1) We first met at our pre-departure training for the Peace Corps in Washington, DC, and happened to be seated next to each other on the first leg of our flight to Jordan. We then spent the next two years living in different parts of the country (Albert in Madaba and Carrie near Petra) and traveling monthly to see each other. Less than a year into our relationship, and our service, we took our first international trip together to Cyprus. Little did we know that those hours on the flight to Frankfurt would lead to a lifetime of travel together. With each trip we learn more about each other and get to see each other in different ways.
2) We typically don’t buy travel as a gift for Valentine’s Day because our birthdays fall so close to the holiday and we tend to buy travel for our birthdays. If we had more time off from work, we definitely would try to incorporate more travel, including for Valentine’s Day.
3) It has to be Saba, a small volcanic island just south of St. Martin. We traveled in the low season last year and stayed in a hillside boutique hotel, Queen’s Garden Hotel. We spent the day doing our new favorite thing, diving and enjoyed some of the best gin and tonics of our lives at a very quiet hotel with stunning views of the island’s dramatic green hills and the Caribbean Sea in the distance.
We both saw the positive (and negative) impacts that tourism can have while living in Jordan, and we went on to explore the role of tourism and development in our master’s work. Check out our travels on Backpacking with the Bonds as we explore impactful travel, the type of travel that incorporates local entrepreneurs in travel and tourism within their community.
Stacey Jones and Jay Ruud
Mei and Kerstin from Luxembourg. Most romantic destination: Bruges, Belgium
1) Travel is important to our relationship, because travel is what started to bond us over 16 years ago! When Kerstin and I first met, we immediately knew that we’re compatible as we started to talk about all the places we wanted to explore. Our dream back then was to leave Luxembourg and roam the world. So as soon as we graduated from high school, we went to study in Paris, where we ended up staying for 10 years. During that decade, we travelled extensively to 4 different continents, and later spent 6 months in Athens, Greece and another couple of months in San Francisco. In 2013, we returned to our motherland, where we have a full-time job now, but keep traveling as much as we can.
2) While many couples buy jewellery or sexy underwear for Valentine’s Day, we prefer to offer each other a trip for that special occasion (or any other occasion actually)! My favourite present for my wife is to “kidnap” her for a surprise road trip!
3) A couple of years ago, I drove us to Bruges in Belgium, which ended up being one of the most romantic destinations we’ve ever visited! Strolling hand in hand through the cobbled streets in the “Venice of the North”, watching the swans from the canal bridges and savouring exquisite candlelight dinners was simply perfect! Now we’re hoping to return to Bruges soon to explore this romantic city once again.
Mei is an Archaeologist and Kerstin a French teacher. They’ve been roaming the world together since 2002, and you can find their travel stories on Travel with Mei and Kerstin, travelwithmk.com
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