Dispatches from Down Under

From solo to couples travel

22 Comments 16 March 2011

From solo to couples travel

“We’re going traveling,” he says to me with a cheesy grin.

It was 6:30 a.m. on our last day in Malapascua, Philippines and our first day traveling together. Though I was feeling a bit rough from my snorkel test the night before, the final stage of any good divemaster course in which candidates funnel a concoction of booze, I couldn’t help but smile also.

Anyone whose followed my blog or even just looked at the about me page knows that solo travel was my thing. I’ve always prided myself on being able to go anywhere in the world alone. But something changed on this trip.

It all started about eight months ago in the tropical village of  Port Douglas, Australia when I started waiting tables at a place called Mango Jam. I was a bit nervous to be doing a job I hadn’t in years, but my friendly co-workers made me welcome and at ease. I liked everyone that worked there, but one chef named Ric in particular stood out a bit more.

That first night we all went to Iron Bar for karaoke. Ric and I spoke a bit, but he seemed a bit shy or uninterested, so I left it at that. I asked another girl there about him and she just said,” He’s parsley!” which was a code word for hot one of her friends came up with when she first saw him.

If he was uninterested when we first spoke, then he would want nothing to do with me by the end of the night as I sang “Jessie’s girl.” I’m probably the worst karaoke singer, but I just love it too much to resist.

We stayed friendly with short conversation as I came in and out of the kitchen to pick up food, but that was it. Then one day he came into work on his day off, slightly pissed, and came out of his shell to me by means of licking my face and picking my nose.

I was in love.


Ric and I picnicing in the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.

He wasn’t uninterested, just shy. Since I was leaving about ten days after that I figured what the hell and went for him. We started a little work romance that we both knew was just a fling since I was going and he was staying. I felt more, but knew it didn’t matter. I was content with bouncing around the town with him and sneaking into his tent.

And I thought he was too.

Then came my last night. He stopped at my hostel to say hang out for a bit and say goodbye. In the middle of it, he got a call from a friend.

“Nah, I can’t make it. I’m doing something,” he said. “I know. I know. I’ll catch the end of it.”

When he hung up I said if he needed to go I would understand.

“Nah, it just the first Liverpool game of the season,” he said. “My mates were wondering where I was.”

That’s when I knew it was true love.

Living in England for six months, I know how important footie is to them. Knowing Ric for just two months, I knew how important Liverpool was to him.

I left Port Douglas for a month and we kept in touch. I came back  and a week later we moved in together. He left before me and we met in Melbourne. We celebrated the holidays together. He met my dad. We were both upset to say goodbye when I had to leave Australia in January for the Philippines.

He stayed in Australia and saved up with plans of making it out in two months.

Two months?

I couldn’t even get through a day without him.

We made it five weeks, then he made the ridiculous journey to meet me in Malapascua.

He was the last thing I expected in the travels and the best thing I found. While we’ve been living together for about four months, technically we still have not traveled together until now.

Our travels together officially started when we left Malapacua in route to Hong Kong. Since this site is about my travels, it only seems logical for him to join it. So as of now, Heels and Wheels is no longer about solo travel, but about traveling as couple.

Together on our last night in Malapascua, Philippines.

Together on our last night in Malapascua, Philippines.

Ric and I both know traveling together will not always be easy. All couples fight and travel can add extra stress. So to prepare for this big change in my travels I went to traveling couples Amy and Kieron of Don’t Ever Look Back, Laura and Roberto of Travel for Love and Mike and Luci of 1000 Fights for tips and advice. Read what they had to say here.

Welcome Ric to Heels and Wheels and the wonderful world of travel blogging. Be kind to him-he’s still writing with the outdated form of English.


- who has written 310 posts on Heels and Wheels.

Creator of Heels and Wheels. Writer, traveler and more.

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  • http://theweekendtraveller.com The Weekend Traveller

    Oh what a sweet story! And that is an extra romantic for me because your travel life together starts in my country. Good luck to your travels as a couple. My husband and I are also couple travellers and despite the fights, we are enjoying our time together.

  • Kathryn Quigley

    Hurray for Ric! Have fun travels.

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Thanks! I can’t think of a better place than Malapascua to kick off our travels.

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com Stephanie

    Isn’t it funny what life drops in your lap? I also started out my trip as a solo traveler and am ending up a couple traveler. Definitely going to take some adjusting to!

    Unlike you thought my boy has his own travel blog- so no theme change for me! Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with, and welcome ric!

  • Erin

    I am so excited to keep up with this new development! I feel I know Ric already, and I wish you both the best! Cant wait to see what travels youre both going to get into, wishing you safe travels, good juju, and much love.

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    I know right! It’s just crazy. It seems like you guys guest post for each other though so that’s good. Thanks!

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    I love you! You’ll meet him soon enough.

  • Alwine and Andy

    Hey Bobbi,

    We are so happy for you both! We are still travelling together (as a couple :) ) and have to get back home in two weeks, sadly. We wish you all the best and enjoy your trip together!

    Alwine and Andy (from the Whitsundays trip)

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Awh that’s great. How were all your travels? You guys are a good traveling couple. Back to the cold now?

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  • Torey

    I love this bob <3

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  • http://www.herreravargas.com Natalia

    This is the only blog I have read in which solo traveling turns to traveling as a couple. Most solo travelers stay, well, solo. How exciting!

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    haha yea-I never expected to fall for someone on the road. I just couldn’t fight it. We have our ups and downs, but I love traveling and experiencing things with him. Thanks for your comment

  • http://thearchitectofadventure.wordpress.com/ Josh

    This is such a delightful and heart-warming story. As one of the lucky ones who met the absolute love of my life through travel as well, I can fully appreciate the excitement, depth, and richness of what you two have found :) I hope for many happy future travels for you two!

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Awh thanks so much Josh! All the best to you and your lovey as well, wherever you guys may go!

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  • http://www.destinationeurope.net/ Andrea

    What a lovely story! :)

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/ Bobbi Lee Hitchon


  • http://www.fourjandals.com/ Cole @ Four Jandals

    Awesome story! We have always been the travelling couple but great that you met on the road :)

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/ Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Thanks guys! I loved traveling solo, but I really love sharing all my adventures with my partner now.

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