As you know, we have started introducing you to our favorite traveling couples and decided to make this a series. Next up in our spotlight are Christine and Jules of the blog “Don’t Forget to Move”: two volunteers who used to live in completely different countries and have now fallen in love with ethical and socially conscious travel.


Christine & Jules : The Volunteers

Of all the love, blog and travel stories I have been writing about so far, this must be one of the most inspiring to me. I have always been very interested in anything related to humanitarian relief and therefore, volunteering is a big part of my life. I dream that one day, when I will (hopefully) live my “happily ever after” story with someone, not-for-profit work will also be one of my “mister right’s” biggest passions. Following Jules and Christine’s adventure just keeps the dream alive for me, when most people usually call me either too naïve, idealistic or crazy. But first, let me tell you more about these two love-birds’ story. This time around, my scenario involves a Californian aspiring artist and an Australian high-school teacher who destiny brought together when they decided to volunteer…

Once upon a time, Christine had just finished her college studies in San Francisco and since (like most of us) she didn’t really know what to do with her life, she booked a one-way ticket to Mexico. About at the same time, on the other side of planet Earth, a keen Australian surfer was about to start one of his first experiences as a volunteer which would be followed by a big Euro-travel adventure. Soon after, the two eventually arrived in Peru, just one day apart from each other. And despite their different backgrounds, they instantly got along. Jules recalls: “We were both in our early twenties back then and traveling solo. Neither of us were looking for a partner and enjoyed the spontaneity of traveling alone, but our shared love of traveling and international nonprofit work made us immediately super compatible!”


After spending every day of the next six months volunteering together, the newly-formed couple decided to change the plans they had made for the near future. Jules forgot about Europe and Christine did not come back to America. Instead, they decided to travel and volunteer some more in other NGOs, in Latin countries like Colombia and Mexico. Christine still remembers the day everything changed for them: ” We thought our little “volunteer romance” would come to an end, but I kept extending my time volunteering because I didn’t want to leave. We eventually started talking about what if we could find a way to stay together, but Jules already had his plane ticket to Europe. One day I came home and he had printed out an email to his travel agent canceling the plane ticket, he drew a heart around the message and wrote “I’m in!””.

Though the beginning of their love-story sounds perfect, the first months of travel also brought in new challenges and unexpected struggles for the happy couple: “Transitioning from traveling solo to a couple was complicated at first. We were both so used to traveling alone that compromising on what we wanted to see and do was tough! We also had to get used to spending 24 hours together, which in a new relationship is kind of crazy. We never really had a “dating” period in our relationship; we went from friends to practically moved in together. We got to know each other really quickly“!, they recall. But though the beginning of their trip was somehow challenging, Christine and Jules found a way to make it work and they both now agree that they don’t regret a thing.


In 2013, after their South American adventures, they started thinking again about the future. They made the decision to create their own “socially-conscious” travel oriented blog and that’s how, a few month later “Don’t Forget To Move” was born. Christine explains: “By that time we had already collected so many stories, photos and videos that we were eager to share with other travelers. It’s been a pretty incredible journey to create this blog from nothing and watch it grow through our combined hard work. We’ve also had challenges working together as a couple but overall it’s strengthened our relationship and now we know we are pretty compatible professionally. We split up our work so Jules does a lot of the back-end web development and I create most of our graphics. We both write and take photos. I can’t imagine blogging solo, it’s a huge help to have someone to share the work with!”

Another one of their 2014 resolutions was to move to Australia for a year. There, they’d start working, studying and blogging about their experiences of travelers/volunteers. For Jules, it meant coming home for a while. But for Christine, it just implied moving even further away from her family and friends. Though for some couples, this decision could have been another struggle, Christine saw it as a positive experience that she could learn a lot from: “I think coming from different countries (especially two as far apart at the US and Australia!) would be a deal breaker for some people, but it’s just added to our adventure!” And if Jules had convinced her to move temporarily with him to Australia, he also traveled with Christine numerous times to California. “In 2012, he came home with me for Christmas and we did a road trip on Highway 1 along the coast of California through Big Sur down to Santa Barbara”, she recalls. “And last year, when we lived in Australia, we got to do a road trip down the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 Apostles. We actually managed to get the best of both worlds! Being from different hemispheres is also awesome because the seasons are opposite so we can plan it so we have an endless summer!”


In 2015, after spending a crazy-busy year in Melbourne, the “Don’t Forget To Move” duo decided they needed a new plan. And that’s how they ended up buying a cheap one-way ticket to Thailand. But exploring the region was not enough for the couple, they also wanted to help improving the life of people. They soon headed to the Philippines, and lent their hands with the community development efforts post-typhoon Yolanda, in Tacloban. Jules and Christine recently completed five months of volunteering there and are now exploring other countries in the South-East Asia.

When I ask them about their plans for the future, they both answer: “We’ve been traveling pretty steadily for the past four years so we’re both ready for a more stable lifestyle. Our short-term plans include wrapping up our time in Southeast Asia, spending a few months in the States then probably some much-needed time stuffing our faces with tacos and margaritas down in Mexico! Longer term, we have some ideas in the works for combining our two loves of non-profit work and traveling, so keep an eye out for that!” I definitely will, as I can’t wait to see what destiny has in store for this amazing couple… I just love how life, sometimes, just brings together, in the most unexpected ways, two like-minded people. For Jules and Christine, it was all thanks to their love for volunteer work and travel. As if you ask my opinion, these are two of the greatest passions in the world :).

You can follow the adventures of Christine and Jules on their Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


This post was written by Elisa Fourt.
Elisa Fourt was part of the Travelettes team from 2015 to 2017.  Elisa usually describes herself as a world citizen. She has lived, studied, worked and travelled in more than 60 countries throughout her life and she loves to share her passion for the world with others. When she is not planning her next trip or writing about the last one, Elisa likes to help people in need and get involved in various not-for-profit projects. She currently works for a NGO in the Middle-East. Follow her on Instagram