What happens when 2 People meet on vacation, get married & have kids?

They met on a boat, fell in love, got married, had kids and traveled the world as a family.

By Annie André ⦿ updated January 10, 2024  
she met the man of her dreams on a boat on vacation
she met the man of her dreams on a boat on vacation

People hook up on vacation and fall in love more than you think.

Unfortunately, relationships started on the road don’t always end well.

They either end soon after the trip ends, or they fizzle out over time when the starry-eyed lovers try to maintain a long-distance relationship from opposite sides of the world.

Don’t let that sad fact stop you from finding love on the road because once in a blue moon, one of those romances started while travelling has a happy ending. And this is one of them.

She Met Him On A Boat On The Nile

The actual boat they met on

Meet Alyson, a woman from Wales who booked an adventure holiday of a lifetime that involved sailing on the Nile of Egypt on a traditional wooden sailing boat called a felucca boat, from the Arabic word (faluka “فلوكة.”)

Around the same time, 14 other people booked that very same adventure holiday, including a 21-year-old Australian man named James, who lived in London. 

Guess what happened?

She was from Wales, He was living in London. over 400 KM away
Over 400 KM distance between their two homes

She married Him!

Alyson and James eventually married and had two sons who apparently like to eat oysters because James is an executive chef.

But what happens when two travel addicts meet and fall in love?

  • Do they stop travelling?
  • Do they continue travelling?
  • Do move to suburbia?

Before I tell you what these two world travellers did, I thought it would be fun to share the story of where Alyson and James married.

Interview With Alyson

Tell me a little about where you are from!

I am a Welsh girl from the valleys, and James is an Aussie. We met in Egypt, moved to England and ended up emigrating to Port Douglas, Australia, in 2007.

We have two children, born in London.

Everybody in our family has British and Australian passports except me.

I’m all British, although I could now get an Aussie one if I wanted to. Passports are expensive to renew when there are 7 of them in the family!

Why did you choose to get married in Sri Lanka?

James carrying Alyson's bags up the stairs during that trip to Egypt
James carrying Alyson’s bags up the stairs during that trip to Egypt

Getting married in Sri Lanka, on the beach, at a hotel near Galle, was an excuse for another trip!

Because we met through travel, it was massively important to us, and we particularly love the Indian Subcontinent.

I’d been to Sri Lanka before and loved it. The Chef (James) had never been, so it seemed perfect.

We weren’t interested in having a big wedding, although my Mum, Dad and Godmother did come in the end; I’m glad they did.

They had a brilliant time, plus, of course, we could slide in a week of diving in the Maldives as a honeymoon!

Do you need special visas or have to do anything special to marry in Sri Lanka?

Alyson and james on an elephant at their wedding in Sri Lanka
Alyson’s white outfit was filthy black by the end of the day.

No, nothing; it was all very easy.

We actually cheated a bit and booked a wedding package through a luxury travel company, where everything was taken care of for us.

We just had to sign the certificate.

It was our first time taking a fancy holiday like that; we’re very much budget travellers.

How did you handle the language barrier?

English is widely used in Sri Lanka, but we do have two wedding certificates.

One wedding certificate is in Sinhala, and the other is in English.

What was the best part about getting married in Sri Lanka?

Alyson and james on an elephant at their wedding in Sri Lanka

We had an elephant!

I can’t see that happening in South Wales.

We rode off into the sunset on her, such a gorgeous creature. I really love elephants.

The ceremony itself was Buddhist based, and we had our fingers tied together, lit oil lamps and did a thing with leaves for good luck.

What I didn’t like about getting married abroad in Sri Lanka:

Alyson and james riding into the sunset on an elephant at their wedding in Sri Lanka
Riding off into the sunset on an elephant.

I actually wish we’d organized it ourselves rather than through the hotel.

Some of the things included were rather cheesy, like the free hairdo ( terrible) and the photographer/videographer ( even more terrible).

I was also a little annoyed that the hotel charged us $200 for having the elephant there. I bet the guy who brought the elephant didn’t see much of that money.

But the whole thing was great, kind of crazy great. We now laugh at the terrible photos and how filthy my white outfit was after bareback elephanteering.

One of the things we love about India and Sri Lanka is the general craziness.

I’ve got a great piece of video that my Dad took of James toppling off one side of our elephant as she stood up. A Sri Lankan guy tugging on his leg to keep him on.

I’ll put it on YouTube one day!

What’s Next For Alyson, James and Family?

“What happens when two travellers meet on vacation, fall in love, get married and have kids?”

As of this writing, Alyson’s family is getting ready to take an extended – open-ended trip with THE KIDS starting in Asia.

Here is what Alyson had to say.

“Having children slowed us down for a while, but now the boys are 6 and 8. We think they are ready to leave on this adventure around the world indefinitely and get a lot out of it, including an incredible education. Travelling with children will add a whole new dimension to the trip for us; seeing things through their eyes is magical.” And NO! They don’t have loads of money; they are doing it on the cheap: budget travel.”

How Are They Paying For Their Long-Term Trip With The Kids?

Alyson and James have been working hard to meet their savings goals that will allow them to take their extended family trip.

They have about another six months to meet that goal. (at the time of this writing in 2013)

How have you prepared your sons for travel?

Alyson and the kids

From the day the boys were born, they’ve heard stories of our travels, playing with objects from all corners of the globe and seeing photos and films of amazing things.

“We’re going to the Himalayas” seems normal to them.

We home-school, so we’re big on geography and world history.

I think kids need to know something about where they’re going before they get there to get the most out of it, so I introduce topics before we get there.

It sounds silly, but I made them watch The King and I before we went to Thailand so that they would be as blown away as I was to see real palaces and images of the king in the musical.

I did try training them for trekking, but I ended up carrying D up a mountain. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

When your sons are old enough, do you want them to travel as you have been able to do?

Well, yes, I’d like them to, but I think there is a danger in exposing them to the world so young; they may be “over it” by the time they can carry a 70L pack. They may think of it as “Mum and Dad’s thing,” i.e. uncool.

It’s something that actually worries me.

I don’t want to spoil it for them, but the educational and fun benefits far outweigh any future issues at this stage.

I’m hoping they’ll conquer the world through travel blogging while other kids are still in school.

Off The Cuff Question

Do your two sons have British or Aussie accents or something in between?

James with his two sons

They both sound exactly like me, British.

I’ve seen that in a lot of displaced families in Australia.

The children have the Mum’s accent because they spend the most time with her.

D went to school for two years and started to pick up a slight Aussie twang, but he’s now been home-schooled for two years and lost it again.

We are a very mixed community. His best friends have been from New Zealand, Texas, and Swiss/British. They actually don’t encounter Australian accents that often.

Where are they now?

After 6 plus years of travelling full time with their kids, they settled down in Queensland, Australia. 

If you love to travel and are worried that travel will end once you have kids, don’t because, as Alyson stated, yes, it may slow you down, but it can be done with careful planning.

What better way to share and teach your children about the world beyond the comfort of their backyard?


You can read more about Alyson’s wedding by reading this: Finding Love Through Travel. You can follow along on their journey before they leave and while they are on their trip by visiting their travel blog at www.worldtravelfamily.com.

Alyson and James are one of the many families I featured in my short series showcasing families and couples who are travelling full-time or for extended periods of time.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a 'petite commission' at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. It helps me buy more wine and cheese. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Related Articles you might like

Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog annieandre.com for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.

We Should Be Friends

Subscribe to Receive the Latest Updates