Aguid rice terraces in Sagada
Personal Stories

Finding Love on the Road

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Excuse me for a while as I discuss, not destinations we’ve recently explored or discovered, but a topic that is nonetheless close to my heart: love.

My friends would often joke about the perks of traveling, specifically meeting a special person unexpectedly on a seemingly ordinary out-of-town (or country) trip, a common fantasy likened to Jesse meeting Celine on a train ride or, if you’d prefer it, Mace meeting Anthony in the airport. During these discussions, Hali and I would often be cited as a real-life example.

Hali and I met through travel. Specifically, it was in a voluntourism event in Jomalig Island last summer, where we were both volunteers. I signed up because I wanted to see the purported “golden” sands in Jomalig; he joined since a part of his social advocacy is to promote and document outreach events.

We chatted and found that we clicked. The rest was history.

Can you find love while traveling?

I believe that the answer is both yes and no. Let me explore this a little bit.

To start with, let’s just say that I had my share of heartbreaks, the last one a short rollercoaster relationship with a serial womanizer who left me reflective about my life.

During this period of limbo, I consulted a few tarot readers, one of which told me that I would meet the next guy the following year (this was in 2014). Another one repeated this, adding I would meet him on a travel trip. We talked about my ex-boyfriend for a while, and while I was sniffing through a wet handkerchief, he said, “Don’t wait for the right one. He’ll come when you’re ready.”

Over the next several weeks, I busied myself with mountain climbing and joining group travels where I was basically a stranger to everybody. A former homebody who locked herself up in her room reading and watching movies on weekends, I started going out more.

Over a coffee session, a close friend of mine, Andrew, said he was glad that I’d started exploring but that, instead of traveling to escape, I should build a life I would go back to. His words would ring back to me in the months to come.

The next several months were kind of a blur. I finally sorted some things in my life; if I were to give an analogy, I imagine it would be like finally getting up to arrange a scattered set of pencils over a cup. After years of searching for a job that I like doing, I finally switched from communication to software engineering. I started with meditation and Buddhism, I participated in outreach events and friendly meetups. I started to do little things on weekends, like baking.

I used to miss being with a partner, to have someone to curl up with during bed weather. Somehow this sentiment was forgotten over time. I was happy and my own person.

On one occasion, I had the chance to chat with a foreign tarot reader and I asked if I would meet someone in the future. He remarked that despite my question, he could see that I was content with my status, in his own words an “It is what it is” attitude. “You will meet someone within the next six months. I have a feeling that this is someone with an active lifestyle, a sports, maybe?”

On April that summer, I met Hali.

Previously, I really hadn’t believed it when married people would say they found their respective partners just when they stopped looking. I dismissed it as a story and nothing more.

But that, I guess, is the only way to describe my meeting with Hali. I wasn’t looking for love, just enjoying the summer. One of my first impressions with Hali is that he is a happy person as well. If I were to close my eyes and imagine seeing him for the first time, I could visualize him sitting on the top deck of a cargo boat, with a bright light in the chest area. So far, I have seen this light on people only a few times.

I guess this, being happy with ourselves, what Bo Sanchez was referring to when he said we should fill our love tanks first. “Happy people create happy relationships,” he said in one of his talks.

Similarly, I think this fits perfectly with the law of attraction. If you focus on the feeling of lack or what’s missing, the universe will reflect that back to you. On the other hand, if you have sufficient self-love, you will attract love.

So I think the more important question is not, Can you find love by or during travel, because you can and you can’t. I think the right question to ask is, Are you ready?


I had thought twice (and thrice and more) before writing this. Although I have several photos of me uploaded online, this seems to be more personal, something I would like to keep to myself or those around me. However, I decided that this might be a good read to a select audience, especially to those hoping to meet their own Celine/Jess or Mace/Anthony.

I think our society is a romantic love-obsessed one, so much that being single is a big deal. When we’re single, it seems like we have to defend ourselves for being so, that we have to invent acceptable answers such as, “Focus muna ako sa career ko,” “Di pa ko ready,” and the likes.

The happiness of being on your own is rarely discussed, much more entertained in conversations.

I am not saying I have found my “happily ever after,” only that I found a good person to love and love me back. (After all, don’t we pro-actively choose who “the one” is). I think the chances of meeting a good partner would be slim had I been needy or vibrated an aura of incompleteness, no matter where I go.

So I guess what I’m saying is, let’s love ourselves first and foremost. And let’s travel not to seek love but as an expression of love for ourselves.

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  • Janine Ella

    I have to agree that it’s both a yes and a no. I know it’s kinda cheesy but I honestly believe in destiny so whether you meet your special someone while travelling or not, then great 😀 I also agree that we should not travel to seek love. Love should not be sought. It’ll come when it’s the right time 🙂

  • vinneve

    Good post. It’s always been my advice to my single friends to do what they think they must do first before settling before they regret not doing it. Having a family is totally different to being single so must enjoy and be free! 🙂

    • Kat

      That’s true! There’s so much freedom when you’re single. You can focus on enhancing your market value, hang out with friends and meet new people, go out to different places in the world. 🙂

  • Odyssa R. Abille

    Happiness is a priority. Not something that depends on others or on material things but happiness from within! Great post. 🙂

  • Brenda

    This is one of the best posts I have ever read on this topic. I definitely believe that it all comes from loving yourself, and travel is a way to bring the best (or sometimes the worst) out of you. Getting to that level, makes it somehow easy to love or to be loved.

  • ninasogue

    It’s easy to lose oneself when one is in love. After a breakup, they usually feel very devastated. They built their world around the person that when that person is gone, nothing is left. Of course, I didn’t know this until I got my own fair share of heartbreaks. Looking back, I always wished that I gave more to myself, made more rational decisions, and chose opportunities instead of choosing love. The right love will come when the time is right. And when it is right, you would feel that it is right 🙂

  • Pia

    I love how you emphasized that you have to focus on being whole and loving yourself first instead of focusing all your energies on finding “the one”. I’m also a firm believer that no one person can complete you – and you if you get into a relationship in order to fill an emotional void then you’re really putting undue expectations on the relationship from the get-go. I also loved your insight about the laws of attraction. It makes perfect sense, when you focus on what’s missing in your life then you also attract not just people, but situations that emit the same energy. Thank you for sharing your love story and your thoughts about self-love. I’m currently on the road to rediscovering myself again, so I needed this. 🙂 cheering you and your husband on even though we’re strangers:)

  • Clair Kelly

    This is beautiful! I have a similar post about this. I met my boyfriend on a football holiday in Latvia. We had been friends for ten years but we fell in love on a beach there. I do think that these things happen when the time is right. I believe that travel makes us learn more about ourselves and what we want, which in turn makes it easier to find love. So glad that you have found it 🙂

  • Dunja

    I agree. The right partner will come when it’s supposed to. We shouldn’t chase it, we should work on being happier and better persons and the rest will follow 🙂 I personally never look for relationships when i’m travelling (i’m usually not staying anywhere long enough to get to really know someone), but hey, who knows?

  • ASKSonnie

    I like this, haha!

    “I think our society is a romantic love-obsessed one, so much that being single is a big deal. When we’re single, it seems like we have to defend ourselves for being so, that we have to invent acceptable answers such as, “Focus muna ako sa career ko,” “Di pa ko ready,” and the likes.”

    That’s the problem w/ our society, if one is not into a relationship the assumption is something is not right. I believe love can be found anywhere, it will start w/ a spart. But both parties should invest considerable time trying to know each other and invest in the relationship until it blossoms into something more beautiful.

    Since you’re a romantic yourself, you may find this post of mine interesting Wala bang Forever?

    • Kat

      Thanks, Kuya Sonnie. I read the post on your link and though I’m not married yet and don’t have the credibility that you do, I have the same sentiment in the topic. 🙂 I do believe #MayForever.

  • Joanna

    I don’t know if you can find love while traveling. Can you really get to know that person in such a short time and fall in love with them? I had my fling with a fellow traveler while in Peru but once home, things were not the same anymore…

    • Nicole Paler

      maybe, you did find love, but it’s not meant to last or that sort of thing. As you said, it was a fling, and as far as I know, flings are really just for short time purposes, and maybe the guy you met is not really looking for something that’s long lasting just yet. What she wrote is true, that once you stop looking, and start to love yourself and what you do, you will also attract love and get to know “the one”. It’s just my experience though, that once I focused on making my own happiness, the right person came by and the rest is history. 🙂

  • millette05

    I went through a lot of heartbreaks as well and finalky met my husband at a time I wasn’t looking for love.

  • Kat

    Thank you, Madz. A lot of people dismiss law of attraction, but I think it really is a powerful belief system to have. I’m hoping that as well. 🙂


    Hi. Very nice share. I have always advised people not to actively find love.

    What one can do is very much like what you actually did. You did your own thing by traveling to a destination and when you did, you do tend to meet new people. Love came to you because you and your boyfriend connected.

    There is a difference between finding or looking for love as opposed to making it possible for others to meet you as you continue to be yourself, at the same time, continuously improve yourself as a person.

    • Kat

      Ooh that’s nice. What I like about these stories is that most of them are unexpected ano. You never really know when you’ll meet someone significant. 🙂

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