationship is also one of the more challenging things I’ve attempted (I don’t mean that in a bad way.)

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

      Cheers Ed – you’re so right, travelling while also juggling a relationship makes things so different. Mainly that it feels so much longer than six months when you’re in each other’s pockets the entire time!

  5. Jena May 16, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    Loved this post Flora….brave thing to write about and you did it beautifully. Yes, I have had one of those relationships and though we have never met again (never say never), I too am so grateful for the time we spent together. It was magical and unforgettable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thinking of you, with great fondness
    Jena xoxoxo

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

      Thanks so much for this Jena πŸ™‚ Missing you and the girls! When I eventually make it to Canada you know you’re on my list..

  6. Emma @ Gotta Keep Movin' May 16, 2014 at 5:08 am #

    Gorgeous post, Flora. So incredibly well written. You have a surprisingly similar love life to my own, as I too have struggled with relationships as a female solo traveller. I’ve steered clear of a lot of stuff because I just haven’t felt it’s been worth the risk – but I know that I’ll definitely take that risk when my gut says it’s worth taking.

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

      Sometimes the risk is so worth it πŸ™‚ Thanks Emma!

  7. Megan May 16, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    I love your honesty in this post Flora. We travelling souls don’t have it easy when it comes to love πŸ™‚

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

      So true! Thanks Megan πŸ™‚

  8. Frankie May 16, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    “I wouldn’t have laughed half as much.”

    For me, that’s what love is all about.

    And if it is any consolation I fell in love with a guy in London and spent 6 months worrying we wouldn’t stay in love when we travelled. Now we laugh together every day of our new life in Amsterdam, which makes no sense and complete sense all at once!

    Wishing you lots more laughter!

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

      πŸ™‚ Thanks Frankie, I totally agree with you. Here’s to laughing!

  9. Justyna May 16, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Loved that post. Good luck Flora πŸ™‚

  10. Adventurous Andrea May 16, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Oh, sweet sweet love! It makes us to crazy things, doesn’t it?

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Haha it certainly can!

  11. Simon May 16, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Very touching Flora! So wonderful to read about your personal endeavours and really be able to feel your heartache. So strong that you really want to follow your own dreams and lead your own way.

    Good luck with your journey and when you’re done; just go get him! πŸ™‚ If it’s meant to be, it will work out somehow.

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Thanks so much Simon – and lovely to hear from you!

  12. Kate Bailward May 16, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    Change ‘bar in Bolivia’ to ‘dive site in Mexico’ and you pretty much have the story of how my brother met his wife. They’ve now been married 5 years and have two kids, so you never know what can happen…

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

      Well that’s always an encouraging thing to hear πŸ™‚ Although I don’t think I’m at that stage quite yet..

  13. Sharon May 16, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Hi Flora,
    That was wonderful…… got back from Medellin 4 weeks ago….miss it a lot….especially the weather….but I will be back soon I am sure….
    Take care

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      Thanks Sharon πŸ™‚ Hope you had a wonderful time in Medellin!

  14. Steph May 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    oh girl I know ALL about this. I met Mike just two months before we were both scheduled to set off on our own solo trips across the world. It wasn’t a great time to start up a relationship but we just couldn’t help ourselves. Before I knew it I was changing my route, applying for a Chinese visa (Somewhere I never would have gone otherwise) and making plans to backpack through Thailand and Vietnam with him. A part of me is still a little disappointed I didn’t get to take that fabulous journey by myself, but things have ended up infinitely better, seeing as I married the guy and all.

    Of course, the first two years of our relationship were spent traveling abroad, so it was strange to come back to the US. What I found is that somewhere along the way my “travel personality” and my “home personality” had evened out into basically the same person (I suspect our relationship was a big part of that), so coming home wasn’t really all that different for us.

    What I’m saying is that I agree with you, it’s always worth the risk. And keeping a relationship going back at home is just a different sort of risk.

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      I was thinking about you guys when I was writing this piece πŸ™‚ I hadn’t thought about the home environment being just a differnt kind of risk though – but you’re totally right.

  15. Janice Stringer May 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I have a relationship which has spanned 25 years – two children, long term travel, a horrendous marital breakdown and a slow rebuild, numerous pets, many faux pas – times of personal growth and lots of laughter. Its always interesting to see how life plays out!

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      Thanks for this Janice!

  16. Farhan Wahab May 16, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Beautiful story you’ve got there Flora! I almost experience the same thing as you did. First time was back in 2012, where I met a Dutch guy in Amsterdam. I was on a three and a half month Euro trip, and me, being gay and Asian, seems like an “exotic” prototype there. Haha. We had a nice time, and it was a really sweet three day rendezvous. What was supposed to be a “one night stand” turned out to be more than that. Infatuation? Or love at first sight? I don’t know. But what was disappointing was when we went to our separate ways; he moved to London on the day I board the train to Berlin from Utrecht. We exchanged email address but we lost touch after a reply from him. That was two years ago. I went on couple of dates back home in Singapore and also while travelling.. I have this bad habit of comparing other guys with this Dutch guy.

    However, recently, I was planning for a trip to Cape Town. Three nights before my departure, I got to know a French guy who was on a visit to Singapore. I took the chance to just meet him and have dinner. Never did I expect that what was suppose to be a casual meet up turned out to be something really deep. We had something in common, probably more things in common. Similar experiences in life.. and he’s 45 years old. On the day that I left for Cape Town, he even sent me off at the airport. It was these little gestures that I really appreciate. We chatted, and it hasn’t been a month but we seem to be comfortable in our own skin, and sharing our stories and experiences in life. Now, he proposed to visit me in Singapore, make our way to Bali and celebrate my birthday in August. Then, if things work out really well, we’ll probably plan a big trip to Japan, celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve there.

    You took the risk. And from there you learnt something. You gained something. Pain is inevitable, but from that pain, it adds more touch to your character. You become a better person, mostly. And for me, I am taking the risk. I tell myself that this guy is definitely a keeper, burning with the same passion as I do. Like Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” famous quote, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.

    Don’t ever lose hope. Hope is always there, waiting to cling onto someone worth clinging too. That’s when miracles do happen.

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Thanks so much for your lovely thoughtful comment Farhan. I really appreciate your honesty about your own relationships too! Take a risk and gaining some new knowledge or understanding is what it’s all about really, I think.

  17. Lisa - Wee Wanders May 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    What a beautiful post! I wish you all the best for the future and I hope everything works out for you…

    I’m setting off to travel long term around Asia with my partner in 6 weeks time. I have read various accounts about what to expect while travelling as a couple but I am confident that as long as we give each other space from time to time, we will be OK.

    Happy travels πŸ™‚

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

      Thanks Lisa πŸ™‚ Happy travels to you too – I hope everything goes well!

  18. Anna May 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    Nicely written. Your relationship history sounds similar to my experiences. I’d say you should give this relationship a try in London, but have a back up pplan – in my case things didn’t work out as I’ve expected πŸ˜‰

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

      Thanks for the advice Anna!

  19. Tamara May 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Great post! You beautifully broach a subject most of us have experience first-hand, but not many of us are brave enough to put out there for the world. It’s nice to know others understand. My own unexpected relationship began when I was solo female traveler in South America too. I fell for a Venezuelan guy and began a relationship that lasted for the next few years. It definitely turned all my plans upside down when I ended up living there half-time for two of those years. Not for lack of love, the relationship did finally end, but it was one of the most important ones of my life, and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. Thanks for sharing your story! –Tamara

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

      Thanks for telling us your story too, Tamara! It’s a wonderful thing to hear of so many people who’ve been in the same kind of situation πŸ™‚

  20. Sally May 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    The others said it, but I’ll say it again: you’re so brave for putting such a personal story on the Internet, and you’re such an excellent writer that it turned out beautifully. I hope everything works out well and your perspective is going to serve you well; that maybe it won’t be the same in London, but you’ve had such a great time together already that you just have to be grateful.

    Thanks for writing this, it lightened my soul a little bit to hear a happy story, even if the ending isn’t yet written. πŸ™‚

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

      Thanks so much for this, Sally! An unwritten end so far, yes, but I know this chapter at least has ended in a way I’m happy with πŸ™‚

  21. Jodie May 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Such a beautifully written post. I met my boyfriend travelling three years ago, in that time we have spent equal times ‘living’ in a place and travelling. You never know what will work out, good luck x

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

      Thanks for the positivity Jodie πŸ™‚

  22. Heather May 16, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Riveting and so romantic! I met my now husband at a bar in New York City and followed him first to DC and then to Shanghai, a place I never would have gone without him. We traveled all over Asia together which built up my confidence so much I took my first solo trip to Hong Kong! Now we are preparing to move to Europe. Some leaps are definitely worth taking πŸ™‚

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

      Congrats for making that leap, Heather – it was clearly the right idea!

  23. Christine May 17, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Thanks for sharing such a personal and honest post Flora, I was so engrossed there that I felt really disappointed when it ended!

    I think you were right to take the risk with him, even though Im sure it must have been tough to alter your plans for another person, but as you said, you gained alot from it and it allowed you to be more confident in yourself.

    It must feel strange without him there now, but you can look at it as a chance to enjoy your own company for a while and live like a solo traveller again! Can’t wait to read more about how you are getting on! πŸ™‚

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

      Thanks for the suggestion Christine – I really haven’t had much alone time recently and it’s rather luxurious being able to have so much of it! It’s definitely weird being in Medellin solo again though..

  24. Jessica of Curiosity Travels May 17, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    Such a beautiful story Flora! Maybe it’s because I’m hormonal or listening to music at the same time but I felt a little tear well up. haha!

    Wish the best for you in what’s to come. I’m sure it’ll all be for the best. Good luck in Medellin. xx

    • Flora May 18, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

      Haha I’m not going to say I’m glad there were tears, but I do slightly enjoy that it affected you so much! Thanks for the well wishes πŸ™‚

  25. Penny Sadler May 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Flora, I really enjoyed this. I do think people don’t feel totally comfortable with someone so free spirited. I on’t travel that much – certainly not in the way you do, but I see men and people in general, react to me differently when they realized I’d be happy to toss it all for a full time traveling life.

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks Penny, I’m glad you enjoyed the article πŸ™‚

  26. NZ Muse May 19, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    I loved this. How you dared to open up and take a chance. Whatever happens, your life is a little richer for this.

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      I totally agree πŸ™‚

  27. Amanda May 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    Whoa. I cannot thank you enough for writing this. First, it’s beautifully written and completely sucked me in and I couldn’t wait to burn through the following paragraph. This is a beautifully told story. Second, thank you for being so honest!!! You shared the good, the bad, and the ugly and the latter two tend to be skipped over in nearly every travel blog I’ve ever read. Kudos to you for having the guts to be honest. Much love!

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      Aww, thank you so much Amanda! I really appreciate such kind words.

  28. Rohan Limbu May 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    I work in a call center and i am really really enjoying reading your articles . Nights are even more exciting now πŸ™‚

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      Thanks Rohan! Nice to hear my writing is making your nights a bit more interesting :p

  29. Tahlei May 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Wow, this really struck a chord with me. I am today celebrating 6 months with a guy I met partway through my first (5 month) trip as a solo female traveler. I had been in Mexico just one week when we met. So many times we could have ended things and gone our separate ways. There are so many reasons why it shouldn’t work out, but here I am now living in Tijuana of all places! It is not at all what I imagined for myself, but turns out that I am so very content. Who would have thought?! Nobody knows what the future will hold, but whatever happens I think the risk is worth it.

    I have been contemplating writing my own post about it- what happens when you fall in love on the road- and your beautiful example might just be the nudge that I need. Thanks for sharing, I hope it works out!

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      If/when you write the story of your own travelling relationship I’d love to read it, Tahlei! It’s great how unexpected these things can be, particularly when you let yourself fall into it without worrying about what the outcome might be. Sometimes it’s all in the journey anyway.. πŸ™‚

  30. Katie @ The World on my Necklace May 26, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    Yes take the risk! I met my boyfriend only 3 months before my visa for the UK expired but there was a strong connection and I ended up going home to New Zealand for a few months then came back to the UK on a student visa. We have been together now for over 7 years and we have had so many amazing adventures together. None of that would have happened if we hadn’t taken the risk in the first place to give our fledgling relationship a chance. If it hadn’t worked out at least we would have known we tried but it did work out and I found the love of my life. Good luck with whatever the future holds for you

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      Great to hear how strong your relationship has become, Katie πŸ™‚ I think a bit of risk taking with relationships is often more than worth it πŸ™‚

  31. Jaryd - Aus Globetrotter May 26, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    You gotta risk it to get the biscuit, is what my mates and i always say. Which whom I were conversating with over the weekend about this exact situation as i have been a single man on the road for a very, very long time. I came to a conclusion that now, if I start to fall for a girl whilst travelling, no longer will I hold back as to prevent hurting each other as we gallivant on our own paths, but instead take the chance to see what can become of it, because to share something such as travel with someone is quite special, but to share it with someone you are in love with is beautiful.

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      Such a good phrase, Jaryd! Thanks for adding that one to my vocabulary πŸ™‚ I agree – I’ve travelled so much by myself that it felt very strange to actively decide to follow someone else’s path instead of sticking to my own, but I’m so glad I did.

  32. Els May 28, 2014 at 5:12 am #

    In 2010, I took 6 months off work to travel and help out in youth hostels abroad. I never felt so free! I was single and enjoying everything that comes along with it! Then at the 3rd place I helped out, I started having feelings for the hostel owner… After 2 1/2 years of long distance, we now live together since 2013…

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      Amazing story Els!

  33. Same Kinda Different May 29, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    I loved this post! Thanks for sharing!

    I had my only travel romance so far last fall. I was in Toronto for a week FOR WORK and he’d just moved there to learn English. We met in the hostel, had what we had, and when I had to extend my trip for a few days, I got jealous over him and another girl and broke my own heart.
    We went our separate ways and I still couldn’t get him out of my head, even with other romances. I’m finally going back to Toronto in a few months, just to find out whether it’s the mystique of what could be that I’m holding on to or if there really is something there. Either way, I have no regrets about letting myself fall. It was a magical week I’ll never forget.

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your relationship story! I hope you find what you’re looking for in Toronto πŸ™‚

  34. Olivia May 29, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    Wow, I love this post so much! You’re a great storyteller. I hope you update everyone in a few months – though don’t feel obligated to, that’s just my nosy curiosity coming out!

    I met my current boyfriend back in 2010 – a week into my big solo adventure after I finished high school. We were both working at the same hostel and were the only native English speakers so it was an easy thing to fall into. Always take the risk, I say!

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

      Haha we will see about any updates – it depends on what happens I guess!

  35. Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon June 1, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    Wonderfully written. You are very brave to write about something so personal.

    • Flora June 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      Thanks Zoe πŸ™‚

  36. Tara June 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    What a wonderfully written post, I enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to read the next chapter. I haven’t had this quite so much but I did spend a wonderful week with a guy in New Zealand who I felt an instant attraction to, and would have been willing to throw everything up to spend more time with him. Alas, it wasn’t to be but I will always have the memories…

    • Flora June 8, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

      Thanks Tara! Sounds like a lovely memory regardless πŸ™‚

  37. Claire June 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Flora, firstly what a beautifully written post, I really enjoyed reading it. It is a subject that strikes a chord with me as I had a similar experience in Asia last year, and can relate to a lot of what you say in this post. We met in Tokyo, and forged a relationship moving through China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia. We both ended up changing our plans a bit in order to have a few extra weeks together, and I even left a tour I’d (foolishly) booked, which turned out to be the best travel decision I’ve ever made. All in all, it was totally worth it and I would do it all again if given the chance. Now I’m back in England waiting to see if we fit together in this environment. As you said, “I don’t know him in his London life. We only know the travellers in each other”.

    I’d love to hear how your story ends up, when you to are reunited again!

    • Flora July 11, 2014 at 1:14 am #

      Well, I’ll be heading back to London in less than a week, so we shall see..!! Best of luck with treading out the new parameters of your England-based relationship, Claire πŸ™‚

  38. Anna June 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    I have fallen in love more than once while traveling. I’ve always thought that because I have wanderlust, it’s hard for me to meet people when I’m at home for fear of getting stuck there and not traveling. As you know, it’s so hard to part with someone you feel strongly about. But when I’m abroad, I think I let my guard down more. That can be good and bad for sure.

    Thanks for sharing your personal story!

    ps- Loved Sucre a ton when I visited!!

    • Flora July 11, 2014 at 1:20 am #

      Totally – and I don’t know quite why we’re more likely to let our guards down when we’re travelling than when we’re at home! But I guess it’s all part of the romanticism that travelling begets πŸ™‚

  39. Bere July 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    Awesome Post Flora, thanks for sharing. It happened something similar to me too ,IΒ΄m a Mexican girl and met this Dutch guy while I was doing a solo travel in Asia two years ago , the curious thing is that we only spend few hours hanging around before I took my flight back home, those hours were enough to think that he was a nice travel partner for my next trip. Never crossed into my mind to flirt to him or some romance at all, for me he was just a cool, funny guy!

    We interchanged emails and we kept in touch after we met ,but were just few emails, and told him about my next trip to Turkey next Sep and invited him to join me, he replied me saying it would be nice seeing each other again but he wasnt into going to that country but he will think about it , some months passed and I didnt hear from him, until two months before Sep he asked if my plan to Turkey still remains the same, if so he would like to join me, so I reply saying yes that IΒ΄d be happy to travel with him more time this time and we planned the trip of course he was very conservative about traveling the two whole weeks together so we just booked the two first days and we will see if we get along okay , I dont know if Istanbul did its trick over us but after the first day we didnΒ΄t separed, both felt so confortable with each others company and had the best time traveling with him over Turkey and changing the inicial plan we ended going to Santorini for the best sunset ever seen. The last day we talked about how we feel about how everything turned out , we both agreed that had such a wonder time and everything had came unexpected and he proposed me to come visit to Mexico for Xmas , so the thing is he had came to Mexico twice for two weeks only both times we had such a wonderful time, he already knows hows my life on my normal routine, not just know me as a traveler, and Im planning to visit him this September alsto to know howΒ΄s his life at his hometown.
    Im nervous about all of this,and sometimes I wonder how it all of this happened so natural and unexpected, I think I found a man who IΒ΄d like to share my life but I dont know yet how to make it works with the distance factor over this.

    Hope all the best when you are back home and Im so agree about that its worth taking the risk insted wonder what would it happened?.


  40. Josh August 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Wonderfully written post Flora. And very honest since I am guessing he will read this too!

    I suppose these days I am more of an expat than a traveller, but now that I’m home it’s as though my ‘other life’ has resumed as normal. I have a girlfriend in Spain who is a great companion when I’m there, but over here I’m not sure it could work. It’s just a totally different life with totally different people and to be honest, I like it that way.

    Guess I need to think real hard and be as honest as you.

  41. Demi August 24, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Wow, thank you for this honest article. I am going through this exact thing right now in Asia. And while we are currently apart, with rough plans to meet up next month, I have some fear and hesitance of abandoning my own personal, solo journey and the things it can bring me. This article is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you!

    • Flora September 26, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Glad it could help you get a bit of perspective, Demi πŸ™‚ Best of luck with your decisions!

  42. Chinchilla Nomad March 27, 2015 at 5:15 am #

    Im currently touring the U.S. on my film tour. I was just told by this person that they were in love with me. After two years of liking this person. They paid me a visit and that’s where we fell in love. It’s tough cause I left Vegas a week ago for good for my tour and the travel bug has hit me. I don’t plan to stop and it’s hard to commit, but thank you for saying the risk may be worth it. They don’t mind the distance. They don’t mind the wait until August until we can be together so there goes that. Only thing that worries me is their commitment and mine. Who’s to tell I won’t find someone. Vice versa.

  43. Lourika Reinders April 6, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Awesome story!!

    I met my ex boyfriend in a bar at Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand in 2011 while traveling alone. It was truly love at first sight, we spend an amazing 9 days together exploring Phuket, I returned to Namibia, Africa (my home country), he returned to Australia (where he worked, he was from Texas originally), and we continued chatting on skype and email πŸ™‚ He came to visit me, to meet my family 1 month later, and we moved semi-permanently to Phuket 3 months later. We lived together for 2 years, got 2 wonderful dogs and really had a great time!!
    I started my travel photography career and he continued working offshore on the oil boats in Aus. we broke up after 2 full years due to religious reasons and I moved back to Africa.

    My Love Story will forever be a part of my life that I hold very dear and will NEVER FORGET – it was magical, and truly a fairytale!!!


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