The Search for America’s Best Travel Love Story is On

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A glance on a train from Florence to Rome. A proposal at Machu Picchu. A wedding in the middle of the redwoods in California.

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

Share your travel love story below for the chance to win a luxurious six-night, private-villa vacation in Bali.

We’re partnering with Honeyfund, the wedding registry app, to give one lucky couple a vacation at Hidden Hills Villas in Bali.

  • Six-night/seven-day stay at Hidden Villas
  • Romantic villa, including flower bath
  • Two 1-hour Balinese massages
  • Daily breakfast
  • Airport transfers
  • $1,500 Honeyfund gift card, which can be used toward Delta Airlines flights to Denpasar, Bali

Important Details

  • You have until May 26, 2017 to share your story. Just one entry per person per day regardless of entry method please!
  • You can also enter via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. See here for social entry details.
  • A panel of judges, experts in both travel and relationships, will narrow the entries to a group of finalists and then you can vote to find America’s favorite love story.

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 how to enter.

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Show 23 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 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

  • Kathy ward

    On this Mother’s Day I think this story is fitting,proving how truly 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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

    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

    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.

  • 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, 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.

  • 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 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 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

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


    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


    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


  • 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.