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Holiday Romance

Remember that passionate kiss with a bartender on the beach when you were 18? Vaguely? For some, it leads to everlasting love. Most people write off their holiday romances as a rite of passage and a happy memory, but for Lisa, Jodie and Donna, it’s lead to marriage, children and a happily ever after. 

Their stories appeared in Best and also the Mirror. I really enjoyed writing these stories because they made it feel like summer can last forever. Lisa, Jodie and Donna were fantastic interviewees and I loved hearing their love stories. Click here to read about how their holiday romances lasted…

Holiday Romances – ours lasted!
For Jodie, Donna and Lisa, their holiday flings turned into the real thing…
Jodie, 28, found it weird to meet up with her holiday fling back in the UK, but the awkwardness quickly melted away…
I was in Turkey for two weeks with my mum, dad and sister, back in the summer of 2010.
I was single, but I wasn’t looking for anyone. I was all about my career and the last thing I wanted was to settle down.
One night, Mum was at the bar ordering drinks and she started talking to the guy standing next to her. Afterwards, she said to me: ‘What a lovely, genuine guy.’
Later, Richard came to say hello to us all. We got on so well – and Mum had already endorsed him!
We spent time by the pool and Richard would walk me back to my room at night – but we only kissed twice. It was all very innocent.
I lived in Milton Keynes, he was from Cambridgeshire. It was a few hours apart and we agreed to meet when we got back.
Back home, we met up. It felt very strange seeing him again, no longer in the sunshine by the pool.
He came back to my house and the more we talked, the more it felt like we’d known each other all our lives.
We started visiting each other more and by June 2011, he’d moved in.
In October 2012, we found out we were having a baby – Ollie, now nine months old. We bought a house together too.
I changed all my life plans when I met Richard. He was the first guy I ever went out with who my Mum liked and there’s a reason for that – he’s kind, honest, fun and an amazing dad to Ollie.
Some of my friends were jealous that I came home with a new man in my life. They were used to me always being available. One friend warned me that people were different on holiday. It’s true!
Since we came home, I’ve had to learn that Richard is useless with money and he’s had to accept I can be quite moody, but I followed my heart and I don’t regret it. One day we’ll take Ollie back to Turkey and show him where his parents fell in love.
Donna, 54, went to Greece for a fortnight – and came home 15 years later with a husband and two children…
I’d gone to Mykonos, Greece, for a holiday with a girlfriend. We made a pact not to get involved with anyone – we’d just stick together and have fun.
Oh well! We were in a bar one night and there was Costa. He was the total opposite of my usual taste – I liked blonde guys. He had a thick mop of curly dark hair and was wearing awful torn jeans.
He just about managed to ask me to dance, but we couldn’t speak each other’s languages. We really struggled to communicate but one thing was for sure – we were drawn to each other.
We spent the rest of the holiday together, hardly talking, just relying on the language of love…
Then I came home. I couldn’t get him out of my head and my friends told me to get back out there – you only live once! So I went back. I didn’t know if I was in love with the island or Costa, but I had to find out.
I’d spend all day listening to Greek radio to try and improve my language skills. I watched Greek cartoons and picked up some unusual words.
Costa and I weren’t each other’s types, but that’s what made it work. We had some tough times over the years – I had countless miscarriages and one stormy night we couldn’t get off the island and I nearly died. Costa stuck by me throughout.
We married in 1989 but even so, when we agreed to move to the UK in 2000, I went ahead of Costa and wondered if he’d ever come.
His plan was to work the winter then join us in the UK. But a few months later there was a knock at my door at 5am – he had come early because he couldn’t live without me.
We have four children now. Most holiday romances fizzle out once the sun goes down, but ours was built to last.
And finally, Lisa, 42, who fell in love on the back seat of a car in the Australian outback…
I was 26 when I was travelling in Australia.
I was hitchhiking with a friend but we weren’t getting very far – no one would pick us up! We were sleeping on a bench by a cafe and every time we put a thumb up, the driver just carried on.
Determined, I announced that the next car absolutely had to stop for us, or I was giving up.
The next car belonged to a guy called Ben, and his mate Alex, who unbelievably did stop and pick us up. We were so relieved.
We spent the next few days together, driving across the desert. Ben was gorgeous and we fell in love in the back seat of the car, to the sight of wilderness, outback, and kangaroos.
When we got to Adelaide my friend got out, but I decided I wanted to stay with Ben.
I had to catch a flight to Tazmania a few weeks later so we had to part ways but agreed to meet in Sydney two weeks later. When we did, we realised we were madly in love and should never be apart again! We flew home together and married in 2000. We now have three children, Caitlin, 11, and twins Oliver and Noah, nine.
I know hitchhiking isn’t safe these days but I’m glad I took the chance as it led me to the love of my life. There was something so romantic about falling in love with a complete stranger – my friends and family thought I was mad but we knew our paths had crossed for a reason.
Years later, we still pinch ourselves at how lucky we were that no one else offered me a lift first!