TREK STORIES - Jen and Ant
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Jen and Ant's story >
A TrekAmerica trip is not just any holiday, it really is the adventure of a lifetime, and for some of our Trekkers their trip actually changed their lives, leading to weddings, babies and a happily ever after!
We've played matchmaker to lots of couples over the past 40 years, and we've caught up with a few Trekkers to find out their stories.
We're sure there are lots more of you out there with your own stories about how Trek changed your life. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured here.
Jen and I decided to do Camp America in the summer of 2002, after many letters throughout the summer we had arranged to meet up in in New York before starting our Southern Sun trip.
We ended up being the last to get on the bus and so couldn't sit together. I sat at the back with two guys who had joined the trip together, Ant and Ste, with Jen sitting with some girls at the front. From day one, Jen fancied Ant and when I offered to swap seats she was too scared! However, about a week into the trip, in New Orleans, Jen finally plucked up the courage to tell Ant how she felt and luckily for her he felt the same!
The trip was amazing, Hans the driver (we nicknamed Tour guide Tel) was a great guide and took us to many places not on the tour, but places he thought were great. As a group we all got on so well, we had another two English girls, two girls from Israel, a Japanese girl and two other boys from the UK!
For the next two weeks I had to listen to Jen tell me how great Ant was and the fact she celebrated her 21st birthday a few days later meant Jen was having the time of her life... however that was soon to change as it was time to fly home. Jen was in tears for much of our last day as Ant and Ste had decided to continue their tour up to San Francisco. With discussions of meeting up when we got home, she calmed down enough to fly home... only for me to listen to all the details on the fastest routes between Ant's home in Manchester and Southampton, our Uni home.
Going the distance and life-long friends...
Our last year at Uni flew by and Ant was a regular feature in our social events, with Jen and Ant continuing their relationship long distance. After graduating Jen decided to move up to Manchester to do her Masters and to be with Ant. It turned out that the masters wasn't for Jen, but luckily Ant was and he stood by her as she retrained to become a primary school teacher.
In this time, I had been continuing my travels and upon return was also training to be a teacher, but a secondary Geography teacher. So Jen and I picked up our friendship and continued to meet up with in London and Manchester. We all continue to have a love affair with the States, Jen and Ant have visited since their first trek and I have been back every year since 2007. I am also still in touch with 5 of the group from our trip, as well as of course Ant and Ste.
Happily ever after...
Jen and Ant went on to have a little girl Scarlett, a cat called Orleans and now Jen is pregnant with her second child. Ant proposed in Paris continuing their love of travel and when she told me I was over the moon. However, never did I expect to play such an important part in their wedding.
Jen and Ant married in Spain with their family and Scarlett. However as you cannot legally get married in Spain, they had to get married over here first. So they booked the registry office and Ant asked Ste to be his best man and Jen asked me to be a witness.
There were only four of us there... the original four from trek, and it was the most surreal wedding I have ever been to. We had so much fun, after the ceremony we had a sausage sandwich in a little cafe and then walked round the canals with Ste taking pictures as he is a graphic designer. We then headed to a hotel for afternoon tea and ended the day with cocktails in the Hilton looking out over Manchester. However in true Jen style on our way home, she had to pick up something for Scarlett's and our dinner so she stopped in her wedding gear and ugg boots to buy pizzas from Tesco... a brilliant look!
Jen and Ant may live up North and me down South but they really are two of the nicest, kindest people and I am so proud to have been there from the beginning.
Here's a few words to finish from Jen herself...
We'd like to thank Trek America for changing both of our lives, we met in 2002 in New York at the beginning of the Southern Sun, were together by New Orleans and ten years later are married living in Cheshire (UK) with a beautiful daughter and another on the way.
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