Our Trafalgar Unlocked Awards has now closed and after combing through over 10,000 incredible entries, the lucky winners have been announced. Each of these winners will be joining us with their travel companion on a 12-day trip to the Balkans this June.
One of the lucky winners was Craig, who shared this captivating story as part of his entry in the Trafalgar Unlocked Awards:
I proposed to my partner of six years on a romantic sunset cruise under the Eiffel Tower and the many bridges of the Seine. Our Travel Director, Kevin Marshall, helped to make the moment extra special, by telling the other tour guests about my secret plan and arranging for some Moet to celebrate.
It was the most magical moment of our lives, to share the engagement surrounded by the wonderful new friends we had made on the tour and to hear their cheers of happiness. We will all be reunited again when they attend our wedding next year.
We reached out to Craig to find out more about the upcoming wedding and how it feels to be one of our Trafalgar Unlocked Award winners.
GET INSPIRED BY: Balkan Delight
How did it feel to be named one of our lucky Trafalgar Unlocked Award winners?
Winning one of the Trafalgar Unlocked Awards was exhilarating! We are currently planning our wedding, so the mere thought of an overseas holiday this year was completely unobtainable. It is an absolute dream come true to return to Europe. I have been reading the stories of other Trafalgar Unlocked Award winners and can’t wait to meet them all on tour this June!
Have you ever been to the Balkans? Will you take your fiancée with you?
Yes, I’m going to be taking my fiancée with me! We have never been to the Balkans, however this is one area of Europe I am fascinated with. My favourite work colleague, Sabina, migrated to Australia as a refugee during the Bosnian War in the mid-90s. Her stories of the war are devastating, however, she still has a very close connection to her country and culture within her identity. She has painted such a stunning picture of the Balkan way of life and I have even started learning some Bosnian phrases, as I have a passion for the beauty of language. She is an inspiration to me, and this is the reason why I entered the competition.
What are you most excited to see and do during the 12-day Balkan Delight Trafalgar trip?
I am most excited to deep-dive into the culture, flavours, sights and treasures of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In particular, I am very much looking forward to wandering Kazandžiluk Street in Sarajevo, collecting stunning hand-made works from the coppersmiths. Eastern European cuisine is one of my favourites, so I am very much looking forward to sampling many traditional delicacies along the way.
GET INSPIRED BY: Balkan Delight
You proposed to your partner under the Eiffel Tower while on a river cruise. Had you chosen this moment ahead of the trip?
The wedding proposal wasn’t one that I had planned. After several years in a relationship, this was our first overseas adventure together, and we created so many wonderful memories together whilst on tour with Trafalgar. It became very apparent to me mid-tour that exploring new places together was like a fairy-tale and that I knew I wanted to keep traveling and sharing these experiences with Graham, long into the future.
By this point, we had already developed very strong bonds with our fellow travel companions, so I knew it would be extra special to share the moment with them. In the city of Nice, I faked a migraine and our new friends took Graham to the beach for the afternoon, whilst I secretly visited Cartier and purchased a ring.
Our Travel Director recommended the sunset tour of the river Seine as the perfect moment to pop the question, as it passes by the Eiffel Tower and is intoxicatingly romantic. By the time we arrived at the river cruise in Paris, word had spread of the proposal throughout the entire tour group and there was an exciting buzz in the air.
In a cute tradition, when passing under the many bridges of the Seine, couples share a kiss under each bridge. This set the perfect mood and, by pure coincidence, I proposed at Le Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris and famed for being the ‘love lock’ bridge. Hearing the cheers of happiness and sharing hugs of congratulations from our travel companions was such a beautiful moment that I still tear up recalling it!
Why did you choose the Grand European tour?
We chose the Grand European as the itinerary provided an outstanding snapshot of Western Europe, including 11 countries and 29 cities. Each day delivered so many unique experiences and it really was the ultimate taste of Europe.
Can you share some of your favorite memories from this trip?
My favourite memories include the Black Forest of Germany and journeying through the majestic Swiss Alps to the city of Lucerne. Everywhere I looked was as picturesque as a postcard or painting. We purchased a gorgeous hand-crafted cuckoo clock, which I instantly knew would become a cherished heirloom within my family for generations to come.
The tour also showcased the diverse physical and cultural landscape of Italy as a travel destination. My favourite being Sorrento and Capri, where the sun is warm, the fashion is fabulous, the lemons are gigantic and where I felt the furthest away from my work desk!
GET INSPIRED: Grand European
When and where will the upcoming wedding take place?
Graham and I will be tying the knot at Glen Ewin Estate next April, in our home city of Adelaide, Australia. We are really looking forward to celebrating the occasion with the many friends we made during our Trafalgar tour, in one very special reunion. You can follow our wedding journey on Instagram at @BFGwedding
Why do you feel it is important for you to travel and experience new places and cultures?
Travel is life! Work is merely the means of funding more travel experiences! I am at my happiest when I am enveloping myself in the culture, architecture and traditions of different countries, gaining an understanding of the history, customs and language of the locals. Creating meaningful human connections throughout the world is the most rewarding and uplifting adventure for me.
Have you taken other tours with Trafalgar?
This was our first trip with Trafalgar, however, there will be many, many more in the future!
RELATED BLOGS: Read more stories from Trafalgar Unlocked Award winners
What is your favorite thing about travelling with Trafalgar?
The ‘travelling’ part of travel can be quite stressful and this is where Trafalgar really excels. Every aspect of the tour is organised seamlessly, so you are free to relax and enjoy the destinations without worry and with the friendly and knowledgeable advice of the Travel Director.
The transport and accommodation are very comfortable and the itinerary has been exceptionally curated with varying experience options. I particularly enjoyed the flexibility available throughout the tour – allowing us to enjoy the tour in our own way and at our own pace.
RELATED BLOG: Celebration vacations: making milestone memories with Trafalgar
Where else is on your bucket list? Do you have somewhere in mind for the honeymoon?
Scandinavia is the next European destination on my bucket list, with a particular focus on Sweden. I had a brief visit to the town of Tyresö, outside of Stockholm, prior to embarking on our Trafalgar Tour. I was captivated by the scenic wonders of Sweden. The birdlife and wildlife of the Baltic Sea archipelago felt like a second home. I long to spend more time exploring this charming part of the world.
Discover more stories from our Trafalgar Unlocked Awards winners here. Leave a comment below if you’re planning a big trip in 2023 or 2024….