Valentine’s Day Special: A Trek made in heaven

No, we’re not here to wax lyrical about St Valentine. You know, the Roman geezer who performed weddings in secret. We’re here to tell you about a story that gave us all the V-day feels. This isn’t just your average tale of how boy meets girl. It’s how boy meets girl on an epic TrekAmerica trip.

If you’re not a fan of all this mushy-gushy stuff look away now. But if, like us, you’ve got a soft spot for meet-cute stories, we caught up with one of our newly engaged Trek couples, Emma and Tom, 7 years after they actually met for the first time on our Trailblazer Trek.

So, what brought these two lovebirds together? Just fresh from university in 2013, Emma wanted to book one epic long trip before planning her first career move. While Tom, wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps and book the Trek of a lifetime 10 years after his brother first set out on his own Trek trip.

Emma was quick to comment, “Ironically, we are totally different people when it comes to travelling. I had booked my Trailblazer Trek trip 8 months ahead of the departure date whereas Tom is a last-minute.com kind of person and only booked his trip a couple of weeks before his flight!” And when it came to experiences on the road, the couple couldn’t have been more different. Emma had never travelled solo or in a group before, but these types of trips were second nature to Tom, as he’d just finished a crazy travelling stint across Australia and New Zealand.

With the whole Trek departure group bonding really quickly at the hotel, Tom explained a little more on how their relationship blossomed, “I guess you could count when we went to see Book of Mormon in Chicago as our first date and walking the Yellowstone Geysers Trail where it was just the two of us. One of the most vivid memories I have was the winter walk we had in Banff at Lake Louise, which was when we realised how well we got on with each other on the snowy hike. We literally couldn’t stop laughing all the way back down, as we were slipping and tripping a lot in the snow!”

The Trailblazer is notoriously known as one of the longest Trek trips, covering some of the best sights in America over 64 days. When asked what their top three highlights were, Emma said, “The first would have to be the stunning red rocks of Monument Valley. With no phone signal and no alcohol, we were left to just experiencing their traditions and culture. We also camped out in the open that night under the stars, so waking up there was surreal, a real outback experience.” 

She continued, “Cowboy Camp was also an absolute favourite of mine, where we bunked up in cabins alongside some other groups. That night, we tucked into an epic cowboy-like feast of steak and baked potato. Cracking open a couple of cold ones, we drank through the night and pranced about in fancy dress outfits! Nights like these are the ones that are the best example of what it felt like to be in a tour group with people you’ve bonded with. And we couldn’t mention our favourite moments without a special shout out to one of the best National Parks. Yosemite was by far the most stunning hike, with views of the Yosemite falls being one of the best panoramas I’ve ever seen.”

With 12 Trek travellers on their Trailblazer tour including their tour guides, the couple mentioned that they still keep in touch regularly with the group they met 7 years ago and meet up with a couple of them when they’re travelling through the same city. The travelling duo have since lived a year out in the USA after the Trek trip and are currently living in the Big Smoke across the pond, with Tom popping the question only a couple of weeks ago!

Is TrekAmerica a good shout for solo travellers? “Absolutely”, Emma commented. “I think the experience was perfect for a person travelling by themselves, as you can literally throw yourself into meeting new people and bond while swapping stories over campfires. I found it really easy to just be myself, as I was with a group of girls and guys who were all going through the same sort of stage in life. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me for sure!”

If they had to choose just one TrekAmerica trip to go on for the ultimate Valentine’s day present, the couple explained, “Although we’ll always have a soft spot for the Trailblazer trip itinerary as it was such an exciting way to experience the best spots across America, for a shorter getaway it would have to be the Westerner 3. You’ve got some of the best National Parks, wild nights out and city sightseeing jam-packed into one trip – what more could you want? California also is perfect for people who are looking for a great base to start their American adventure, the Golden State never disappoints!”

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