Marrying My Travel Partner 2016-12-07T13:39:33+00:00

When We First Met and Our First Holiday

Our first holiday together, was to Tunisia in 2012. It was my first all-inclusive holiday and Ollie’s third time out of the UK. We had only been together a small while and our first holiday was very exciting. It was my first holiday with a boyfriend and also the only time I had been out of the UK without my parents, except for a school trip to France when I was in year 7.

We had imagined it being some sort of ‘romantic getaway’. Ollie and I had met online, it still feels a bit embarrassing to say, even though most people meet that way these days.

We lived 85 miles apart. The first time we met face to face, Ollie came to Bristol. We had been talking so much online and had spoken on the phone on Christmas day, that when he came to Bristol on 30th December 2011, we already knew so much about one another that it was like meeting a friend you hadn’t seen for a while.

Through our conversations, I learned that Ollie was interested in graffiti, as somebody who loves street art and living in a city as vibrant as Bristol, I planned our first date as a Banksy tour around Bristol. It must have gone down well, as Ollie and I spent every weekend thereafter with one another and we soon became an item.

Obviously, the long distance relationship wasn’t without its hitches, but we took it in turns to spend the weekend at each other’s parent’s houses. So when we decided to book the week in Tunisia, it was the longest time we had spent together. It was a long time, we would be together 24 / 7, that’s 168 hours! It was very exciting, I remember one of my best friends Beth, coming over to decide which dresses I should take, I think I ended up taking enough for three each day!

I imagined our holiday would be mainly lounging around the pool and on the beach, looking dreamily into one another’s eyes. Of course, that isn’t what happened. After three days, we were bored of laying on our sun loungers so when the hotel rep offered a two-day coach tour of Tunisia, we decided we should do it. We hadn’t anticipated needing extra spending money, so my parents kindly sent us the money through a bank transfer and we got ourselves booked onto the tour.

We toured around Tunisia, visiting a mountain oasis, salt plains, the area where Star Wars was filmed and finally riding camels in the Sahara. When we reached the camel station, we were told that you could hire some ‘Shepherd gowns’ to cover yourself from the sun. The sun was setting, but with myself being as pale as a pint of milk, we decided it would be a good idea to get the Shepard outfits on. As Ollie and I queued for our cloaks, we saw the rest of the coach tour climb aboard their camels and saunter off into the sunset.

We had our cloaks on and looked like adults in a nativity play outfit as we searched for our group on the massive desert plains. There was no sign of them and so we were taken on our own tour, just the two of us and our guide. It is strange riding a camel, they were very well behaved, but Ollie hadn’t even ridden a horse yet. Our guide was fantastic, we saw the rest of our group going past and were feeling a bit cocky that we had got a private tour.

That tour ended up being the high light of our holiday.

New York and That Special Moment

After Tunisia, we went away for weekends in Europe. We visited Gerona (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Paris (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Geneva (Switzerland) and Vilnius (Lithuania).

In December 2013, we visited New York. There was a little bit of excitement from my friends that they thought that Ollie would propose but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Three days in, my friends were messaging me asking if he had asked yet and I said no, he hasn’t and I don’t think he even has a ring as he hasn’t put anything in the safe.

Day three came around and we visited the Rockefeller centre. We had a two-part ticket which meant we could go up in the daytime and then again in the evening. I had done my usual insane amount of research and found a place called ‘Time Scare’ to fill the time gap. I am a very jumpy person, but I thought that Ollie would like to do it, so suggested it to him. He thought it was a good idea and so we found ourselves on route to what would end up being the scariest experience of my life.

Outside the building, there were people in character, like at the London Dungeons. That was kind of funny and didn’t bother me too much. We handed our tickets in and found out that the actors were on a break, so we headed to the bar to calm the nerves.

Whilst sitting in the bar, I clocked my arch nemesis, a clown. I have a fear of clowns, I don’t know why to be honest, I had been to the circus as a child and never been afraid, but as an adult there is something about that white face and massive smile that I find very sinister, it could be something to do with watching IT.

I noticed the clown, the clown noticed me. We were in a show down and inevitably the clown won. I huddled into Ollie’s shoulders until the horrible circus freak moved on and then ordered another drink to calm my more heightened nerves.

We entered Time Scare. My palms were sweaty and my heart was beating so much that I am sure a doctor would have been concerned. We were with two other couples, I asked to be in the middle and the other couples kindly agreed. I didn’t want to be up front and made to jump and didn’t want to be at the back and chased.

We made our way through the horror maze with strange noises, and loud cackles following us. At this point my stress level was off the scale. I could feel my stomach in knots and my heart pounding out of my mouth. Here, I found my ‘friend’ the clown. He was laughing like a crazy man as we attempted to push our way through the room. We made it through and found ourselves in another room made from corrugated steel. The clowns laugh was still cackling around us, before the sound of a chain saw fired up.

A light came on and there was the clown in a butcher’s apron, with a chainsaw. I dropped Ollie’s hand and I pushed the other couples out of the way. I was in pure terror, I honestly cannot explain how afraid I was. It as every man was for himself at this point, I ran around like a headless chicken, until I ran face first into the metal wall.

I could hear the others in the group giggling, but I didn’t care. I had forgotten Ollie was even there; it was me against the clown. I ran in the opposite direction, and again, hit a steel wall. Tears were streaming down my face as the sound of the chainsaw whirred in the background. I found Ollie and told him that I couldn’t do it anymore. We left through the emergency exit (which turned out the be the main exit) and I saw my friend, the clown, once again. I looked him in the eye and told him not to fluff with me anymore and left that place like a bullet out of a gun.

I ran down the stairs and leant up against the wall outside. The people in character, designed to draw people in were still there and had started talking to me again. Upon realising how traumatised I was, they were very kind. They even offered to bring the clown out to show me there was nothing to be afraid of, of course I declined. It’s amazing how far you will go to try and impress someone when you first get together.

We left the ordeal of time scare and Ollie suggested we should get some food. I am not good when I am wound up, and I am even more not good when I am hungry. Ollie found himself in a predicament. He suggested getting some munch, but I declined, probably not what he was hoping would happen.

We made our way to the Rockefeller for our moonlight ascent. I didn’t want to be at the Rockefeller, I didn’t want to climb all of the stairs and I was kind of hungry even though I said I wasn’t. Although I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t realise the importance of what my soon to be fiancé was about to undertake.

He put 20 cents in the binoculars and asked me to look through them. There was Perspex glass surround the lookout and as it was snowing, the binoculars weren’t showing much at all. As I was looking through the binoculars, Ollie was attempting to hold the engagement ring in front of my view. That didn’t work out, so I spun around to Ollie saying I couldn’t see anything. He shoved the ring behind his back and told me to try again. Again, there was nothing. I tried to focus the binoculars but it was just a blurred mess. I turned around again and there was Ollie, on his knee, clutching the ring box. I looked through the binoculars again, not sure it was really happening, but when I turned again, there he was. He asked me to take his hand in marriage and we became engaged.

Our Wedding

My friends were delighted that Ollie had asked and perhaps more delighted that they had worked it out. The next year flew by, we had to stop our holidays as we had a wedding to save for. We spent a lovely week in Scotland with my family and a weekend in Rome with our friends, but otherwise I was doing overtime and trying to persuade Ollie and my mother to make 90 origami lilies, without sounding crazy.

Eventually the wedding came, the hard work paid off and we had the best day ever. We didn’t ask for wedding gifts, we weren’t planning on moving out to our own home, so didn’t have any need for the traditional toaster or slow cooker. We requested our guests company and said that if they wanted to give a gift, we were planning to travel the world and would need various supplies. People were so generous, we had so many great presents, a go pro camera, a travel diary, bug spray, mosquito nets and massive contributions to our travelling fund. We hadn’t expected anything and were very overwhelmed with what we did receive. And so we find ourselves at the first instalment of my blog so let’s let that commence…

Our Wedding Video

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