Deep in the heart of Bangkok, in the backpackers mecca of Khao San Road is where this love story begins. It was one fateful night in August 2012 when two solo backpackers from opposite sides of the world found each other among the masses.
And just like that, their futures would be forever changed. If you’re thinking this is a love at first sight kind of story, you’ve got it all wrong. Keep reading to find out why.
A night out on Khao San Road will typically begin at one of its many bars which line the streets. The ones with plastic tables and chairs, where the drinks are served in buckets filled with a lethal concoction of Sangsom (Thai rum), M150 (a stronger version of Red Bull) and a little splash of Coke.
The Golf Bar at least warns its customers that they most likely won’t be leaving the pub sober by displaying the words “Very Strong Cocktails” on a large neon sign at their entrance. Alongside are the words “We Do Not Check ID Cards.” Perhaps the best named bar I’ve come across on my travels.
It All Started in the Golf Bar
On that particular night, I was due to catch up with a friend I had previously met on my solo travels through Laos. I sat patiently at the Golf Bar, slowly sipping my bucket, awaiting the arrival of my Irish friend, Ken and the rest of his crew.
At the other end of Khao San, Rick and his travel companion of the time, Steph, were preparing themselves for a large night out on the town. When considering their many options of where to begin the night, of course they chose the Golf Bar. As soon as they arrived, they sat at the table directly beside ours.
Things began to liven up as the evening progressed and more buckets were consumed. That’s when Rick turned around to invite my table of friends to join his. “Would you like to share a bucket?” These were the first words he ever said to me. Romantic? We like to think so.
As the night continued, we worked our way down Khao San Road, stopping at various bars along the way. We danced and sang the night away to the sweet sound of Justin Bieber which seemed to echo from every pub along the street.
When it came time to say goodnight and make our way back to our respective hostels, Rick offered to walk me back to mine. He followed me up the stairs and into my dorm. And just as I reached my bunk bed, I heard my phone ringing – it was a backpacking friend I had met at the full moon party.
We laughed and chatted for a few minutes before I noticed that Rick had disappeared. He must have gotten bored and left. I quickly realized that we hadn’t exchanged any details. I didn’t even know which hostel he was staying in. Khao San Road is a very big place. The likelihood of us seeing each other again at this point was very slim.
The Random Meeting
The next morning, Ken and I dragged our hungover bodies to a cafe for brunch. We ate our banana pancakes and watched the world go by; another hangover day on Khao San Road.
Out of no where, I noticed Rick and Steph walking towards us and waved them over. We chatted about the previous night and they told me of their plans to go to the island, Koh Tao. I had been there 2 times already on my travels. I knew the three of us had a connection, I could feel good vibes when I was with them.
When they asked me if I would like to join them on their trip to Koh Tao, I replied with, “I would love to but I’ve already booked a night train to Malaysia for tomorrow.” I’ll never forget when Rick looked at me and said “if you change your mind, meet us at the bus at 6pm.” He gave me exact directions. I smiled and said “I’ll think about it.” And they walked away.
To this day, I’m still not sure what actually made me walk straight over to the nearest tuk tuk and ask him to take me to the train station. As soon as I arrived, I walked to the counter and asked the lady for a refund on my train ticket to Malaysia. She could only refund me a portion of it, but that was ok.
At 5:30pm that day, I gathered all of my belongings from the hostel and told them I wouldn’t need to stay another night. I grabbed a street Pad Thai, and made my way to the bus station to meet with Rick and Steph.
We arrived on Koh Tao at about 6am after a long journey by night bus and night ferry. We were tired, but as soon as we set foot on the island, everything made sense. This place was just as magical as the previous two times, there was just something about it. I knew things were about to get good – but I didn’t know how good.
The following seven days consisted of:
“I’m going to be quitting the shit out of jobs to travel for the rest of my life” – Ann & Rick
That week spent on Koh Tao with Rick and Steph was quite possibly the best week of my entire life. And on the seventh day, we all went our separate ways. Rick continued on his journey to South America, Steph went back home to Canada. I stayed on Koh Tao until I was ready to leave. Then, I finally booked that night train to Malaysia. All I knew was I hoped I’d see them again one day.
Thank you for stopping by and reading the story of how we found love on the road! If you want to find out what happened next, click here to read part two of our story. If you want to stay up to date with our travels, follow us on Instagram to see where in the world we are now🌏
*Side note* We are no longer the crazy partying backpackers that we once were in our early 20’s. This story doesn’t reflect the way we travel today, 9 years later. It’s a special memory for us to look back on and a reminder of just how far we’ve come together since those days!
- Our Story Part II – Where Are We Now?
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