Tops and Bests
Stories of Travelers Finding Love on the Road
“Finding oneself” has become a cliché assumption, whenever one travels far and beyond this planet. Because to wander isn’t just about in search of something. Most of us do so to satisfy a curiosity – about the world’s variety of culture, of stepping foot into landmarks that has fascinated us since our earliest history class. In some fortunate cases though, a traveler not only finds his/her purpose in life after amassing all the wonderful experiences journeying brings. Sometimes, a traveler can also discover a very familiar and beautiful feeling when on the road; Love.
Back to that cliché of a purpose, a traveler may not admit it initially, but we all are in search of something beautiful whenever we set out on a long voyage. Finding love isn’t such a bad thing to come across on the road after all. Just like what these travelers found out for themselves – in full approval of their hearts’ desires.
Throwing caution to the wind, was what Cathy Mendoza did when she agreed to rendezvous with a gentleman from Germany she first met a year earlier.
“I met Chris while I was on the side trip on an island in May last year after attending a friend’s wedding day in Cebu. He was a lone traveler enjoying his last few days of vacation before flying back to Germany. We instantly became friends but there was no romance in the air as I wasn’t that much interested in him, though he was fun and a gentleman. He invited me for a vacation at a beach resort in Bohol and inspite of having hesitations, I flew to meet him” Cathy narrates.
Setting qualms aside, the sense of looming romantic notion prevailed and her courage to get on a plane could very well be the catalyst for her to find her forever. “Since then, our love and interest with each other had bloomed despite having a long distance relationship. A few months later, we went traveling to Thailand and Vietnam. Fast forward to today, we are now happily in love. We plan to settle in his home country, Germany once married. Chris is such a sweetheart, a man full of effort and incredibly selfless. Thanks to traveling, it led me to the man of my life I never thought exists” she adds.
A travel meet-up paved the way for an Ethan Hawke-Julie Delpy kind of romance when Jerny Destacamento and his now girlfriend felt their love for each other even before sunset arrived at the mountain they were hiking.
“We first met at a travel group’s meetup and it was very casual, but I already noticed her. After a few message exchanges in social media I already asked her to join me on a climb to Mt. Daraitan. I arrived early at our meetup location. It was 4 am. I was already looking forward to seeing her. On the way to the mountain, a good twist of fortune happened as I ended up sitting beside her inside the jeepney.
That’s when we started holding hands together. From the moment we stepped out of the vehicle, I can’t take away my eyes off her and I can’t keep my hands to myself trying not to hold hers. In short, we both held each other’s hands when we started climbing. That climb to Mt. Daraitan was the start of the big spark in our lives. Everything started with the magic of that mountain.
We became official a month after. Since then, we traveled together to a lot of places, local and overseas. We’re on our 2nd year and 7th months this February 2018 and we’re looking forward to being each other’s’ ‘forever’.
Little does Katherine Cortez know, that by going on a voluntourism event in the island of Jomalig, she was also volunteering her heart to become cupid’s love target – when a photographer not only captured the spectacular shore line of Salibunot beach, but also Katherine’s heart.
“I met my current boyfriend in Jomalig Island in Quezon. This was in early 2015. Most of us in the trip were practically strangers to each other. Hali is one of them; he came to help with documentation as a freelance photographer. Over the next 3 days in Jomalig, we bonded over swimming in the crystal-clear water, camping under the stars and toasting marshmallows and of course the camaraderie brought about by hosting games for kids and handing out slippers, notebooks and snacks.
He courted me thereafter and here we are. It’s funny because at first it seemed like any other long-weekend trip, but we didn’t know it’ll change our lives by meeting each other.”
Hazzelle Lewinsky’s quest for adventure in the Southeast Asian region as a solo female traveller led her to coupledom one particular trip when she happened to board the plane of love.
“In August of 2015 I was doing some traveling… as I boarded a plane to Thailand, I noticed the guy I was sitting next to. He seemed shy at first and I offered him my pen to fill out his entry card. After introducing myself we began talking and really hit it off. We spent the entirety of the plane ride talking and laughing as we joked around to pass the time. Afterwards we exchanged contacts and went our separate ways. It took almost two years to realize the significance of that one flight and how it would eventually change my life forever.
In April of 2017 I was again ready for some exploration with Thailand being the first destination on my list. Hoping to catch up with anyone I knew who might be in Bangkok, I reached out to several people. Including the guy I met on the plane in 2015. To my surprise he responded and was interested in catching up. I ended up spending much of my time in Bangkok with him before heading north. I began spending more and more of my time with the guy from the plane. We traveled throughout Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar and soon became an official couple. A few months later we traveled back to the Philippines together and are now engaged. Sometimes it’s the most unexpected situations that lead to the most cherished of destinations.” Narrated Lewinsky.
For travel writer Claire Madarang, a series of wonderful happenstance followed after she gave in to the lure of poetry and underwater adventure. Soon after, she found herself unable to resist the charms of her now boyfriend.
“I had not been active in our poetry organization then, and, probably to encourage me to go back, our then-president invited me to a free scuba diving experience in Subic, where a poetry activity would be held. I immediately said yes. It would be my first time to dive and I was excited. When I met him, I found out it was going to be his first time, too.
We bonded over our shared first time and later, on writing and on books we both love. We quickly settled into a friendship with an ease and familiarity that feels like years – almost like brother and sister – and proceeded to date or pursue other people. And then one day in a walk around Makiling’s gardens we woke up and realized what our families and friends had been seeing all along: that we would be good together. He has become both part of my travels and the home I return to ever since” shares Claire.