About Wanderlust Marriage

Wanderlust Marriage launched in 2012 and builds on over 12 years experience living and traveling around the world together. We feature articles that highlight romantic and adventurous travel with cultural insight and quality photos. We personally tailor incredible vacations to suit a variety of budgets. We also organize business travel that helps companies save money, while reducing the stress of staff. Over the years, we’ve worked with many tourism boards, brands and clients around the world. We also feature other “Wanderlust Marriage” stories and guest posts. For anything we can assist you with, email alex@wanderlustmarriage.com

Who Are We?

We’re an American and Australian husband and wife of over 11 years (Alex and Bell), who originally met 14 years ago at the Bauhaus hostel in Bruges, Belgium, while each backpacking through Europe by ourselves. When we first met, we had both just graduated college. Alex had just finished a bachelors degree in history from UCF in Florida and Bell had completed a psychology degree from Swinburne in Melbourne, Australia. Living half a world away, our paths randomly crossed in the middle.

We both happened to be heading to Amsterdam in a time frame that overlapped a single day, each armed with nothing but a backpack and a tight budget. Little did we know that six years later we would end up living and working in Amsterdam, married to each other. We’ve now been working around the world together for over a decade. Asides from living in Amsterdam for 3 and 1/2 years, we’ve resided together in Melbourne, Australia; Tampa, Florida; Dublin, Ireland and we currently live in historic Boston. We’ve grown from budget backpackers in our twenties to business and luxury travellers in our thirties, so we understand a wide range of budgets, interests and needs.

Wanderlust Marriage, Amsterdam canal
Amsterdam in 2015, after our 10 year anniversary. We shared a day in Amsterdam in 2002 and lived there from 2008-2011.

Wanderlust Marriage has grown to receive around 8,000 unique visits and 20,000 page views per month. We currently have a Twitter following of 5,700+, 2,100 Facebook likes and over 2,300 organic Instagram followers between our Wanderlust Marriage account and Travel Guide Alex account.

Bell is an award winning PhD scientist working in medical research. After years of working for major universities like the University of Amsterdam and Trinity College Dublin, she now works in the private sector. I’ve also worked for academic institutions and have been published in mainstream newspapers, like Ireland’s largest newspaper, the Irish Independent. In addition to writing for Wanderlust Marriage and other outlets, I organize trips for clients and work with tourism boards and companies to promote destinations and brands. To read more about who we’ve previously worked with and where we’ve been published, please consult our media kit.

Wanderlust Marriage – ‘A love of exploring the world with your partner in life.’

For all inquiries contact alex@wanderlustmarriage.com

Some Favorite Wanderlust Marriage Destinations

The Great Wall of China

The Bordeaux Region of France

Malaysian Borneo

Belgium and Holland

Lake Como, Italy

Travel Savings and Expat Advice

10 Ways to Save on Booking Plane Tickets

How to Move to Europe

Advice When Tickets Need to be Re-Issued

Expat Tips- Making Friends in a New Country 

Beautiful Bruges


Back in Belgium, enjoying beers across the street from the infamous Manneken Pis

The Rest of Our Wanderlust Marriage Love Story in a Nutshell

After spending one day together in Bruges and then meeting up in Amsterdam two days later, I caught a flight to Barcelona. My plan after college was to live in Spain for awhile and learn Spanish. While in Amsterdam, Bell asked me if I’d like to meet up again in Rome before she flew back to Australia. After spending a few days in Barcelona, I booked a ticket to Rome to see her again. We loved each others company, but she had a flight back to Australia to catch. And eventually we both returned to work and enrolled in graduate school, across the globe from each other.

As time went on, the memory of the time Bell and I spent together started to become a distant memory. But we remained in touch with weekly emails. Living on the other side of the planet with limited resources and returning to college posed big logistical problems to reuniting. And even if we did, what then? Two years passed before we finally decided to meet up again by booking tickets to reunite in Bangkok six months down the road.

As the days counted down to our long awaited reunion, we began talking more on the phone and our conservations would run for hours. We then got scared because we both realized we could not imagine saying goodbye again in Thailand. So Bell proposed that I come to live with her down under for a year while she finished her masters degree in statistics. It was both exciting and nerve wracking because I’d never visited Australia, barely spent any real time with her and I was working on a masters degree of my own. But I knew I was in love with her and I was able to organize a one year working holiday visa so we could be together (which I highly recommend for people under 30).

Long days slowly ticked away and after 2 and ½ years and months of intense anticipation, we finally reunited at Bangkok airport, which was surreal. We couldn’t believe we were together again, and this time we couldn’t imagine letting go. We toured frenetic Bangkok on tuk-tuks, rode elephants (which we now realize isn’t so humane), enjoyed each others company on gorgeous beaches, overindulged in delicious exotic food and stayed up all night at the full moon party. And after spending less than ten days with each other, I dropped down on one knee and asked her to marry me at a Thai beach bar with a DJ performing in the cliff above. Fortunately, she said yes!

The next day Bell insisted we rent a motorbike so I could drive us around the island of Ko Phangang. We ended up getting stuck on a hill and I nearly drove us off a cliff. We nearly got killed, and nobody would have ever known that we got engaged the night before. Luckily we made it, enjoyed more of the island cautiously, and we’ve never been back on a motorbike together since.

Alex and a Wallaby

With my one year working holiday visa for Australia, I took whatever temporary jobs I could find. I bussed tables at TGI Friday’s and worked at the Interflora (Flowers to Your Door) call center, which sells flowers through local florists. Months passed, and as my Australian visa was running out, we needed to figure out the next plan. So we organized a small last minute wedding that was shared with mostly Australian family and friends (a year later we threw a party for American friends and family to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary). After a lot of paperwork and hassle, we found ourselves explaining our relationship to a US immigration officer in Sydney who then issued Bell a spousal visa for the US. We celebrated by drinking a glass of champagne next to the Sydney Opera House!

Wanderlust Marriage, American and Australian husband and wife
Our wedding day in Melbourne, Australia. March 2005

After an extended stopover in Vietnam along the way, we eventually found ourselves in Los Angeles for a few days. It was the first time Bell had ever set foot in the United States, and the country was now her home. A few days later she met my father in Orlando, Florida for the first time. She found a statistics job at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and we settled there for 2 and ½ years so we could be close by to my family for monthly visits. But we were always drawn to the idea of returning to Europe again, after not having visited in several years. Bell was eventually offered a PhD position at the University of Amsterdam, and we decided to move to the Netherlands.

Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay – a stopover en route from Australia to Florida

We sold a few things, gave a lot away, and drove some belongings to my dad’s house before flying to Amsterdam for the first time in six years, with nothing more than four suitcases. We went from having an apartment filled with modest things to finding ourselves in a far tougher housing market, with less income in Amsterdam. There were serious challenges along the way because our move occured just before the economic crash in 2008 and English speaking jobs in Amsterdam dried up, but it was also amazing to spend several years in such a beautiful and unique city. If we could do it all over again, we absolutely would!

Bell Bike Amsterdam
Bell on an omafiets (grandma bike) in Amsterdam

After 3 and 1/2 years in Amsterdam, we thought our time in Europe was over but we visited Dublin for our six year wedding anniversary and fell in love with the warmth and wit of the Irish. Coincidentally, a few months later, Bell found a post-doctoral position at Trinity College in Dublin and was hired to work on the largest ageing study ever conducted on the Emerald Island. So we decided to move there instead of returning to the US. During that time, I also worked for Trinity College and Ireland’s largest newspaper, the Irish Independent.

We lived in Ireland for 2 and 1/2 years, and celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary on a trip to Barcelona. In total we lived in Europe over 6 years and loved having so many unique cultures on our doorstep, with more vacation time to enjoy it. We would have stayed in Europe, but with my father turning 86, I wanted to be closer to home and Bell found a job in Boston. So we said goodbye to Europe, and moved to one of the oldest cities in the US.

Despite setting up homes in various cities, we’ve both essentially been semi-nomadic for pretty much our entire 11 year marriage. It’s been a wild ride and after all this time, we still can’t kick our addiction to traveling. Follow Wanderlust Marriage for valuable advice that will help you get the best experiences on your travels!

Manukan Island, Malaysia 2013
Manukan Island, Malaysia 2013

Have a Wanderlust Marriage story of your own that you want to share? Email alex@wanderlustmarriage.com to enquire about being featured on this site! 


24 thoughts on “About Wanderlust Marriage

  1. Alex and Bell, your story is so beautiful! I’m so happy that you two believed enough in your love to pursue it, despite the distance. That says so much! You have much to share; I look forward to reading more about your journeys! 🙂 @TravelChronicle

    1. Thank you Christina, that is lovely of you to say. While it hasn’t always been an easy path to follow it certainly has been extremely worth it and has led to some amazing adventures!

  2. Love you story! I ended up meeting my American husband on a couch in a hostel in Galway in much the same way. Hope you’re loving Ireland and I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I can’t wait to delve into your archives!

      1. Thank you so much for the kind words! Yes, we’re enjoying Ireland, can’t believe we’ve been here 2 years now, time flys. We’ll have to come over and check out your blog too! Galway is a great place.

  3. What a beautiful love story! You guys have inspired me! I have a great love for traveling. It’s a great passion of mine and I hope to be lucky enough to find love by doing what I love the most. I hope you’re enjoying Boston! It’s a great city! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Laerta! Boston is indeed a wonderful city with so much to offer (especially when it’s warm) but it’s definitely an adjustment after 6 years living in Europe (work/life balance being a big issue). We’re not looking forward to the harshest winter we’ll have faced coming up some months down the line as winters are mild in comparison in both Amsterdam and especially Ireland (but then they don’t get a real summer). The very best of luck finding love in your travels! 🙂

  4. That’s a beautiful story. Love your site. I am starting my own in a few days and sites like these are an inspiration to me. I was only in Ireland for a few weeks and I have a lot to write about my trip. I love Europe and have also been to Germany. Hope you are enjoying Boston. Look forward to reading more about you guys. Great work here.

    1. Hi Kerry! Thank you so much for the compliment! That’s so sweet of you to say. We want people to be inspired by our story, to encourage people that it could be worth making sacrifices in the pursuit of adventure and love. Our life, like everyones, has faced many challenges, but we’ve been married almost 10 years now so it’s worked out pretty good. And as this site has grown we now focus on helping people save on travel while trying to be entertaining, informative and include inspiring photography and the occasional video (we’d like to start doing more video but need time to improve these skills)….That’s awesome you’ve traveled around Europe, including Ireland and Germany. Both wonderful countries! Ireland is one of the friendliest countries you’ll visit and the architecture in so many German towns is impressive and inspiring. Thanks so much again and we look forward to reading your work!

    1. Thanks for swinging by and commenting! Loved your post on Dubrovnik. Look forward to checking out more of your work also!

    1. Thank you Victoria! There are many great stories out there, I looked on your blog for yours but didn’t see it, if you have a link please feel free to share as we’d love to read it.

      That is great you are in Boston! Really hope our paths cross soon 🙂

  5. You guys are the greatest… Continue exploring:) Hope to see a little one with you in your next trips:) Am I too blunt? hihihi I am a mother 2 and love to taking the kiddos around the world:) Hope you guys can follow us as we discover the world one country at a time:)

    1. Thanks Bon-Bon! That’s very sweet! We may have a child traveling along with us one day. It will certainly change the nature of our stories quite a bit, we’re sure, and it will be nice to add a cute little face to our photos! We admire families who travel with children. Keep on showing your kids the world, it’s a great education! Happy travels!

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