But instead, Elisha Greer’s backpacking adventure through the Australian outback turned in to a nightmare at the hands of 23-year-old Marcus Martin.
Ms Greer, from Liverpool in England, was on a road-trip through Queensland when she met Mr Martin at an Australia Day celebration in Cairns.
Heavily tattooed, Mr Marcus and Ms Greer hit it off at the party, and decided to start a road-trip together.
But the fun soon turned in to a horror story for the 21-year-old tourist, when she quickly became held against her will while travelling with the “utterly crazy” man.
Ms Greer, who appeared on Channel 7’s Sunday Night program, was lured in and held captive by Mr Martin for a terrifying two months while the pair travelled more than 1600km through the outback.
At first, however, Ms Greer said Mr Marcus “seemed fun” and “didn’t seem like a psycho”.
“He just seemed like a nice guy, and I just chatted away to him. He seemed fun,” Ms Greer said on the program.
“He didn’t seem like a psycho, to say the least. He just seemed like a normal guy at the time.”
But that quickly changed.
Mr Martin raped Ms Greer in what police say was a “horrific and terrifying” experience for the young backpacker. He also damaged her passport to dissuade her from escaping his car.
“He was crazy,” Ms Greer said during her interview with Melissa Doyle.
“Completely and utterly crazy.”
The young woman described him as a “vile human being”.
According to the program, the relationship had taken a dangerous turn when Mr Martin, who was high on ice, got a room at the Colonial Club in Cairns.
“He started hitting me. Just hitting me and hitting me and hitting me,” Ms Greer said.
“He wrecked the whole room, punched through the cupboards. He flipped the beds around.
“I thought he would kill me.”
After he allegedly raped Ms Greer, she recalled his final words, “sleep now”.
Ms Greer’s disappearance made international headlines, but it was her fight for survival that shocked the world.
The woman had been driving a white Mitsubishi Pajero in Mitchell, south central Queensland, when she stopped at a petrol station to fill up the car.
But instead of paying, a petrol station attention noticed something was wrong with Ms Greer, and called police.
The assistant claimed Ms Greer had been “in a state of shock” and “zombie-like” as she came in to the petrol station, and eventually drove off without paying for the tank of fuel.
In an interview with the ABC, the service station owner Beverly Page said Ms Greer had been crying and was distressed when she pulled in to refuel.
“To see a young girl that upset, and with black eyes. She had said she had come from England. To know that she was over here and she didn’t have anyone to contact,” Ms Page said.
While driving away, Ms Greer was pulled over by police officers at a traffic stop with her captor hiding in the back of the vehicle.
“I was forced to drive the car with a gun to my head,” she explained of the two month road-trip, believing Mr Martin would eventually kill her.
When police approached the vehicle, they reportedly found Ms Greer in the driver’s seat, stating she appeared “terrified” behind the wheel.
Mr Martin, who pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and one count of deprivation of liberty at the Cairns District Court in north Queensland in October 2018, will be sentenced on May 28.
He had previously pleaded guilty to other charges, including assault occasioning bodily harm, wilful damage, and strangulation or choking.
Prosecutors dropped 10 other charges – eight of rape, one of serious cruelty to animals, and one of torture.
Martin earlier pleaded guilty to supplying dangerous drugs, wilful damage, assault occasioning bodily harm and choking or strangulation.
Ms Greer said she doesn’t want to be known as a victim after what happened to her, but rather a survivor of abuse and an inspiration to others.
“I don’t won’t people thinking I am a victim when I’m not,” she told news.com.au.
“I just want people to know it’s okay…that being a victim isn’t the end of everything and that everyone can get through something.
“I want people to know that it’s not the end for them.”