Australia Life

I Traveled to Australia With A Boyfriend & Returned Home Without One

Blue Mountains Australia

I traveled to Australia with a boyfriend and returned home without one.

 

They say traveling with your significant other can be a true test of a relationship. In our case, this proved true.

We arrived in Queensland, Australia – me & Eric, my boyfriend (at the time). When we made our trip home? He no longer held that title. Queensland is the perfect backdrop for couples in love – picturesque beaches, swaying palms, amazing nature… What could go wrong?

Truthfully, I was slightly astonished by how well our travel companionship jived together. Compromising was never an ordeal, Eric quickly acclimated to my annoying photo taking habits (and even joined in to help), we were sympathetic when the other needed a rest break, and we always seemed to be on the same page with our activities and food choices.

As this was Eric’s first trip abroad (Canada doesn’t count!), some worries crept into my mind. Will he get travel fatigue? Will he find me an annoying traveler? Will a secret xenophobia be revealed? What if he doesn’t want to try anything? What if he actually hates to travel abroad?

The opposite happened. I was impressed with his open-mindedness, his sense of exploration, his go-getter attitude in all our adventures, and his shared enthusiasm when we’d make a discovery together. Eric made traveling easier. And much more fun. I was proud to have him with me on our adventure.

I could probably write 10 more sentences describing the things I adored about him on our trip. Together, we seemed to magnetize good fortune with the people we met and serendipitous happenstances. We were like toast & vegemite.

It was, easily put, the ideal travel companionship.

Sydney Botanic Garden

But then, our relationship changed.

I traveled to Australia with a boyfriend and returned home without one.

The first sign happened at the airport in the security line. Eric’s bag was flagged to be searched. I hovered in concern. Between the crowds of travelers and stress of security, he snapped. “YOU’RE IN EVERYONE’S WAY. GO SIT OVER THERE.” He tersely signaled toward chairs in the distance. I dragged myself away, irked that my concern was misrepresented as a nuisance. In the end, it was my error – I packed aerosol sunscreen in his backpack.

His aggravation was apparent. For someone so good-natured and easy-going, this was out of character.

Then, there was his over-the-top adamancy to book our trip to Whitehaven Beach from Hamilton Island. That was the second sign.

I had purposely avoided booking a tour in advance, deciding to wait until we arrived to gauge the weather & choose the best option for a day trip. Unfortunately, the day before our flight to Hamilton Island, the weather forecast frowned bleakly with guaranteed rain every day – except the day we arrived.

BUT I didn’t want to go to Whitehaven Beach the day we arrived, because it would be a “half” day trip versus a “full” day trip. See my predicament?

Eric knew how important seeing Whitehaven Beach was to me. I wanted to play it by ear. Maybe the rain would dissipate? He wanted me to book that half day tour upon our arrival. NOW. It was the best weather forecast, why wait? Who cares if it’s half vs. full day? I cared! This was our first big disagreement on handling our trip. I thought I understood where he was coming from (you’ll learn later that I actually didn’t), so I regrettably made a phone call to reserve our space for a half day (ugh) afternoon trip to Whitehaven Beach shortly after our arrival to Hamilton Island on May 12.

Eric was relieved about it; I felt a bit disappointed.

There were sprinklings of other “signs” throughout our trip process (from planning to packing to actually being there) that I never noticed. But in retrospect, now they are glaringly obvious.

Everything Changed on Whitehaven Beach.

The weather was perfect when we arrived on May 12. Have you seen Whitehaven Beach before? Take a look:

The beautiful Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Australia on Whitsunday Island.

Whitehaven Beach bliss.

Now you understand why I’ve been so eager to visit. If you know anything about Whitehaven Beach, you know that it is consistently ranked as one of the top ten beaches in the world. The sand is 98% silicia, which makes Whitehaven uniquely soft and white. I desired nothing more than to jump off the boat, tear off my beach cover up, and blissfully roll around in the softest sand in the world. And I verbalized that plan. Several times.

“As soon as I get off this boat, I’m rolling in the sand.” (A)

“No, let’s take a nice picture first.” (E)

“We can take a picture after.” (A)

“Then you’ll be full of sand. I want a nice picture.” (E)

“But I want to feel how soft the sand is.” (A)

“You can feel it with your hands and feet.” (E)

“But I want to roll in the sand…” (A)

And so it went. Do you see where this is going yet?

Listen, I love taking photos, but I know when to put down the camera and roll in the sand.

He was choosy about where to take our photo. We walked and walked and walked. He wanted to be far, far away from everyone. Was he purposely trying to torment me from fulfilling my Whitehaven Beach fantasies?

Eric finally found the place, set up the tripod, and played with the remote.

Who would have guessed, that in the middle of our photos, our relationship would change forever. This is what transpired:

Whitehaven Beach Proposal
A Whitehaven Beach Proposal
A Whitehaven Beach Proposal
Whitehaven-Beach-Proposal-4
Whitehaven-Beach-Proposal-5

I traveled to Australia with a boyfriend, and returned home with a fiance. A future husband. A lifetime travel companion. My forever human.

No wonder why he bought a new camera tripod and camera remote. No wonder why he almost lost his mind when the TSA started shifting through his backpack that secretly carried an engagement ring for 12 days. No wonder why he was eager to book our Whitehaven Beach trip.  No wonder why he trekked to the other side of the world with me. No wonder, because he wanted to start our forever in this most perfect way.

There’s a Neruda poem that I’ve loved since my Spanish classes, titled Tus Pies (Your Feet), but since our Whitehaven Proposal, the final lines have flared in my mind:

[English Translation]

“But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.”

I am so happy and thrilled to have a lifetime of adventure with Eric.

Whitehaven-Beach-Proposal-6

 

To read more about our Australia adventure, click here!

Don’t forget to subscribe to follow along as our love story unfolds. ;)

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  • When I saw the title, here I was, getting my hopes up! ;)

    Congratulations!

  • I like what you did there! Was thinking I could relate (I lost a boyfriend who was being a real drag in transit once haha) but no… amazing beach to get engaged on! Congrats :)

    • Hi Sarah! Haha I tricked you! Ugh, some boyfriends can be a real drag – better off just dropping them off with the checked bags. Travel is the best way to learn about a relationship and though it may not have seemed like it then, I’m sure your travels are much less of a drag without the extra ‘baggage’…. if ya know what I mean. :) Have you been to Whitehaven before?

  • This is SO awesome!! Such a cool way to write about your engagement and share the story behind it!

    • Hey Kelly, thanks for stopping by! I didn’t share my engagement story for the longest time because I couldn’t think of a good ‘non-typical’ way to share it. I’m so happy I finally told the world. Happy adventuring to you! xo

  • Congratulations! I love the “plot twist” at the end of the story, haha! :D

  • Jenn Smith Nelson

    OMG this post so had me. Hahaha! I am so happy for you! What a wonderful way to share your story. Congrats!

    • Thank you so much Jenn! I had to think of a trickster way to share the story. I’m just happy that I’m ending up with a guy who wants to travel/adventure as much as I do!

  • So didn’t see the happy ending coming but congrats!!! What an amazing story!

    • I’m glad it wasn’t super obvious! Thank you so much; I’m glad you enjoyed the story. :)

  • Just saw this post and oh my goodness this is adorable!! I was totally expecting this to be a break-up post, I LOVE that it wasn’t! Congrats darling, you both look so incredibly happy!!

    • Hey Lindsay! I had you fooled :) Thanks so much – we are so happy! Now we get to plan our honeymoon to Iceland. Hope you’re enjoying your trip in the Philippines!

  • Gin

    I love the happy ending, this is so sweet ! Nice twist :D

    • Thank you so much, Gin! Gotta love a story with a happy twist at the end. :) Thanks for stopping by.

  • Kelli Dougal

    Oh my, I LOVED this. Seriously. You totally threw me for a loop! You’re a rockin storyteller! Also…I have definitely just added Whitehaven Beach to my travel bucket list…

    • Hi Kelli! Thanks so much for the storyteller compliment; I truly appreciate it and am definitely trying to grow as one! Just so happens that this is my favorite story. ;)

      Whitehaven Beach is too ridiculous to exist. I hope you make it there one day!

  • Kept me on my toes, the whole time I was oh oh — but I’m so happy it ended perfectly!

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