… According to a couple who met on holiday 34 years ago!

James and Mara

James and Mara

James from the UK met Mara from California on a Contiki trip in 1984. They travelled together (with a group of young travellers) up and down the East Coast of the USA and Canada – from New York to Niagara Falls, Montreal, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and back down to New York via Boston. By the end of the trip, it was decided they couldn’t end things there, so Mara organised a visa for the UK and they were married the year after. They live in London together today. Here, they share their perks of finding love on your travels. 

Meet someone you’d never come across in daily life 

The best thing about holidays with group operators like Contiki is meeting people from all walks of life and backgrounds, with a shared love for travel. It’s so much fun spending time with people you wouldn’t normally meet in your everyday life, and who knows, sparks might fly… they did for us!

Open mind, open heart

Escaping from the daily stresses of life enables you to relax, feel a sense of freedom and just be yourself. Without even realising it, you don’t only open your mind to the world around you, but also your heart. And having the opportunity to just be you can eliminate the time it normally takes to break down walls and build a relationship.  

You actually get to know the person

In the ‘real world’ back home – between busy lives, work commitments, friends and family functions – it’s hard to find the time to get to know someone. On holiday, you can really invest your time into someone new, without any restraints. Two weeks spent travelling together can translate to a few months of dating back home.

Learn about other countries and cultures… together

When you meet on holiday, your days are spent exploring new places and uncovering different cultures. Sharing in these experiences and pushing yourselves outside of your comfort zone is a great foundation for building a strong and lasting relationship.

Make mutual friends

When travelling as a tight-knit group, you can build a solid foundation of friends which you both share – and then you can plan more adventures together in the future!

Your blossoming love story is captured on camera

As well as the obligatory travel photos of famous sights and landscapes, we have some great snaps together from our Contiki trip which are still so important to us today. It reminds us of how it all began. It’s nice to have these moments to reminisce on!

It’s a great story for the grandkids

In the age of dating sites and apps like Tinder, Bumble and Harmony.com playing digital cupid, finding love in ‘real life’ when doing what we love – travelling abroad – is a great story for the grandkids.

James from the UK met Mara from California on a Contiki trip in 1984. They travelled together with a group of young travellers up and down the East Coast of the USA and Canada – from New York to Niagara Falls, Montreal, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and back down to New York via Boston. By the end of the trip, it was decided they couldn’t end things there, so Mara organised a visa for the UK and they were married the year after. They live in London together today.


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