Sure, stories like Eat, Pray, Love will try to have you believe that holiday romances are possible, but really, what are the chances? Well, here’s a wonderful Valentine’s Day travel tale from Chelsea Fitzgerald that reads like a real life fairy tale…
“My story is quite like a romantic movie. I graduated from college and had gotten through two years of being single and feeling great about it. I had time to discover myself and what I really wanted and set out to accomplish those goals. One goal was to go to Vietnam. I searched for an Intrepid trip, found Hanoi to Hong Kong and booked the July 25th trip. I flew to Hanoi with the most calm and exciting feeling rising up inside of me, as if I knew this would be the trip to change my life.
Funny enough, when we went to the welcome dinner I found out I was the only girl on the trip with three Australians guys and two British guys. I was thrilled! But I still didn’t know what was coming.
Over the next few days I had been talking to the guys a lot, getting to know them and having a good time, but there was one guy in our group that I didn’t know much about. So on our way to Halong Bay, I sat down next to him and asked what he was listening to on his iPod. He answered “Probably not something you would like, I like 20 minute songs.” I answered, “Yeah me too, like Godspeed.” His face lit up and from then we were inseparable.
We walked along the beaches talking about our families and school and decided to switch music with each other. The moment I sat down with his iPod and looked at all the music on it, my heart jumped into my throat. He was exactly like me, and I hadn’t met anyone like this before. I fell asleep to his beautiful music, thinking about the rest of the trip and how much more time I have to get to know this sweet, good looking, crazy like me, British stud.
I fell in love with him over and over throughout our two weeks of bliss. He carried my bag for me when I felt sick, he stayed to make sure I felt OK, he bought medicine for another backpacker when he was sick, he talked with me until 4 or 5 in the morning under the stars in China, we watched fireflies and shooting stars every night and talked about our fears and dreams and where we came from and why we were here at the same moment from opposite sides of the earth. Everybody disappeared when we spoke, time flew by so that 6 hour bus rides were pure bliss. Our humor was the same, we both liked art, and he was so incredibly smart I could barely take it.
On the last day of the trip we were in Hong Kong eating ice cream and looking at art. It was a grim morning when I had to go to the airport. He escorted me as far as was possible at which point we had to part ways. I looked at him realizing that he was the reason this trip has been chosen, and he was the man I thought I would never meet. I walked behind the barrier at the airport and felt as if half of me had been ripped off. He had stolen my heart and I could feel it.
To this day, we have made every effort to be together, planning trips, flying to see each other, writing, calling, texting, and just still being as in love as we were from those first days in Vietnam and China. He’s met my family, and I his. There is no doubt in my mind that he and I were meant to meet and have found our match. In only two weeks I felt like I had known him my whole life, and I miss him every day that I don’t see him. My plans to move to London are in the works and he will be escorting me to China this summer. I get to see him for Valentine’s Day since I am flying out there for school and I am quite excited to see what this plan he has for me is!
I will cherish China and Intrepid forever because of that trip, will tell you when the wedding will be, and am looking forward to having a great story to tell our children!”
And just to give you an update with a really happy ending… Chelsea and David are now living together outside of London and got to celebrate this Valentine’s Day together!
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* photo by Sharon Mathews – Intrepid Photography Competition