Winner of America’s Favorite Travel Love Story Announced!

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“In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.” — Charles Schulz

Travelzoo members around the country shared their #loveoftravel with us for a chance to win a luxurious Bali villa vacation.

America voted for their favorite, and without further ado, we are excited to announce the winning travel love stories!

Grand Prize Winner

Grand Prize: six-night stay at Hidden Hills Villas in Bali and $1,500 Honeyfund gift card.

Jill and David Lemanowicz live in Knoxville, Tennessee, and have been together for one year and two months; however, their love story begins at the young ages of 17 and 20. Here is their travel love story:

David and I have known each other since I was 17 and he was 20. It was a teenage puppy love that ended sadly for me, as he gave me three dates and decided I wasn’t the one for him. My 17-year-old heart got smashed, but I got over it and moved on to date MANY other guys in my life. Staying single while most of my friends got married.

One day I was offered an opportunity of a lifetime to go meet some of our troops in Afghanistan. I quickly accepted and off I flew. While I was in Afghanistan, I just happened to run into David (the runaway boyfriend from when I was 17). The 17-year-old girl still inside me wasn’t very happy, but the 34-year-old woman I grew into was very happy to hear about his journey all of these years. We had a beer on base that night and got properly caught up. He had been traveling the world with the army. In fact, traveling was a huge part of his life. We both led such busy lives, as my job often required me to travel. I felt so lucky that in that moment, our travels brought us both to this intersection. We both had significant others, so no love connection was pursued. It was just nice to see a familiar face in a war-torn part of the country. I headed back home after traveling to 12 different bases. It was a trip of a lifetime for sure.

Four years later I decided that the guy I had been with since my trip in Afghanistan wasn’t the one for me. Again, here I was …. single???? My girlfriend suggested I go see this famous psychic in Beverly Hills …. and much to my dismay and skepticism … I did. To make a long story longer, the psychic told me that I would take a trip for work, that my husband was looking for me all over the world, that I would meet him in April, he would be divorced with a kid, and we would have twins. My mouth flew open at how direct and detailed he was, but I still didn’t believe it all.

The next week, I got my work orders to fly to Vancouver, Canada — one of my favorite cities. I spent most of April in Vancouver. I was set to fly home at the end of April from a lovely, self-healing mini vacation. My girlfriends asked me to come out to dinner with them on April 29, the day I got home. We had a lovely evening, and as we were leaving who do I LITERALLY bump into? David — my 17-year-old crush turned soldier. I asked what he was doing there, and he told me he flew in to see his daughter. He told me he lived alone in a cabin in Washington and his ex-wife lives in Venice, California. He WAS DIVORCED, WITH A KID, and IT WAS APRIL!!! My head was almost spinning. He then began to tell me that I had been his biggest regret since the day he saw me in Afghanistan and to please give him another shot (he wasn’t the stupid 20-year-old boy he used to be). After my head stopped spinning and I came back down to earth, I told him I would love to see if we could work.

This past April 8th, we got married! All of this would never have been possible without that plane trip to Afghanistan. I know it may not be the most glamorous love story, but it’s real, it’s true and it’s ours. We have yet to go on a honeymoon, as we bought a farm and have put all the money we had into that. It would mean the world to me to get to surprise my love with a proper (magical) honeymoon, as I think Bali is the only place he has never been with the army!!!!! I hope you guys enjoyed my crazy story!

First Prize Winner (1)

First Prize: $250 Travelzoo gift card and $250 Honeyfund gift card.

Jake and Becky live in Des Moines, Iowa. They’ve been friends since 2nd grade, dated for eight years and have been married for 10 years. Here is their travel love story:

In November 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, just five short days after giving birth to my third child, Nina. It was devastating news … definitely not the way I was expecting to spend my final 12-week maternity leave (my husband and I had previously decided we were done at three)! At first, the diagnosis was Stage 3, but three weeks later, after another doctor viewed my scans, he noticed a spot on my rib bone and sure enough it turned out to be cancer, changing the diagnosis to Stage 4. How could this be getting worse? This was supposed to be the happiest time of my life, bringing another beautiful child into this world. Then kicked in mama-bear-mode: I knew I had to be strong and fight like heck so I could live a long life and see my children grow up and be a grandma someday! Then came six grueling months of chemo, a bi-lateral mastectomy, cyber-knife treatment to my rib bone and 28 days of radiation to my chest … all the while being the best mother and wife I could be. During this time, the love of my life, Jake (whom I’ve known since second grade), was my absolute ROCK! He lifted my spirits when I was down, made me laugh when I was sad and held my hand when I was sick … this man is amazing! After all treatment was complete, I had a PET scan in December 2016 and the results were unbelievable — no signs of disease!! To celebrate this awesome news and a very long year of treatment, we decided to take our two oldest children, Max (8) and Kael (5), on a trip to Mexico — by all means, they were deeply affected by this awful year, too! So, in February we spent four nights and five days at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, which I happened to book through Travelzoo! Here is a picture that I took of me and my hubby relaxing under a hut on the beach. While this vacation was beautiful and full of love and celebration, Jake and I didn’t have the alone-time desperately needed after that long year of exhaustion. In April, we just celebrated our 10-year anniversary and unfortunately, it was five days after my final surgery, so we didn’t even get to go out for dinner! I would love the opportunity to win a trip to Bali to show him my everlasting appreciation for him and all that he’s done for me and our family. Thank you!

First Prize Winner (2)

First Prize: $250 Travelzoo gift card and $250 Honeyfund gift card.

Gabe and Mariel live in San Francisco and have been together for seven years. Here is their travel love story:

I always knew that when I proposed to Mariel, it would have to be a total surprise. I’ve surprised her so many times in the past that I knew that this one would have to be special. Six months before the proposal, I created a fake email from a Travelzoo travel agent, advertising a chance to win an all-expense-paid summer vacation to somewhere in the Caribbean or Central America. Having signed up for these shot-in-the-dark contests in the past, Mariel asked me to sign her up, and I told her that I had entered both of our names in the raffle.

Over the next few months, I continually updated Mariel with news on whether we had advanced to higher rounds and the possible locations Travelzoo was considering sending its winners. Because Mariel was in New York completing a summer internship, she was busy enough to avoid becoming suspicious of our good fortune as we advanced further in the raffle and was eventually thrown off completely when I told her that I had been knocked out. When news came that she was selected as a winner and was on her way to Guatemala, Mariel was ecstatic and quickly encouraged me to buy my ticket, not knowing I had already planned every detail of the trip, ring included.

When we arrived in Guatemala, we headed to Lake Atitlán, a crater-lake surrounded by volcanoes. I wanted to propose in the middle of our trip and knew that the only way to successfully get Mariel to wake up at dawn and get dressed and camera-ready without becoming suspicious would involve some creativity. To pull it off, I asked the bungalow owners (months in advance) to approach us at some point during our stay and kindly ask us to model in an ad for their quarterly Airbnb brochure. Mariel agreed, and two days later we woke up at 5 a.m. to get ready for our sunrise photo shoot.

When we got to the floating dock, our photographers (the hotel owners) were setting up chairs and scoping out the lighting. They had asked us to bring items to make the photos look more natural, so I brought a bottle of Champagne and a magazine. Most importantly, as we sat down I pulled out a custom-made deck of cards with photos of us from each country we had traveled to together on the back of each card. As I began to show Mariel the cards and reminisce on all the great times we’d had in Portugal and Swaziland and Panama, however, my Birdy was barely paying attention, her focus instead firmly set on her hair blowing in the wind and her posture for the apparent Vogue photo-shoot we were taking part in. Not having planned for this reaction, I continued to ramble, but it was only when the photographers moved away from us that she really began to pay attention to me and the photos I was attempting to show her. When we finally got to the final 14 cards (all hearts), I fanned them out and held them out for her to see. On the back were pictures of us from all 14 countries we had visited together, with the 14 letters “W.I.L.L. Y.O.U. M.A.R.R.Y. M.E.?” printed across them. As Mariel read the cards her face turned to shock. I dropped to one knee, told her how many more life adventures I am looking forward to sharing with her, and asked her to be my wife. In the happy chaos that followed, I had one more surprise. “Pack your bags,” I told her, “We’re re going to Honduras!”

My favorite person in the world will soon become my wife. Asking her to spend the rest of her life with me is the best decision I’ve ever made and I look forward to our future together.


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C., age 21 or older at time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico, outside the U.S. and where prohibited by law. Contest Entry Period begins at 12:00:01 AM ET on 04/26/17 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 05/26/17. Public Voting Period begins on 06/07/17 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 06/14/17. Message & data rates may apply. Entry must contain ‘#loveoftravel’ and ‘#contest’. For Official Rules, entry instructions, and eligibility restrictions, click here. Winner is not entitled to monetary difference between actual prize value and stated approximate prize value, if any. Sponsor: Travelzoo, 590 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022. Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Click here to read the rules and how the voting is judged.

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Show 35 Comments
  • Georgene Summers

    I entered the contest but cannot find our photo in the gallery…can someone please check and see if there is something that I need to do. Time is of the essence…thank you

  • Marv Keefer

    In order to include both of us in our pictures, many, if not most, of our very best photos were snapped.by nearby tour guides/ship personnel etc.. Accordingly, even though we may or may not have paid for the pictures (and any future rights), I guess most of our photos are ineligible. If so, it’s grievous because our story of how this VIRGINIA Gentleman and my future TEXAS cowgirl wife met on the SAME cruise from NEW ORLEANS is truly an on incredibly odds-defying “Love Boat” story.

  • Amy Stewart Donnelly

    It was March 1985 and I was on holiday with my mom in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. My third evening of a 4 day / 3 night vacation I watched as an incredibly handsome man walked into the hotel lobby for a drink. As he went to sit down I say to my friend (who I’d been drinking beer with all day as water was undrinkable) “watch this, I’m going to meet that guy” and I ran and vaulted over the back of the lobby sofa landing next to him. “Hi, my name is Amy and you look like you need a friend” blurted out of my mouth. He sat there stunned with his mouth open. I fully expected him to run for the hills…. instead we embarked on a date that happened to be the most romantic of my life. Dancing, red roses, a misguided taxi driver and kisses on the beach – both of us completely gobsmacked.
    We remained fast friends and long distance loves (he in CT and me in MI) after several trips to be together, we married and started our lives together in late 1987 in beautiful Lake Tahoe, Nevada. We will be married for 30 years this August. Throughout the last 30 years, a passion for travel and adventure has been at the forefront of our lives. We raised our only child to love travel as well. I know that, for as long as we can get up and walk, we will be planning our next adventure. Who ever would have thought that trips with our mother’s would change our lives forever. #loveoftravel

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/42191f2eba6c06a5e895060ca151e2e7bb23d303423d5c26324ef57151bfd8f3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d4e0287a5ecd60510a878aa708dcf820fd3ac10340cf01f6f4308ff6b70abda.jpg

  • Kathy ward

    On this Mother’s Day I think this story is fitting,proving how truly https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1db1542bca833c7cbc80b43140b8ccb52d11a6f7cce6956c6d9b67e8e7005338.jpg unselfish a mothers love is. First of all I was adopted at 3 weeks old. My parents also adopted 3 other children throughout the years. I had a wonderful childhood. In 2004 feb, my mother was diagnosed with liver cancer with mets everywhere, she was given only a few months to live. This was also my 25 th wedding anniversary which was coming up in may. My husband and I had booked a trip to Venice,Italy prior to my mothers diagnosis. Now a little background on my husband and I. At just barely 18 I found myself pregnant. I had planned for college but found myself married with a child on the way. Needless to say with many challenges and ups and downs,this year we will celebrate our 38 th wedding anniversary and are the proud parents of 3 daughters and 2 grandsons. Ow back to my mother. I wanted to cancel my trip but my mother insisted I go, with her sense of humor she explained to me she was t sure if we would make it a year never mind 25 years,lol. So we went and I tried to have a good time, it knowing if my mom had passed. We returned home and immediately went to my parents from the airport,only to be greeted by my dad telling us,to hurry she had waited for me to get home. She told me how much she loved me and how proud of me she was. My mother passed that night surrounded by her children grandchildren and the love of her life,my dad. This is a love story between a mother and daughter.

  • Kathy ward

    This story is fitting for today,Mother’s Day. This is a love story between a mother and daughter.in Jan 2004 my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer,she had only a few months to live. This was also the year of my 25 th wedding anniversary and my husband and I had booked a trip to Venice,Italy. Some background is needed. Firstly my parents adopted me at 3 weeks old. Through the years they adopted 3 more children. I had a wonderful childhood. I met my husband at age 15. At age 18 I was looking forward to going off to college,but instead found myself getting married due to a little surprise that would arrive in a few months. My mother and father were supportive and loving. Well I wanted to cancel my anniversary trip,but my mom insisted we go. With her humor she told me I didn’t expect it to last a year never mind 25 years,lol, so off we went on our trip. I tried to have a good time,but found myself in tears frequently,not knowing if she would still be alive when we got home. I went to my parents home immediately after landing to be greeted by my dad telling me to hurry,she had waited for me to get home. She told me how much she loved me and how proud of me she was. I had gone to college after my 2nd child was born to my become a RN. She passed that night surrounded by her children,grandchildren and my dad,the love of her life. This is a love story between a mother and daughter.

  • http://kellyroofing.com Ken Kelly

    December 19th, 2009 I received a call from Angel Flight. I 15 year old boy in liver failure and his mother needed an immediate air lift to Miami for a live transplant. I let Erik fly, hoping it would keep his mind off of her upcoming operation. Upon arrival at the hospital I met this beautiful pharmacist on the Liver/GI transplant team, Dr. Jebrock. There is no question it was love at first sight. This was different; I was smitten immediately. I asked her if she would like to get a cup of coffee. We made it as far as a bench in front of the hospital where we spoke just long enough to confirm at date that night. We had the most romantic dinner overlooking the ocean at Casa Blanca Cafe in Fort Lauderdale. Afterwards we stopped by the grocery store and picked up the ingredients to make Key Lime Pie, which I made for her. She dropped me back off at the airport and we have been together ever since. We got engaged in a Wernberg, Germany castle in June of 2015. We bought a place together in March of 2016. And, we are getting married at the Chateau Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta, Canada. We are truly blessed to have each other and hope that everyone finds their sole mate some day. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2611a17d051ded29394c909c3833563e3aef2dae9715ceb08e4acb398ee6154c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ae9a5294c9b3e001343b8fe3c9830494a2182b6085e3c559b2de9355d93c109.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f79afcc2dfdc1d5ee2fe6d51d24ca9159cfbd8878beb46f042947d99febd821a.jpg

  • John s. Bartusick

    1967 was a year that shaped my life forever. I was 19 yrs. old and in college. One of seven children we lost our father. (he was 50). One week later my best friend set me up on a blind date and the rest is history. I met Jinny who also had just lost her father. She was 17 and her father was 54.We spent the entire date talking about our dads and what great dads they were. We dated for two years and got married,she was 19 and I was 21. Today we have 4 grown children and looking to celebrate 0ur 49th wedding anniversary. We beat the odds of staying together and today is MOTHERS DAY and we are celebrating with our 4 children and 3 grandson’s.. Having just retiring after 40 years of have our own business we are looking forward to traveling I’m 70 and Jinny is 68 and we can pack really fast and start the golden years. Thanks

  • Jamie Brezinski

    #loveoftravel #contest
    My husband and I celebrated our honeymoon in Hawaii on the Big Island and Maui last year after tying the knot on 10.8.16 #lamski2016. We love adventures and thought it was fitting to begin our marriage somewhere tropical, fun and romantic. After personally teaching my husband to swim for the last 3 years, we finally snorkeled together for the first time in Kealakekua Bay on the first day of our Honeymoon. Watching him swim in the ocean for the first time was incredible and thrilling! The water was warm and clear and all the sealife below was fascinating. Our personal captain and instructor was superb also and helped make the trip memorable! My husband absolutely enjoyed himself like a kid at Disneyland for the first time and the fact that he got to snorkel on one of the best spots in Hawaii! I’m so thankful to my husband for his courage and commitment to be less afraid of the water and to keep at all those practice sessions in the pool so we could enjoy our honeymoon all that more! – JBL

  • Rosalyn Anderson

    I was 17 years old. I left my home in Glasgow Scotland to volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel with a friend. While there I met a handsome 21 year old from Van Nuys California. It really was love at first sight for both of us. After spending 3 amazing months together on the kibbutz he asked if I would like to travel with him. We left Israel and flew to Greece where he and a friend had left an old beatup stationwagon before they went to Israel (they were backpacking Europe). Most nights we slept in that stationwagon as we made our way through Europe visiting Greece, France, Italy, Switzerland and England before our return to Scotland. It was there that he proposed to me and I accepted. We were married in January of 1979 in California. We have 3 wonderful boys aged 36,31 and 25 and 2 amazing grandaughters who are 4 and 1 and are the lights of our lives. Last June Gary retired. We sometimes talk about those days in the beginning when we were carefree but the past 38 years of building a home and a family have rendered unforgettable memories with, hopefully, many more years of memories to come.

  • Mike Pincus

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13bb5bd0c47319250dd9622ff1872caba26fe07c8238253cb327a32df51346ba.jpg Lisa and I grew up in Chicago only 20 minutes from each other but we met out in California. That was 1990, I was only 19 and she was 23. It was love at first site, at least for me it was. We dated for 2 years and got married on our anniversary. Everyone thought we were too young but we were in love and that’s all we knew. Over the years we’ve had some amazing vacations with tons of memories but none like our 23rd anniversary two years ago. Back this story up just a bit to 2004 when the movie “The Notebook” came out. This was our story. We’ve seen it at least 30+ times. Call us nuts but we see so much of each other in that movie. So to honor our wedding anniversary in 2015, I spent about 4 months of research on the internet planning a trip to Charleston, South Carolina to remake our own version of the movie. We visited all of the locations from the movie. Even the intersection where they danced for the first time. It was truly a spectacular trip. I took this photo of the home that Ally’s parents rented for the summer in the movie. It is located just outside of Charleston. One day we will take our grandkids there.

  • Linda Beckwith

    Some people call it a fairy tale. I had gone through a divorce after 22 years of marriage and my teenagers were being teenagers. I prayed one day to God to give me a little joy in my life. Little did I know that I’d meet Bob. I was going to Nantucket for a cousin’s wedding. I hadn’t flown in a plane for about 20 years. I sat in a window seat. Bob was sitting in the aisle. No one was seated between us and we started to talk. We ended up talking the whole way to Boston. As we got up to leave, I told him that “I wouldn’t normally do this” but I gave him my business card from work (a school e-mail address so I felt safe) and asked him if he’d like to e-mail me sometime. We e-mailed back and forth for two years just as friends. I was in the Midwest and he lived in the Boston area. For my 50th birthday he sent flowers with a message, “Let’s get together soon”. My heart was a-flutter! He came to visit about a month later and I still didn’t know whether this was just a friendship or more. We went to dinner and a show and I invited him in. We ended up kissing. He ended up booking a flight for the following weekend to see me again. Within a short time, he told me he had some sabbatical time and that he had some frequent flyer miles to use so we went to Italy and Greece for 3 weeks. We continued our long-distance relationship for 5 years and are now married almost 6 years.

  • Jeffery Elliott

    https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.facebook.com_lorna.souza_posts_10155109216670729&d=DwMCaQ&c=NV2eOcNDXku89dnEBtRwT9FaMa6896IGVECiotuydZw&r=2OM4Gk29V9ICc2XkX2Lv5k7rXzad_kSGJDOy5tgMMmw&m=LlTsIWS63Mg3iu2TrpxI16d1E1sf7Gw7lIc08qS_dkY&s=P9p2D8ThH_IqBZuuTw6x4c3l9MvfkxSOnrOUnzDvlkg&e=

    Can someone who married twice still fall in love and marry? Didn’t think so until…Lorna
    A wonderful and compasionite woman. A bucket list of mine was to vacation in Miami, and rent a motorcycle and cruise down A1A to Key West. Well…we did just that, and had a marvelous time. It made me fall deeper in love with this woman, who I hope will one day accept me as her husband…time will tell. Been a long time since having that much fun, sharing my life.
    I will never forget!
    I love you Lorna!!!

  • Jenny P-gast

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d7943c569c996203df01ace0c68884c48c51b96dd6adec5e6e3b62ff37021e1b.jpg

    One of my favorite adages to throw at my husband when we’re seeming particularly stuck in routine is “the couple that plays together stays together.” It usually works. He will drop whatever he’s doing and we’ll set off to find an adventure together.
    My husband and I met in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where we’d both moved at different times to be ski bums. We dated for three years and then in a span of four months got engaged, headed to Arizona to raft the Grand Canyon for two weeks, headed back to Colorado, quit our jobs, drove to Alabama to get married, and then set off to travel Southeast Asia for six weeks. It was a whirlwind of traveling and fun, and one of the best years of my life.
    Upon returning, we moved to Blacksburg, Virginia where my husband started graduate school. Then, in July of 2016, we had a beautiful baby girl. While life hasn’t stopped being exciting, it’s become harder and harder to find time together to travel and play. A trip to Bali would be the perfect excuse to drop everything and adventure.

    (photo is from our river trip down the Grand Canyon)

  • Tyra Molosi

    The day I fell in love with nature in its entirety.
    The Okavango Delta is not a place known to many but my mum and I decided to explore its depths for 4 wonderful nights. 4 nights that I remember as if they were yesterday. We went to two camps and the last camp, Zarafa Camp, was divine to say the least. This is where we spent our last two nights, and where my love for nature exploded into a full blown obsession. We were given the Dhow Suite which was a newly built canvas villa. It was so incredibly beautiful that I couldn’t bring myself to grab my camera and take a picture. The bedrooms had built in bathrooms with freshly polished vintage copper sinks and fireplaces, the beds had mosquito nets draped over them like veils on a stunning bride and the outside? Absolutely gorgeous. A wooden deck equipped with sunbeds hugged the villa tightly all around and right in the middle was a plunge pool perfect for a quick dip under the beaming sun. The most delightful part about it was the ellies that would come for a quick bite right next to the villa. They really made us feel at one with nature.

    The sunset was the decrescendo of every day, dipping behind the trees like a candle being extinguished. The sky blended into a smoothie of pastels and deep purples that signalled the slow rising of the moon, ascending to light up the darkness. A silvery sheen rippled across the water resembling a carefully painted canvas. We had a mouth-watering dinner at what looked like a hand carved dining table made of varnished mahogany and then it was time to settle down and get ready to face the next day, which we were not looking forward to at all because we would have to leave this haven. This rustic utopia. Before we allowed our bodies to recharge, I looked up into the sky, and that is when I completely fell in love with nature.

  • Fia Rosalino

    Our love to travel was one of the reasons we fell in love in the first place. He is from the US, and I am from Peru. We met each other back in 2009 in a small town called Huaraz in Peru. I was doing my medical rural service for one year and he had started his Peace Corps volunteer service for two years in a village nearby. We had friends in common and spend many times hiking, partying and enjoying life. After finishing our respective services, I went back to Lima and he decided to stay one more year volunteering in Lima Peru, as a volunteer coordinator. We began dating and traveled during that time inside Peru, aware that our time together might end up after the end of his service in December 2011. But our love grew stronger and we decided to give it a chance. In January 2012 we started our long distance relationship!! Travels to the US, Peru and other countries came and went, and for three and a half years, with ups and downs, we stayed together. We spend most of our vacations between Europe, North America and South America. We traveled together to 8 new countries and 12 states in the US, and our love to travel has taught us patience, appreciation for new cultures, companionship and trust. Those values cultivated during our travels solidified our commitment as a couple, and we ended up tying the knot August of 2015 in Maryville, TN. We are living in Atlanta now and this year we celebrated our honeymoon in Jordan (our first time in the Middle East!)
    Because traveling keeps being our passion, we will celebrate a second wedding in my home country, Peru in 12 days!! (May 27th, 2017) We subscribed to Honeyfund and that’s how we found out about this contest. Our next trip will be to Hawaii in October and we are looking forward to plan another trip outside the country to another island 😉 and hopefully celebrate a second honeymoon. Now together, we will keep doing what we love the most: enjoy freedom, stay humble and be grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that life gives us. New adventures await us! We are now travel partners for life.
    #loveoftravel #contest
    Upper left photo and going clockwise: Paris, France 2016. Salzburg, Austria 2014. Petra, Jordan 2017. Amazon rainforest, Peru 2015.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/edb29e4da18cd267e2b54e33436a5bf9890ed10b7e9817c34e8693a6da462215.jpg

  • Damian Wang

    When I was little I get to travel every where with my parent to different countries. But when you grow up and have responsibility travel became less and less.
    After 20 years not been able to go back HOME, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8a11edcd378cabdccd0a151753bb14570c6e3be2208cfb52f4573d408c8ead8c.jpg finally I get to go back with my wife and share where I grew up in the small farm village in Taiwan. She was born in USA and never saw a rice field. She got to meet my grandma’s neighbors, They are still remember me but unfortunately I don’t remember most of them. We had a traditional banquets in the middle of village with all the other neighbors. This was 2 years ago. And was the last time I got to see my grandma. But for my grandma to finally meet my wife and know that I am well taking care of there is no word that I can describe.
    #loveoftravel#contest

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c26cbd13f9a287e890318488cd02ebbfe0c4dd6f366d4349cf8bffcd880ac08e.jpg

  • Colleen Mulligan

    My husband and I have been together for 23 years, married
    for nearly 21. Our first real vacation
    planned together was to Greece. We had
    just moved in together and had very
    little money. However, I had saved
    points and booked our airfares for a two week, if frugal trip. Life has a way of impacting carefully made
    plans. A drunk hit my parked car at a red
    light a week before we were set to leave, totaling my car and injuring me badly
    enough that I would need six months of physical therapy and a lifetime of back
    problems (but of course, grateful as it was not worse). My car at the time did not have an airbag –
    something we usually enjoy these days. My
    husband, boyfriend at the time lost his job two days after my accident. This happened to a number of staff members
    due to financial problems at the law firm he worked at. In spite of this, we decided to go and make
    the best of it. I left thinking perhaps
    I was ignoring signs that this trip was not meant to be. We knew that it would not be easy. I was in pain, lacerated legs, unable to move
    my body well. My husband was worried
    sick about not having a job to return to.
    The trip was, however – wonderful in spite of counting every cent and
    our worries. We walked for miles in
    Athens, took a cheap flight to Crete and spent a week there. We took buses everywhere, ate frugally and
    soaked up a place that was not mobbed with tourists. It was February – fortunately the weather was
    really nice nearly every day. We hit
    carnival in Athens just right. One
    morning walking I found a wallet from the night’s crowded and crazed revelers. Inside, there wasn’t any identification at
    all, just a bus token and some cash. I
    felt badly as I knew that someone had lost money unexpectedly. We could appreciate worrying about money. Not knowing what else to do, I dropped the
    wallet in a postbox and guiltily decided the cash was kismet as so much of this
    trip had proven itself to be – we indulged in dinner. Greece was one of the greatest travel
    experiences of my life. My husband asked
    me to marry him in Crete and not having money, we got two inexpensive silver
    rings in a marketplace. Our last afternoon, with the sun falling on
    the Plaka – we ate ice creams in the golden light hitting the building facades
    and stood watching a group of elderly Greeks dance and sing Never on a Sunday. We seemed to be the only tourists
    watching. Since then, trips have cemented our lives, fostered
    mutual memories that have enriched us – but we never had another trip that had
    the same feel this one had. Fifteen years after this trip, on a ship I
    was able to drop these silver rings tied in a ribbon in the Aegean next to
    Santorini. We had permanent gold bands
    now – but they seemed to belong to this place.
    I will forever be grateful.

  • Marga Cullumber

    A love story with family… as we travel along together as a family our love grows. Yes, there are some traumatic moments as we travel yet at the same time these moments and the good times together help us to bond and get to know each other on a deeper level. Our family travels thanks to my parents who take us all along… my family of three, my brother’s family of three and others… we have parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and even some outlaws maybe but we are family. Yes, w-e a-r-e f-a-m-i-l-y !!! Other than traveling as a couple in love, there is a love story in traveling with family. We all learn to love each other and it is by selflessness, self-control, and sacrifice. Isn’t this what love is? And we have traveled numerous places together by land, by sea, by air and even camping! Now that’s a true love story… ask any of us and you’ll get a variety of answeres to where the favorite place is!

  • Geri David

    Love Gave Us a Fairytale

    I guess when a psychic tells you that you are going on a
    trip—-just GO~~~ as I did. Don’t even think about it.

    I told her, “No, I am not”.
    She continued, “You are going to the Islands”.
    I reaffirmed to her, “NO, I am not”.
    Lastly, our hour was up. I hugged her goodbye, paid her fee, and she blurted, “I got it—You are going to Tahiti!”—I was in shock. Where did this come from???
    I was not traveling to the Islands or anywhere. As I drove home, I thought about all the information I was just given, but what really caught my attention was this trip I was
    supposedly taking. I chuckled, grinned, giggled, and shook my head in disbelief.
    Should I go??? Alone??? Not knowing anyone???? For 28 days, no less???

    Being a single working mom https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c183ab032c6c8fcdee0483546bd4768348fd59563cd1214c41d4fb91772c429.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/16bd22babffadc5f1785e031d6349b48c7be1d454e6406330f0535597bcd0173.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e4a5003b6e7f1dfda879a58ef94b2370f860e4bb1863cb9ddb138c49efb3e958.jpg through the years (although my
    son is grown now), my traveling days were limited. Now that I am happily retired, there really
    isn’t anything holding me back. Should I or shouldn’t I go?????

    YES YES YES!!! was my answer…All my friends thought I was
    crazy doing this, but I had made up my mind.
    This is the best time of my life, and it is time to start checking off all
    the wondrous things on my bucket list.

    So, as unbelievable as this sounds, the next day I researched
    cruise lines going to Tahiti and found one!!
    It was the Crown Princess sailing in October, 2014, for 28 days. YES, I booked it!!! Since I was going solo, I decided to check out CruiseCritic.com as I heard it had a roll call section where you could meet fellow passengers who will be on the same cruise and connect. I signed in, and it was great. I met some passengers right away. I offered to organize a solo travelers’ luncheon and over 20 people signed up. In addition, I offered to teach a Mah Jongg Class and had over 12 couples signed up for that. I was now somewhat
    relieved. What if I kicked the bucket on the cruise?? What if I got sick?? At least this way, I made some connections, and I was now looking forward to this foolish and unexpected adventure.

    As I got to the Princess Pier Saturday morning, October 18th,
    my heart was pounding out of my chest, and I was a nervous wreck. Once inside, there were hundreds of people or rather, hundreds of couples~~~and little ole me. I glanced around and never felt so out of place in my life. I seriously thought I
    had made a terrible mistake. I sat down on the side a few seats away from another couple. It must have been my lucky day because “Jean” started a conversation. She was from California and was with her honey. I told her I was alone. As I explained the story to her, she just loved it!!! She invited me to join her and Tom for dinner the next night, and my first “friend” was made.

    The next day, Sunday, was my solo travelers’ luncheon at noon. As luck would have it (again), Princess arranged a solo travelers meet and greet an hour before my noon luncheon at 11am. Well, I had to go, of course! I decided I would invite whoever showed up to the noon luncheon. When I got to the bar (Crooners Bar), I saw 8 or 10 people scattered all around. There weren’t even two people seated somewhat close to one another. Being my outgoing and friendly self, I walked up to each person personally and invited them to sit together. I introduced myself and the rest followed suit. One of the people I met was Debbie. She was newly separated and ready for an adventure.
    Another was Vic, a widower from England, who loved being on the
    water. A third man, my son’s age, and some well-seasoned
    women travelers chatted away. After the hour, we walked into the dining room to
    meet the other solo travelers. When we arrived, they were all seated getting to know one another. There was not a seat saved for me—The Organizer—lol lol. So, my new found friends from Crooners Bar and myself found another table and had a wonderful lunch. During the cruise, we took tours, met up for drinks, and dined together. Believe it or not, we are still friends with some of them to this day. This was the beginning of what turned into a truly unexpected and life-changing experience.

    For the remainder of the 28 days, some of us toured Hawaii together.
    When we sailed off for the South Pacific (American Samoa, Pago Pago,
    Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti), Vic and I spent more and more time together
    getting to know one another. Vic shared with me he had lost his wife to cancer after caring for her on and off for 10 years. They were married 42 years. He loved being on the water—fond memories from his younger days—found solace and comfort. He booked this
    cruise because it had the most sea/water days.
    By the time we arrived in Tahiti, we had spent several dinners together and really enjoyed each other’s company.

    From that memorable trip, we started dating “across the pond”.
    We developed a close friendship which slowly turned into a wonderful,
    romantic relationship. For the past two years, we have cruised the entire Caribbean,
    South America, Panama Canal, Tahiti again (The Crown Princess-anniversary of
    our meeting), and the Caribbean again. We have been inseparable traveling all over ever since. Not only did we find a “travel partner” we found a life-long loving partner.

    In the fall of 2016, we were married in Las Vegas where we are
    living and even had Elvis attend and sing at our wedding. We are very
    grateful to have found one another at this “late” stage of our lives, and we owe
    it all to that fateful psychic in Glenview, IL, who told me I was going to
    Tahiti, and the Crown Princess who helped weave that magic as well..lol

    Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale. This is mine.

  • Bernice May

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b653d06c8aeb0bc4eff13e96691e2fab65081ae02e5da4f5c791099cabf0573.jpg TRAVELING WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE

    Excitement mounted as our departure on Hainan Airlines to Beijing China was announced and soon we were on board this incredible flight. I had recently lost my husband and it had been a difficult time for me preparing for the future without my lifelong partner. Jerry and I had planned to travel when he retired but we waited too long. Then Travelzoo, the best travel web site, advertised an exciting trip to China and I knew this was my opportunity to fulfill my dream. I called my daughter “ Can you come with me. Dear, cause I can’t do this alone ? She replied “Mom, you are the most wonderful mother in the world and I would love to come with you”. That was the beginning of 10 wonderful unforgettable days.
    Arriving in Beijing we were greeted by our tour guide who not only escorted us but gave us the underlying philosophy and beauty of the Chinese culture. Peace and serenity and gratitude explained how these people lived their daily lives. We were in awe of the high rise housing to accommodate the millions and yet people were content, not looking for bigger and better. They had more than they could ever want for. They exuded so much love and happiness and respect for human nature, especially parents and the elderly, Our tour included people from Romania, The Phillipines and Cosa Rica. A group of nations who met as strangers on a bus but in no time became friends sharing the love and laughter of travel.
    Highlights of Beijing were the visit to the Architectural masterpiece The Forbidden City –the former seat of the Ming and Qing dynasties and the majestic Great Wall one of the seven wonders of the world . My daughter and I stood in awe of a portion of this 3700 mile marvel and I said to her – “Do you think you can walk to the top of these stairs because I sure can’t.” Mom, I came this far and I will tell everyone that I climbed the Great Wall of China”. “You go girl!” She set off and disappeared into the mist somewhere near the top. One hour later she reappeared holding her certificate and medal showing she had reached the top. “Congrats. I am proud of you. I love you so much”. Others have tried but not made it.”
    Next stop was Shanghai and visit to the Architectural masterpiece The temple of heaven built in 1406 ad and used by the Emperors for ceremonies honoring the gods of harvests. Then we were in narrow alley ways taking a famous rickshaw ride. Awesome!. Cruising on the Grand Canal, standing under the 80 m Grand Buddha and admiring the Lingering Gardens and Bonzai. Oh So much more beautiful, mind boggling history and masterpieces of ancient times.
    My daughter and I bonded together and I realized the meaning of love is to share life together and to smile with pride as dreams come true. To love is to have someone special you can always depend on and make special memories you love to recall. “Would you like to do this again one day, Dear”, I said, She smiled and replied “I would love to travel again with you, Mom. It was wonderful. Let’s go to Bali next”.
    Thank you my daughter for being part of my life. Now that I’m back home I wake up in the morning and call you up to tell you what a happy mood I’m in and hope the day will bring me sunshine and another day with you. I hope you know just how truly special you are that even on the darkest nights you are my brightest star.

  • Antonio Vera

    Our love is traveling together regardless of the destination, the time, or transportation. Flying first class though, we like better; somehow we rest best in a top tier hotel. And we enjoy a great chitchat when the stays include an amazing breakfast by the ocean, or at the top of the world. Moreover, free cocktails are always welcome. Having new adventures gives us energies, discovering hidden places, living unknown experiences. Teamwork, support, communication, tenderness, carefulness… there is no secrets for living a joyful life, L.O.V.E.

  • Adam Anton

    #loveoftravel
    #contest

    While we were still dating, my wife and I took the trip of our lives that would forever cement us together. We got rid of all nonessential possessions, including both our cars, and went in together on a four-wheel drive SUV to drive to Colorado with nothing more than an address of a friend’s rental in Breckenridge. We said goodbye to friends and my wife’s mom in Santa Barbara, CA, high-tailed it to Vegas, and then up through the beautiful orange canyons and snow-capped mesas of the Zion desert in Utah, plowed through a snowstorm into Colorado, and finally arrived at the rental.

    I quickly found a job at a nice restaurant in town, my wife (a massage therapist) found work at one of the many spas, and we settled into a one-bedroom with a walking bridge right to the chair lift on Breckenridge Mountain. We spent an amazing two years in Colorado exploring, snowboarding, making friends, camping, hiking, river rafting, going to concerts, fishing, and horseback riding through the never-ending national forests.

    That summer I took Terri up to Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs and proposed. We’d never been so happy. We celebrated with a hot air balloon ride over Steamboat and sinking into the natural hot springs at Strawberry Park.

    We spent another amazing winter knee-deep in powder, then kept our promise to return to Santa Barbara. This time, we decided to take a leisurely 11-day trip back. We headed west through Colorado to Dinosaur, where the collection of fossils is simply breathtaking. The 191 led us through incredible views north to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and we spent a day imagining we were cowboys. It’s not hard to do in Jackson. Unfortunately, Yellowstone was closed as the hibernating critters were still slumbering, but we experienced Grand Teton National Park and couldn’t have been more amazed. We pulled up to a moose grazing along a river, kept our distance from a herd of bison on the road, and watched a lone wolf cross a wide snowy plain. There were elk, and deer, and even a bald eagle.

    We soared past the endless potato fields of Idaho into Montana, through Ennis and Missoula. Driving through Montana there were more deer than people; we saw about 300 of them on the side of the road at one point. It felt like we were in a dream.

    We crossed back into northern Idaho and discovered Coeur d’Alene, a quiet town with a majestic backdrop of a crystal blue lake and the snowy peaks beyond.

    The infinite drive along the 90 in Washington was the least eventful, and by this time, we were ready for a break, which we got in Seattle. We stayed three nights with my college friend and his wife, and they gave us the VIP tour of the city. We visited the salmon locks, watched the fish mongers toss fish across the market, slurped down the most succulent oysters in the world, and got a taste of Seattle night life from my musician friend.

    From there, we cut over to Astoria in Oregon to take the coast all the way down. The coastline is overwhelming in its magnitude. It reminded us of Big Sur, but the cliffs are twice the size at least. The sun was bright, the brilliant greens of the forests and the vivid blues and whites in the sky were rich in color as we blissfully made our way down the Oregon coast.

    The redwood forests of Northern California signaled that we were close to home, and we meandered through the sweet wet smell of the giant trees. We were in familiar territory now, and we made stops to visit my wife’s extended family along the way.

    The trip had to end at some point, and what a better destination than Santa Barbara? Terri and I were married one year later, and then one year after the wedding (almost to the day), our son was born. He is now nine and has a six-year old sister. The four of us have grown to include two dogs and four chickens (and a couple of fish my daughter will remind me).

    Our love is strengthened everyday, through the good times and difficult times. After our two-year odyssey, we knew we were definitely meant to be together. While looking through our notes from this trip, I found something my wife wrote; “I pretty much flipped out when we were trying to repack our overstuffed car. I kept hitting my head hard on the open gate of the trunk. I finally lost it. I threw my hat on the ground and started crying. Not one of my best moments. Adam just held me tight and told me it was okay and made me calm down in 2 seconds. He’s amazing. I am so lucky to have found a partner in life who can understand and work with all of my moods. I guess when you love someone so much you will do anything for them. I know I would for Adam.”

    We are so happy here in Santa Barbara, but are getting that itch to travel again. Maybe we’ll experience it all over again through the eyes of our kids. Maybe another destination. All I know is that this world is incomprehensible in its’ beauty, and worthy of our protection.

    Adam and Terri Anton

    #loveoftravel
    #contest

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e09adbd87581ebda6dfc72133e04abd2bb95e1b545b60b8adf517c8229d22b20.jpg

  • Rebecca Sneller

    Love Wins. That’s what was written on my necklace the day I held my new toddler daughter for the first time. My husband and I stood side-by-side as we waited for her to be placed into our arms; into our family. For years, we had dreamed of this moment; invested time, energy, and money, and now our dream was coming true. We had been married for eight-and-a-half years, birthed two sons, and traveled to China to adopt our little girl, Kara Jane, which means “Beloved Gift of God.” There’s something powerful about redeeming what was broken; accepting a child who was abandoned; and choosing the hard but beautiful road of adoptive parenting. She came to us scared, quiet, sad, reserved, and shy. But now, only three months later, she is confident, boisterous, happy, energetic, and outgoing. That is a *true* love story. And to experience this kind of love and transformation with my lifelong partner, my husband, by my side…? We get to see our wedding vows live and breathe; we get to hold the fruit of seeds planted in our hands. Love really does win.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/11fc4f529c08518637e7e1a2b482a99161623628b2195de916e89661aa6a328a.jpg

  • Adam Anton

    #loveoftravel
    #contest

    While we were still dating, my wife and I took the trip of our lives that would forever cement us together. We got rid of all nonessential possessions, including both our cars, and went in together on a four-wheel drive SUV to drive to Colorado with nothing more than an address of a friend’s rental in Breckenridge. We said goodbye to friends and my wife’s mom in Santa Barbara, CA, high-tailed it to Vegas, and then up through the beautiful orange canyons and snow-capped mesas of the Zion desert in Utah, plowed through a snowstorm into Colorado, and finally arrived at the rental.

    I quickly found a job at a nice restaurant in town, my wife (a massage therapist) found work at one of the many spas, and we settled into a one-bedroom with a walking bridge right to the chair lift on Breckenridge Mountain. We spent an amazing two years in Colorado exploring, snowboarding, making friends, camping, hiking, river rafting, going to concerts, fishing, and horseback riding through the never-ending national forests.

    That summer I took Terri up to Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs and proposed. We’d never been so happy. We celebrated with a hot air balloon ride over Steamboat and sinking into the natural hot springs at Strawberry Park.

    We spent another amazing winter knee-deep in powder, then kept our promise to return to Santa Barbara. This time, we decided to take a leisurely 11-day trip back. We headed west through Colorado to Dinosaur, where the collection of fossils is simply breathtaking. The 191 led us through incredible views north to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and we spent a day imagining we were cowboys. It’s not hard to do in Jackson. Unfortunately, Yellowstone was closed as the hibernating critters were still slumbering, but we experienced Grand Teton National Park and couldn’t have been more amazed. We pulled up to a moose grazing along a river, kept our distance from a herd of bison on the road, and watched a lone wolf cross a wide snowy plain. There were elk, and deer, and even a bald eagle.

    We soared past the endless potato fields of Idaho into Montana, through Ennis and Missoula. Driving through Montana there were more deer than people; we saw about 300 of them on the side of the road at one point. It felt like we were in a dream.

    We crossed back into northern Idaho and discovered Coeur d’Alene, a quiet town with a majestic backdrop of a crystal blue lake and the snowy peaks beyond.

    The infinite drive along the 90 in Washington was the least eventful, and by this time, we were ready for a break, which we got in Seattle. We stayed three nights with my college friend and his wife, and they gave us the VIP tour of the city. We visited the salmon locks, watched the fish mongers toss fish across the market, slurped down the most succulent oysters in the world, and got a taste of Seattle night life from my musician friend.

    From there, we cut over to Astoria in Oregon to take the coast all the way down. The coastline is overwhelming in its magnitude. It reminded us of Big Sur, but the cliffs are twice the size at least. The sun was bright, the brilliant greens of the forests and the vivid blues and whites in the sky were rich in color as we blissfully made our way down the Oregon coast.

    The redwood forests of Northern California signaled that we were close to home, and we meandered through the sweet wet smell of the giant trees. We were in familiar territory now, and we made stops to visit my wife’s extended family along the way.

    The trip had to end at some point, and what a better destination than Santa Barbara? Terri and I were married one year later, and then one year after the wedding (almost to the day), our son was born. He is now nine and has a six-year old sister. The four of us have grown to include two dogs and four chickens (and a couple of fish my daughter will remind me).

    Our love is strengthened everyday, through the good times and difficult times. After our two-year odyssey, we knew we were definitely meant to be together. While looking through our notes from this trip, I found something my wife wrote; “I pretty much flipped out when we were trying to repack our overstuffed car. I kept hitting my head hard on the open gate of the trunk. I finally lost it. I threw my hat on the ground and started crying. Not one of my best moments. Adam just held me tight and told me it was okay and made me calm down in 2 seconds. He’s amazing. I am so lucky to have found a partner in life who can understand and work with all of my moods. I guess when you love someone so much you will do anything for them. I know I would for Adam.”

    We are so happy here in Santa Barbara, but are getting that itch to travel again. Maybe we’ll experience it all over again through the eyes of our kids. Maybe another destination. All I know is that this world is incomprehensible in its’ beauty, and worthy of our protection.

    Adam and Terri Anton

    #loveoftravel #contest

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e09adbd87581ebda6dfc72133e04abd2bb95e1b545b60b8adf517c8229d22b20.jpg

  • Adam Anton

    While we were still dating, my wife and I took the trip of our lives that would forever cement us together. We got rid of all nonessential possessions, including both our cars, and went in together on a four-wheel drive SUV to drive to Colorado with nothing more than an address of a friend’s rental in Breckenridge. We said goodbye to friends and my wife’s mom in Santa Barbara, CA, high-tailed it to Vegas, and then up through the beautiful orange canyons and snow-capped mesas of the Zion desert in Utah, plowed through a snowstorm into Colorado, and finally arrived at the rental.

    I quickly found a job at a nice restaurant in town, my wife (a massage therapist) found work at one of the many spas, and we settled into a one-bedroom with a walking bridge right to the chair lift on Breckenridge Mountain. We spent an amazing two years in Colorado exploring, snowboarding, making friends, camping, hiking, river rafting, going to concerts, fishing, and horseback riding through the never-ending national forests.

    That summer I took Terri up to Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs and proposed. We’d never been so happy. We celebrated with a hot air balloon ride over Steamboat and sinking into the natural hot springs at Strawberry Park.

    We spent another amazing winter knee-deep in powder, then kept our promise to return to Santa Barbara. This time, we decided to take a leisurely 11-day trip back. We headed west through Colorado to Dinosaur, where the collection of fossils is simply breathtaking. The 191 led us through incredible views north to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and we spent a day imagining we were cowboys. It’s not hard to do in Jackson. Unfortunately, Yellowstone was closed as the hibernating critters were still slumbering, but we experienced Grand Teton National Park and couldn’t have been more amazed. We pulled up to a moose grazing along a river, kept our distance from a herd of bison on the road, and watched a lone wolf cross a wide snowy plain. There were elk, and deer, and even a bald eagle.

    We soared past the endless potato fields of Idaho into Montana, through Ennis and Missoula. Driving through Montana there were more deer than people; we saw about 300 of them on the side of the road at one point. It felt like we were in a dream.

    We crossed back into northern Idaho and discovered Coeur d’Alene, a quiet town with a majestic backdrop of a crystal blue lake and the snowy peaks beyond.

    The infinite drive along the 90 in Washington was the least eventful, and by this time, we were ready for a break, which we got in Seattle. We stayed three nights with my college friend and his wife, and they gave us the VIP tour of the city. We visited the salmon locks, watched the fish mongers toss fish across the market, slurped down the most succulent oysters in the world, and got a taste of Seattle night life from my musician friend.

    From there, we cut over to Astoria in Oregon to take the coast all the way down. The coastline is overwhelming in its magnitude. It reminded us of Big Sur, but the cliffs are twice the size at least. The sun was bright, the brilliant greens of the forests and the vivid blues and whites in the sky were rich in color as we blissfully made our way down the Oregon coast.

    The redwood forests of Northern California signaled that we were close to home, and we meandered through the sweet wet smell of the giant trees. We were in familiar territory now, and we made stops to visit my wife’s extended family along the way.

    The trip had to end at some point, and what a better destination than Santa Barbara? Terri and I were married one year later, and then one year after the wedding (almost to the day), our son was born. He is now nine and has a six-year old sister. The four of us have grown to include two dogs and four chickens (and a couple of fish my daughter will remind me).

    Our love is strengthened everyday, through the good times and difficult times. After our two-year odyssey, we knew we were definitely meant to be together. While looking through our notes from this trip, I found something my wife wrote; “I pretty much flipped out when we were trying to repack our overstuffed car. I kept hitting my head hard on the open gate of the trunk. I finally lost it. I threw my hat on the ground and started crying. Not one of my best moments. Adam just held me tight and told me it was okay and made me calm down in 2 seconds. He’s amazing. I am so lucky to have found a partner in life who can understand and work with all of my moods. I guess when you love someone so much you will do anything for them. I know I would for Adam.”

    We are so happy here in Santa Barbara, but are getting that itch to travel again. Maybe we’ll experience it all over again through the eyes of our kids. Maybe another destination. All I know is that this world is incomprehensible in its’ beauty, and worthy of our protection.

    Adam and Terri Anton

    #loveoftravel

    #contest

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e09adbd87581ebda6dfc72133e04abd2bb95e1b545b60b8adf517c8229d22b20.jpg

  • Mia Materic

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62f01b9cc6b1eff3dd8b28524a5e6cf6aab142d47ebf76a72acd3cbaaa0434ad.jpg

    Our love of travel has brought us to many places, but the most unique so far has been Iceland, where we even brought some “ice” back. Our first day in Iceland was a whirlwind – it feels like a completely different planet with the constant weather fluctuation and unusual landscape. We were fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights in full swing on our first night and I was even more fortunate to be proposed to under the Lights. It could not have been any more romantic. It’s an amazing spectacle and by the end of the trip we were already planning on how to come back to that beautiful country. We’re becoming quite the travel junkies, always thirsting for more exposure to different cultures. Our second trip this year will be to Bosnia and Croatia. It will be the first time I’ll be back in Bosnia and Herzegovina since I was 2 years old. I’ve waited so long to finally be able to see where my parents grew up, what playgrounds they played at, and where they first met. It’ll be a monumentous trip as my fiancee’s family is also joining us to get to know my family’s culture even better.

  • Georgene Summers

    Our love story began half way around the world in Africa. I had been divorced 20 years and was living alone in Africa when we met. I had moved there when I was 60 years young alone and had never traveled to the spot where I was living. Ours was a fairy tale born in a nation I had never been to at a time when that was the very last thing I was thinking about. Read my story please

  • regina stano

    First of all, I want to say “Thank You” to Travelzoo for inviting us all to tell our love stories! I have NEVER entered into a contest in my entire life!! It’s truly a breath of fresh air. Thank you for continuing to provide deals for all of your customers like us so that we my continue our wonderful journeys of the future.

    I would like to preface our story with MY story.
    My earliest memories and love of travel as a young girl were quite interesting..I grew up in an addictive household full of chaos and dysfunction. I very often would take myself to a far away destination “in my mind” so to speak so as to escape the toxicity, rigidity, and negativity of everyday life. I would conjure up far away places in my imagination to get away from it all. Little did I know these places that were just a figment of my imagination would ultimately come to life many many years later in my adult life… When I met the Love of My Life.. My Friend..My Lover.. My soulmate..
    Steve and I met at the local gym I was working at as a personal trainer..I was 31 and he was 46. I had recently gone through an amicable divorce and because we were friends I thought it would be nice for us to go out on a date.. We did and found so many common interests which included our love of travel. We became a couple traveling to exotic places like Hawaii and Iceland, romantic getaways like Paris and Bellaggio, to rugged destinations like the Colorado Rockie ,the Canadian Rockies, and Alaska to name a few. I was so happy and grateful that all the dreaming or in my case “daydreamimg” of travel as a young girl had actually become a reality…and with the man I fell in love with more and more during all of these travels….and then after being together for 12 years.. Bam! We get hit with a severe life change that would not only put an end to our love travels but to our financial, spiritual, and emotional relationship as we knew it. …So we separate.. the 8 long torturous months seemed like an eternity.. We go about our lives and make the best of it.. I think about him every single day…The pain is so intense..
    In that 8th month something phenomenal happened. Call it divine intervention, the universe taking care of us, the stars and moon were in perfect alignment? Whatever!! I get an email from my manager at the country club here in south florida that I work at that says “Anyone interested in working in the North Carolina mountains this summer let me know.. There is a job opening” OMG!!! Yes..You heard me.. now let me just clue you guys in here.. Steve and I used to talk about..or better yet DREAM about traveling to the mountains in the summer when the time was right.. and it just so happened it was.. This was the summer my youngest son would be off to college which would free me up to pretty much do as I please.. I have a client that for years offered me her house to stay and I always said no as I wouldn’t go until my son was off on his own. So now here I am.. I get this email about the job..awesome, I have this house which is 40 minutes driving distance from work..perfect, and unfortunately my friend, lover, soulmate out of the picture… Bummer. Bummer..:(. Now what?? I’m sitting in my car going through all the things I have been through with Steve to this point..I reminisced about so many amazing, fun, crazy, romantic places we had been and every time I thought about the summer trip i felt sad and alone..Sad about not being with the man of my dreams and doing this trip we dreamed of doing together..ALONE.. Ugh..So as I’m sitting there contemplating either a phone interview or an “in person” interview{I look much better in person than I do on paper}. I eventually decide I’m going to drive straight through the night to make it to the interview in the morning..But I had the aching feeling as i’m making all these plans. An ache that I was finally ready to put to rest..I realized as i’m making all these plans that there was no way i was going to do THIS journey myself.. NO WAY! My mountain summer retreat was to be done as couple, a team, as soulmates.. I decide to call Steve randomly.. hoping, praying that I will reach him and he will say yes..I reach him..He is stunned. I say very little.. I say “I have a proposition for you”. He chuckles and says “proposition? what kind of proposition are we talking about here?” I said ” I’m driving to north Carolina tonight to do an interview in the morning”. To which he replies ” I was planning a trip to North Carolina in the coming days. When were you thinking??” To which I replied “Can you be ready to leave in a few hours?”. He then says “Why do you want me to go?”..I said, “Because it would be better with you by my side” AND GUESS WHAT HE SAID WITHOUT ANY HESITATION…YESSS!!!!
    All I can say is our 12 hour drive up to the mountains that night was one I will never ever forget. We laughed, we cried, we reminded each other why we love each other and why we need to continue our travels in life together forever.. By the way, I did get the job! Our summer in the western North Carolina mountains was the most meaningful of all our travels as it took our love to a deeper more compassionate level in every way possible. You know we can’t afford some of these fancy trips anymore..So what??
    The thing that is so great about travel is that it transports you.. physically, emotionally, and spiritually..whether you do an inexpensive overnighter an hour away or whether you are in a far away place like Switzerland where the air is brisk and the chocolate is delicious. you are transported to wherever you need to be.. and when you are with your love.. the journey and the destination become one.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2fc8f6bbfcd3dc5a39081d89d1e720b7d935c7aeb6a58e8c737eae9790c71de.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65cc922953d4ad72b41c2217ebc4e07040f5ee6811236c019a4eaab248ae0812.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca8859a3312d8ac22c159f9e90aff37ca9e2515823aaa08af803fcdb9772221a.jpg

  • jarmsx

    Taking chances and having an eagerness to travel led us to one other. We’ve been dating three years now and for those past three years, have always made it tradition to travel during Spring Break, late March.

    She’s a full-time student working hard towards completing a doctorate degree in physical therapy. I work full-time in business development for a well known technology company.

    We always have each other’s back and I knew she was a girl I could spend the rest of my life with ’til the end.

    Everyone loves Cece due to her endless compassion and care for the fellow human being. When we first started dating in 2013, I visited her in Los Angeles and we drove around eventually reaching our destination at the Santa Monica Pier. Along the way, she saw a homeless veteran on the side of a road as we approached a stop sign. It was hot outside and she told me to “hold on” as we came to the stop sign and she exited the car. She popped the truck and pulled out three bottles of water, handed them to the gentlemen and told him to stay hydrated and take care of himself. I’ll never forget that moment.

    Zoom ahead to this recent Spring of 2017, late March. We called up our parents, who live in California and organized a road trip from Oregon, where we currently live. We set up a plan to meet them at Yosemite for a weekend of some fun adventure and sightseeing. Little did Cece know, I had already formally asked permission from her parents to propose to her. Anticipation was soaring. My parents somewhat suspected what I was up to and I eventually shared, without revealing all the details.

    After the amazing Yosemite weekend hanging with the parents, we departed our separate ways. Cece and I headed down to Los Angeles to see her friends and enjoy some much needed sunshine. Weeks before, we had organized a few AirBnb’s together near the Santa Monica beachfront. Well, without telling her, I canceled those plans a few days later. Instead, I booked an amazing Airstream getaway in Malibu, sitting atop the Santa Monica Mountains with 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, El Matador and Zuma Beaches. Her heart has always been happiest outdoors, near the beach, with sunshine in abundance and the opportunity to dip her feet in the water. I wanted to bring all of those themes together as I put together the surprise proposal to ask this woman to marry me.

    Cece was really looking forward to visiting with her friends in Los Angeles. So, when I detoured to Malibu she was completely thrown off and the confusion ensued. I did my best to keep cool and let her know that I had spontaneously canceled the plans to Los Angeles. She questioned me for a bit and I did my best to respond without revealing much (the pressure!). I let her know that we were going to stay in Malibu for a fun camping experience, amongst the stars, beautiful sunsets and sunrises California had to offer. Silence ensued for awhile, as thoughts jumbled through both our minds. Then she told me that she hoped I would always keep her on her toes with surprises. The tides started to turn, the smiles cracked from the corners of her mouth and we were headed to Malibu. She swears she never expected what would come next but I knew our life together was about to change for the better. An epic California sunset awaited us and my mind was racing.

    We arrived on site early that evening. Cece called it the Silver Twinkie upon arrival, the vintage airstream. I set up my tripod and camera as I always do to capture timelapses and grab some nice sunset shots. She knows I do this on every trip, so it was normal and nothing out of the ordinary. She fully supports me with my creative endeavors and even photobombs my time-lapses every so often with her random acts of dancing. As we settled down and toasted to a successful trip from Oregon to California, the camera was still snapping along. I asked her to turn around so I could capture a silhouette of her against the California sunset with my phone. When she turned back around, I was on one knee, with ring, and proposed.

    The emotions overcame us, tears flowed, moments of joy ensued and we smiled like little kids. She said YES! I got up, put the ring on her finger, raised my arms in the air and let out my own YES!

    Luckily, everything worked out.

    We plan to get married in 2018 after she graduates. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing woman to share my life with moving forward. We look forward to continuing travel adventures together, for all our days ahead. Please enjoy the photo of the moment when I asked her to marry me.

    @Travelzoo
    #loveoftravel
    #contest

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27f64a8c0a53463151768cebff2df4c587e79522273c838750150c3d2e8a124c.jpg

  • Ian Courtney

    Where is the top 50 winners page ? It says ‘This page is not published’

  • Kelsey Parigian

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e89cc5b23ca7b529fae6ae096ceabeca2b2d298a2ec6f7d05b4b66b9c517d111.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/67968a90bec0e76626b93bd7722abf0a99c5d62a85217f9e0763c57304e8aa73.jpg Travelzoo is looking for America’s best travel love story. Here is ours:

    A trip to Thailand turned into the best trip of my life. September 2015 is when it all began. My trip was set to Thailand for 3 weeks with 8 of my friends and a week of that would be spent on a catamarran we chartered over NYE 2016. We were assigned our catamarran captain, Philip and we began talking online, mainly I was asking him a bunch of questions about traveling around Thailand and the must see spots. Philip had been living and working in Thailand for the last 3 winters and spent his summers in Portugal, where he is from.

    We met for the first time the day we left on the boat and thats when the sparks began. The week on the boat and spending NYE in the beautiful islands of Thailand was amazing. The second day on the boat I unfortunately cut open my foot but Philip spent the day with me in the hospital where I got 8 stitches. At that point I told my friends I think I wanna marry this guy! 🏖After the charter was over we ended up spending our final 2 days in Thailand together and then went our separate ways. I went back home to California and Philip went home to Portugal. We stayed in contact and talked every day. 8 days after being back home in California I had the scare of a lifetime. I suffered a grand mal seizure and was rushed to ER where they diagnosed me with a tumor growing in my brain. I let Philip know what happened to me and without hesitation he said I’ll be there tomorrow. The next day he walked into my hospital room and stayed with me the night before I went in for brain surgery. At that point I knew Thailand was not just sparks this was the man I would marry.😍 I spent 3 months at home recovering after surgery and once I was feeling better Philip came back to California and spent time with me. As soon as my doctors gave me the okay to travel I booked my ticket to Portugal and stayed for the entire summer. While being in Portugal I fell in love with the Country just as much as I fell in love with Philip. My parents came out for a visit in September and at that point Philip proposed to me at our soon to be wedding venue. Our wedding is set for September 2, 2017 and I could not be more excited to spend the rest of my life with the most loving man I have ever met.💍❤ We will be living summers in Portugal and winters in California and could not be happier! Our honeymoon dream is Bali and we can’t wait to explore yet another country together!! ❤🌴☀️👰🏻#travelzoo #loveoftravel #contest #lovestory #whenyouknowyouknow #honeyfund #balihoneymoon #hiddenhillsvillas — with Philip Taveira and Travelzoo.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210647972650178&set=pb.1073727262.-2207520000.1497390189.&type=3&theater

  • Kelly Massey

    Shame someone with such a large following was allowed to enter and win! How could any of these normal couples stand a chance??

    • davetaube

      How many votes did the winning entries get?

  • Jen

    I didnt know this was a popularity contest…the runner up stories are much better than the grand prize winners

  • davetaube

    I didn’t enter this contest, but how could you choose entries that had obvious trademark violations in their photos????