Alumni Spotlight: Travel and Finding Love Along the Way

Cat Sullivan
January 16, 2024

Under30Experiences brings people together from all walks of life. During our trips, travelers form unbreakable bonds, newfound friendships, and on their future husband or wife. ;)

Here are a few stories told by solo travelers who met on one of our trips and decided to spend the rest of their lives together!

Megan & Caleb

I met my husband, Caleb, on the U30X Bali trip back in July 2016. I signed up for the trip with zero expectations and wound up getting to know the most incredible group of humans on this planet! Caleb and I had hit it off right from the beginning, but didn’t think much of it until we got back home.

I left a day later than the rest of the group, with an 18 hour layover in Taipei. That whole day Caleb and I had been chatting via Facebook Messenger where I ran up quite the hefty phone bill just so I could keep the conversation going.

Once we were both back in the states, we kept in touch through texting, phone calls, and FaceTime for weeks. We traveled back and forth from Chicago (where he lived) to New York City (where I lived) multiple times over the next few months. We even went on another U30X trip together to Iceland!

Finally, Caleb invited me to go to one of his friends weddings that October. I met A LOT of his friends and family in a span of 48 hours and decided right then and there that I wanted to move to Chicago.

Only five months after our Bali trip, I quit my job in NYC and did just that. I now have an awesome job in an incredible new city that I never would’ve pursued otherwise. We got a dog together shortly after, have since traveled to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and South Africa together and we just got married this past October. We went to Thailand, Singapore, and Bali on our honeymoon and ended up back in Villa Awang Awang where it all began.

Neither of us signed up for the trip thinking we'd meet someone, let alone the love of our life, but I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Solo travel and U30X trips specifically have a way of getting you to open up in ways to total strangers that you'd never imagine! So many games of NeverHaveIEver, Haikuus, and just incredible conversations. I think we all learned more about each other in those 8 days then I had from some friendships over the years. I’ve never felt more comfortable or accepted for being myself. There is some kind of crazy fate out there that brought Caleb and I together and I will forever be grateful to U30X. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having a love story like this.

Megan & Caleb

Haleigh & Cody

I wholeheartedly believe that things happen for a reason. On my first Under30Experiences trip to Bali, I met my best friends, Taryn and Dani. That trip and their friendship changed my life forever; and led to booking our next U30X trip, to Peru.

When we arrived at the hotel in Lima, I saw Cody for the first time. I wouldn’t call it sparks, or love at first sight, exactly; but, rather, my heart telling me “Oh, there he is. I told you we’d find him.”

That week was filled with subtle flirtation, petting alpacas, inhaling the rich history of Machu Picchu, and sipping pisco sours (hence, our wedding hashtag #APiscoMyHeart). Three years later, on the anniversary of the day we met, Cody and I said “I do,” surrounded by our family and friends, including Cody’s two best friends who are also U30X travelers. Danelle and Kyle took trips prior to Cody and encouraged him to book his first trip to Peru. You could say the whole world conspired to bring us together and we couldn’t be more grateful.

U30X gave us both quality friendships, and best of all, brought Cody and I together.

Haleigh & Cody

Vera & Ilya

Vera and I came from different parts of the country (me - Atlanta, her - New York City). She wakes up early every morning to do crazy HIIT workouts while I wake up early every morning to watch random YouTube videos. No one would expect us to cross paths let alone be a match made in heaven.

The one thing we did have in common, was that we were both U30X travelers. Vera had just come home from a trip to Costa Rica and decided to book another trip to Thailand. I had been on several U30X trips before and decided to make Thailand my 6th trip, with my usual expectations — get a sweet tan, experience a new culture, and meet cool people who I’d stay in touch with.

But THIS trip meant so much more...

I met my future wife, making it the best U30X trip yet.

For the past 1.5 years, Vera has lived in NYC and I’ve lived in Atlanta. Our relationship has been defined by travel, whether we like it or not. We’ve flown back and forth nearly every weekend to visit each other (by the way I’m still scared of flying).

About two months after we started dating, we flew cross country to do a road trip along the California coast. Since then, we’ve gone to Croatia and visited Vera’s beloved Steamboat Springs, CO where I asked her to marry me. And FINALLY this year, we made a road trip along the east coast, to move her from New York to Atlanta.

Traveling brought us together, has kept us together, and has let us share our love for adventure together.

Sometimes, travel has a way of exceeding your expectations.

Get a sweet tan: check (bring a lot more sunscreen than you think you need)
Experience a new culture: check (so much good food)
Meet cool people who I’d stay in touch with: check (oh hey, fiancé)"

Vera & Ilya

Check out our USA trips including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Zion, & Bryce Canyon National Parks.

Cat Sullivan
Cat is the Senior Marketing Specialist at U30X. She's a Chicago native with a passion for fitness and travel. She enjoys short walks to the fridge and bad karaoke.


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