If you’ve always wanted to vacation in the Dominican Republic, now’s your chance — as long as you don't mind taking the trip with a complete stranger. John Whitbread, whose bride-to-be recently called off their wedding, has put the non-refundable spare ticket for the honeymoon up for auction on eBay. As far as breakups and cancelled weddings go, there are worse ways to deal with a situation like this — I mean, if you’re not going to get the money back, you may as well go have a good time anyway, right?
According to the Telegraph, Whitbread, who lives in Donisthorpe, Leicestershire in the UK, and his former fiancée had been dating for two years and engaged for one; they were scheduled to tie the knot on Valentine’s Day this year. She broke it off over Christmas, though — which, as was the case for Shelby Swink, left Whitbread in the position of needing to cancel all the services they’d booked for the occasion. But one thing he couldn’t get a full refund on was the honeymoon, a £1,950, two week long stay at an all-inclusive luxury resort in the Dominican Republic. So, rather than accepting the half-refund the travel co-op he booked the trip through offered him, he decided to go on the trip anyway — and while he was at it, why put the spare ticket to good use and take someone else with him?
According to the auction’s eBay page, titled #girlfromthepublictodominicanrepublic, the trip runs from February 16 through March 2; flights depart and arrive from Manchester, UK, with the holiday itself taking place at the Blue Bay Villas resort in the Playa Dorado area of the Dominican Republic. “The downfall,” the auction’s listing continues, “is that with me being the lead name, I’m also included on this holiday.” Whitbread describes himself as 32 years old, 5’9”, and with a “good sense of humor.” He considers himself adventurous, and he likes to dance; he also notes that he’s got no criminal record, “although sometimes I should be locked away for my snoring.” So, y'know... just bear that in mind.
He seems to have a healthy outlook on the whole thing, too; said Whitbread to the Telegraph, “I was gutted when she said she didn't want to get married but I realized I couldn't mope forever and I didn't want what I'd already paid to the holiday to go to waste.” It’s also probably for the best in the long run that they called off the wedding before it happened; Whitbread himself noted, “I’m just really glad she told me before we went through with the vows on our big day — I suppose I’ve got to respect her honesty.” And no pressure, by the way — he added, “I’m not looking anything apart from a fun holiday. If the girl is sporty and wants to do some scuba diving with me that would be great, too.” In the words of the wise and all-knowing Dori:
Sounds about right.
Technically the auction that’s currently live is the second one he’s put up — according to the Daily Dot, the first one had reached a high bid of £1,020 when it unfortunately had to be taken down due to a technical error. As of this writing, though, the new version has reached £1,171, which is pretty impressive when you consider that Whitbread didn’t originally expect it to fetch more than £50 or £100. He thought that if he was lucky, he’d pull in just enough to deal with the ticket’s name change fee and maybe have a little extra spending money. When the auction started to skyrocket, though, he decided that he’d donate anything it raised over £1,050 to testicular cancer research. Not bad, eh?
Whitbread isn’t the only guy in recent memory to have used what was meant to be a holiday with his ex for the forces of good; back in November, Jordan Axani launched a search for someone to take the spare tickets for a round-the-world trip he had originally been planning to take with his girlfriend. Axani’s only requirements were that the taker be Canadian and have the same name as his ex, Elizabeth Gallagher; the nature of the trip would have made the ticket name changes both complicated and expensive, so the easiest way to bypass the issue was to make sure whoever ended up going on the trip had the same as the one already on the ticket. In December, he reported that he had found his new Elizabeth Gallagher — and although she already had a long-term boyfriend who would be staying at home, they were both still looking forward to taking the trip together as friends. Furthermore, the experience inspired Axani to team up with his brother to create A Ticket Forward, a charity geared towards helping the underprivileged find ways to travel.
So, all’s well that ends well — and at least it’ll be a heck of a story to tell later on, right? Check out a video from Whitbread below; the auction runs until January 15, 2015.