Before travel entered our lives, we were stuck in a rut. We had been together for nearly a decade and even though we still loved each other, we were beginning to drift apart.

Work had taken over our lives and our biggest excitement on the weekend was deciding what movie to see and where we were going to eat dinner. When we did eat out, we were that couple you see staring off in silence eavesdropping on other people’s conversations because we didn’t have anything to say to each other.

We didn’t have any hobbies and life was boring. I remember my parents asking me once what we did on our days off. I didn’t have an answer for them because we didn’t do anything. We were going through the motions of life instead of living life. We spent too much time at work and too little time on ourselves and if something didn’t change, we would lose each other.

dave and deb toronto

“Get out there and travel, it doesn’t have to be for a year or 6 months, all you need is a few weeks to try something new. It can inspire and enrich your life like you never thought possible. I know it has for us.”

It was when I was at work asking people where I should go on my next vacation a colleague, Lana said, “you have to go to Thailand.” At this point in our lives we had never been anywhere, and Thailand wasn’t very appealing to us. We were thinking more along the lines of a beach in Mexico or a cruise to the Bahamas.

She pressed the subject though and brought in photos the next day to show me how beautiful it was and how we could stay on a beach hut for a few dollars a night. I was intrigued.

She told me that we had to go for at least a month and we had to try rock climbing in Raleigh. We had to eat the Green Curry Chicken on Khao San Road and I had to bring a journal to write about my day and draw pictures of the dramatic sunsets. In a sense, Lana started my writing career.

rock climbing raleigh

We Always Go Back to Raleigh to Climb

To this day, I still don’t know how she talked us out of our two-week vacation to Mexico and sent us on a 5-week odyssey to Thailand, but she did and it was the best thing that ever happened to us.

In Thailand, we tried things that we never thought possible. We went rock climbing in Raleigh just like we were told to do, we took hikes through the jungle, swam in waterfalls and tried sea kayaking through a mangrove forest.

We were introduced to a culture that at that point, we had only seen in the movies. We saw Monks walking in the streets and visited pagodas housing giant Buddhas.

Exposed to New Cultures and Loving it!

It was a dream.

We felt like we were reborn. And even though it took some adjustment to learn to talk to one another again and be with each other every day for 35 days, we rediscovered the reason we fell in love in the first place. We both loved to try new things and we realized that we had the same interests and enjoyed the same types of activities.

dave and deb antarctica

When we first met we had dreams and hopes and were active and vibrant people, but over the years we lost that energy and were stuck in a rut. We were depressed and things were starting to fall apart. We didn’t inspire one another anymore.

But Thailand changed all that.

It had awoken something in us both that had been dormant for years….Passion

When you are on the road, you can be someone else. Travel gives you permission to do something crazy that you would never dream of doing at home, like white water rafting or jumping out of a plane. When you come home you can take the parts of that person you became while traveling and put it into your every day life.

Taking our Adventures Home!

Adventures in Ontario – Home

kayaking ontario mountain biking ontario

 

When we returned home after that first trip to Thailand, we were inspired to keep the adventure going. We signed up for rock climbing lessons and took up scuba diving and snow boarding. Our lives were changing right before our eyes, it was becoming exciting again and best of all, we were doing it together.

Instead of going to the movies each weekend to escape our monotonous lives, we wrote our own story and went camping or mountain biking. Suddenly when we went to dinner, we had a lot to talk about.

Travel Can Transform You


You’ll be amazed how many opportunities will fall into your lap when you travel. By seeing the world and being exposed to new things, your life will open up to new opportunities. With your, new found confidence and optimism people will want to be around you because you have a story to tell and something to say. Travel will bring you success.

Ordinary people can live extraordinary lives. With every risk that you take in life, something extraordinary comes out of it. We are living proof. If two regular people like us can live our dreams anyone can.

The reason we put up articles and video showing us facing our fears is because we want everyone to know that we all have fears. We are all afraid of change and facing life’s challenges. But if you do face them head on, life will reward you. We want to give people the courage to follow through on their life’s dreams.

We have received so many emails and comments from people telling us that they talked their spouse into going on an adventure after seeing that we travel as a couple or how they saw an article talking about how terrified we were about doing something but we did it anyway and it inspired them to go out there and face their fears too.

That is the greastest reward for us. Whenever we reach someone, we know we are doing our job and it motivates us to continue to share our story. We feel that everyone has the right to live the best life possible and instead of following all the nay sayers, we want to inspire everyone to live their dreams. We were in a fog for so long and woke up just a few years ago.

So get out there and travel, it doesn’t have to be for a year or 6 months, all you need is a few weeks to try something new. It can inspire and enrich your life like you never thought possible. I know it has for us.

To see our video reenacting our first trip to Thailand, check it out at Expedia’s YouTube Page. 

 

 

 

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180 Comments

    1. debndave Post author

      Thank you Sarah, travel can definitely fire up people’s lives single or couples, it only makes life more exciting for everyone.

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  3. AlexBerger

    A wonderful post. Your personal example puts into words something I’ve felt, and tried to explain to others but have had trouble expressing completely.

  4. Erica

    AWW! You guys are just so cute. I know that travel has definitely saved Shaun and I. We had been childhood sweethearts for so long that we started falling into just going through the movements.

    Your post made me smile. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Erica, it is so wonderful to see other couples given a second chance to travel. It is easy to get too comfortable with one another and fall into a rut. Travel challenges a relationship and each other, keeping life fresh.

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  6. Amanda

    Thanks so much for sharing this story with us. It’s such an inspiring one! Expedia chose well, picking you two as one of their “Find Yours” focuses. :) Keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thank you Amanda, We felt very honoured that they chose our story. And we are so happy to tell it and hopefully inspire others to work on their relationships too.

  7. Paul

    Really great story and something that rings true. Thanks for sharing and giving me some inspiration.

    “Ordinary people can live extraordinary lives.” – I love this quote!

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Paul, I’m glad we could inspire! I remember some of the crew saying to us while we were filming our story in Thailand that they were inspired to go home and work harder on their relationship, that’s an amazing feeling to know that our little story can make a bit of a difference.

  8. Waegook Tom

    I LOVE this. Seriously. Good for you two on taking Lana’s wonderful advice and getting yourselves out there. There’s so much of the world to see, and I think people can underestimate the effects that travel can have on you. It really does have the power to change your life for the better.

    1. debndave Post author

      We were lucky Tom. We didn’t realize that it would change us so much, we were just lucky that we were open to trying something different. Who knows how life would have turned out had we simply gone to Mexico to sit on a beach. And you are right, until you have experienced that life changing moment, it’s impossible to describe just how profound travel can be to a person who hasn’t experienced it. Now that we are open to new experiences all the time, we have many of those Wow moments and “I Get it” moments and those moments where we just understand that there is more to life and the world than our precious little time here. It’s helped us to enjoy each day and never take each other for granted. (albeit, we’re not perfect and we still have off days and still complain but we are aware that we shouldn’t live that way and snap ourselves out of it ASAP) :)

    2. debndave Post author

      Yes, we really do have Lana to thank. She had such a love for Thailand that it was contagious. I think she even inspired me unwittingly to start writing. I loved how excited she was over travel and I wanted others to feel that same excitement that we did too. So we started writing emails and updates home every week and kept travel notes in our journals. I always remembered how her energy rubbed off on us, so we worked hard to make our energy run off on others.

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  10. Turtle

    Such a beautiful story – I love it.
    People always talk about travel in the context of ‘discovering the world’ and ‘discovering themselves’. It’s so nice to hear a tale about how travel helped you ‘discover each other’.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks so much Turtle. You are right, I haven’t heard a lot of stories about reconnecting through travel. So many people make travel a solo voyage of self discovery. That is great and amazing too, but yes, it can also heal and help relationships.

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    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Nancie. We found that travel really re-ignited our relationship and it has kept us inspired and inseparable for over a decade. It’s the gift that keeps on giving:)

  14. kelly

    Thank you for sharing your story. It really serves as a great reminder that you have to get out there and explore and find new adventures TOGETHER. Its like anything if you do the same thing over and over again, things are bound to go stale. I love this post:)

    1. debndave Post author

      Thank you kelly. You are so right, life if meant to be a challenge. YOu have to keep challenging yourself and each other to keep things exciting.

  15. Leo

    I love this line – with every risk that you take in life, something extraordinary comes out of it! me and my wife are planning do the same i.e. travel more, try new adventures and develop a deeper bond. I guess it takes a great journey to get to really know your partner. Very inspiring to see a couple rekindle romance. Thanks for sharing!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thank you Leo, all the best to you and your wife. You are right, travel brings people together and you will hopefully come out of it with a stronger relationship as well. As long as you are willing to work through the hard times, it makes for a far more meaningful relationship. We could have easily gone on the way we were for years but eventually we probably would have went our separate ways. We feel that you have to keep working on a relationship forever.

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  19. LifePart2

    It definitely helps to have a like minded partner while you are out there. Solo is no so bad but much better to be sharing adventures. Congratulations!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thank you. I believe that if you don’t have someone to travel with, Solo is amazing (Although we’ve never travelled solo because we’ve been together since we were 20!) Traveling with someone can be tough, so the right partner makes all the difference. We’re lucky that we are very compatible on the road, it could have easily gone in the other direction when we first started traveling. But instead, we found that travel brought out the best in us and our relationship.

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  24. Steve

    Hey this is a really inspiring blog! I’m definitely envious of you two, travelling the world and really making the most of the time we have. I look forward to reading more about your adventures and hope one day I’m telling my own stories like this :)

    1. debndave Post author

      Thank you! I hope that you have the opportunity to tell your own stories as well. If it is something you want to do, you should definitely pursue it.

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  27. Debra Corbeil

    Thank you, we are so lucky to have grown together over the years. Travel was a big part of us inspiring each other and keeping the relationship fresh.

  28. Samantha

    I love this post. So many people think that marriage isn’t work and give up. But if you can get through the hard times, you come out richer in the end. I’m glad that you found travel to put the excitement back in to your marriage. Congratulations.

    1. debndave Post author

      You are so right. You have to constantly work at marriage. i think a lot of people think that once the work starts, you have to end the relationship. That’s where the fun begins. The honeymoon stage is one thing, everything is perfect in the beginning, but if you can get through the hurdles once the initial euphoria wears off, your relationship will be so much stronger.

  29. Janice

    Way to go. It’s courageous to put it all out there. A lot of people don’t want to admit that life hasn’t all been rosy, but it’s nice to see that everyone struggles and overcomes.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Janice, we try to let people know that everyone has struggles in life. It’s easy to look from the outside and think that everything is perfect, but in reality life and relationships are always ongoing and you constantly have to work at it.

  30. Teresa

    Thanks for sharing this. You have certainly lived an exciting life since you started traveling. I love seeing people who’ve made it together as a couple. It’s something that is missing in todays world. Where have all the long term relationships gone?

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Teresa, I think that we have been very lucky to have met at a young age. We grew together and we’ve always communicated…even when things weren’t great. Today things seem to be tougher for people to meet each other. At least that is what we hear.

  31. Elicia Shepard

    I just found your amazing blog via twitter! I have spent some time browsing through, and this one is my favorite so far. Specifically, because I can relate. My husband and I are living/teaching in South Korea. I 120% agree that travel and living abroad makes your marriage stronger. You relay on each other, inspire each other, and encourage each other. You fuel the passion. You fuel the desire in each other to seek more adventure, and to learn more about each culture. Thank you for all of your posts that I feel everyone can find something they relate to. You’ve got a new reader in me!

  32. Elicia Shepard

    I just found your amazing blog via twitter! I have spent some time browsing through, and this one is my favorite so far. Specifically, because I can relate. My husband and I are living/teaching in South Korea. I 120% agree that travel and living abroad makes your marriage stronger. You relay on each other, inspire each other, and encourage each other. You fuel the passion. You fuel the desire in each other to seek more adventure, and to learn more about each culture. Thank you for all of your posts that I feel everyone can find something they relate to. You’ve got a new reader in me!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thank you so much, that is very kind of you. I love hearing about other people who travel/live together. It is possible! Glad to hear that you have been thriving as well. Travel is definitely a test on the relationship, but if you can survive it, you have a good chance of surviving anything. I love the way you say fuel the passion, fuel the desire and seek more adventure. That is exactly how we feel too. Nice to meet you!

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