Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers have lives that many would envy. The pair have both seen success and fame in their respective fields, after all, as well as an apparently happy relationship. The sports stars have enough wealth and freedom, too, to be able to travel the world and see extraordinary places. In early 2019, for example, Patrick and Rodgers embarked on a trip to New Zealand – one that they ultimately captured on camera. And the snaps that the couple took of their vacation are altogether pretty stunning.
Both Patrick and Rodgers have earned their success, though. Patrick initially shot to fame as a NASCAR driver, with her skills on the track helping her to become the first ever woman to win an IndyCar Series race. And such prowess has proved lucrative, too: between 2007 and 2013, you see, the star made no fewer than four appearances on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities.
Rodgers has achieved a similar level of fame, mind you. In fact, the Green Bay Packers mainstay just so happens to be the NFL’s all-time number one ranked player in the “career passer rating” metric for regular season games. Not only that, but some people involved with the sport consider him to be one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever appeared in the league.
Still, for Patrick and Rodgers, the path to love wasn’t a smooth one. For a start, Patrick was married to somebody else when she first encountered the football player at the 2012 ESPY Awards. Back then, she was the wife of physical therapist Paul Hospenthal, whom she had married in 2005.
However, Patrick and Hospenthal’s union wasn’t to be an enduring one. And in November 2012 – four months after Patrick had met Rodgers and one day after her wedding anniversary – the NASCAR star announced on Facebook that she was seeking a divorce. “I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage,” she wrote.
“This isn’t easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. [Hospenthal] has been an important person and friend in my life, and that’s how we will remain moving forward,” Patrick finished. Then in April 2013 the divorce was finalized, meaning Patrick was single again – although the next person she dated wasn’t Rodgers.
Instead, Patrick began seeing fellow NASCAR competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – a relationship that she confirmed in 2013. But would the couple ever start a family? Well, Patrick was questioned about that possibility in Danica, a 2017 EPIX documentary about her life and career.
“I have always had people say, ‘You’ll make a great mom someday,’” Patrick told the cameras. But while “a long, long time ago” the star hadn’t expected to ever want children, she nevertheless added, “It’s definitely more of a thought now – and being with Ricky, that is something he has always wanted. If we were going to have a relationship, that had to be something that I wanted.”
What’s more, Patrick revealed that she had opted to have her eggs frozen. “I was like, ‘Look, I’m gonna take control of my life here. And I don’t know where it’s going, and I’m not married, and I don’t know what the plan is, and I don’t know how long I’m gonna race, but I can only have 33-year-old eggs today,” she explained in the documentary.
However, even though everything had once seemed so promising, Patrick and Stenhouse didn’t last the course. In November 2017 it was noted that they were no longer attending award ceremonies together; then, the following month, a spokesperson for Patrick confirmed that the sportswoman and her boyfriend had split after five years of dating.
Not long after the break-up, though, speculation began that Patrick was seeing Rodgers. And in January 2018 sports blogger Terez Owens was perhaps the first to report on what appeared to be a budding new romance. “Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick were spotted at Aaron’s favorite restaurant in Green Bay after Christmas,” Owens wrote, adding that he had received the information from an anonymous source.
And in fact the rumors were true, as Patrick later confirmed to the media. “Yes, Aaron and I are dating,” she said to the Associated Press in mid-January 2018. On that occasion, she also mentioned the pair’s first meeting back in 2012. “I told him a long time ago I’d always root for him as a player. Now I am probably going to cheer for the whole team,” she added.
“[Rodgers and I have] just been sort of friends the whole time, kept in vague touch and seen each other at the ESPYs almost every year [as well as] other places,” Patrick told sports website For The Win in January 2018. “So one thing led to another. We realized how similar we were, and, yeah, that got the ball rolling.”
Thanks to the things that she and Rodgers had in common, Patrick continued, “everything [was] easy” between the pair. She continued, “We both just have similar hobbies and interests – the kind of life that we live and wanting to travel and various different things.”
And through her Instagram account, Patrick kept all her fans up to date when it came to her and Rodgers’ adventures across the globe. In July 2017, for example, she posted pictures online of a trip that she and her new beau had taken to a star-studded golf tournament at Lake Tahoe.
“What a week in Tahoe! So much fun in the sun with so many great people,” Patrick also wrote on the social media site. “I wish I could stay for the last day, but it was nice to have this many days right before the #espys. Get it tomorrow, love!” Some of the snaps from the event were rather adorable, too; one picture showed Patrick and Rodgers kissing, while another saw them walking arm in arm.
But the pair didn’t just give insights into their relationship on Instagram; they chose to speak to the media about their romance, too. Certainly, Rodgers couldn’t resist discussing his love for Patrick when he spoke to Artful Living magazine in 2018. “We’re just two people who enjoy being around each other and love each other,” he said.
Furthermore, when the interviewer asked what Rodgers and Patrick did for fun as a couple, the quarterback said that they had been globetrotting together. “We really enjoy traveling,” he explained. “[Patrick] went on [a] trip to India and Africa [with me], and we had a blast. And we’ve taken some trips domestically that have been fun.”
“I want to go to historical sites around the world. [Patrick]’s getting into it as well, but she’s spontaneous,” Rodgers went on. “She’s up for anything travel-wise, which is fun. She’s a good travel partner because she’s so laid-back and low-maintenance. And she’s a hell of a cook, so we love just staying in, too.”
Patrick has since gushed about her new life with Rodgers, too. And, at first, the sports star was quick to deny that her new romance had left her conflicted about which NFL team to support – even though historically she had always been a Chicago Bears fan at heart.
Nonetheless, Patrick admitted that her allegiances had changed since hooking up with Rodgers; now, she was on the Green Bay Packers’ side. “You always feel encouraged to cheer for [the Packers] as a team. Aaron is a great leader and obviously an incredible player, and he’s got some good guys behind him,” she told ESPN in 2018.
What’s more, making the transition from Bears fan to Packers fan had been easy, Patrick revealed. “I can never understand when people are like, ‘Why don’t you cheer for the Bears still any more?’ I’m like, ‘Well, for obvious reasons,’” she said. “Usually with a sports teams or an athlete, whatever it may be, a driver… Usually, you need to have a reason, right? Maybe it’s because you’re from the city. Or maybe it’s because you’re dating [a player].”
And Patrick and Rodgers continued to see each other throughout 2018; by the fall of that year, the couple had even moved in together. Yet their Green Bay home was missing one crucial feature: a “woman cave” for Patrick. “I got shut down,” the former driver said when speaking to Hannah Storm at the espnW: Women + Sports Summit in California. “He’s got a man cave with his pop shot and ping-pong table and bar, and I need a woman cave.”
At around this time, though, people started taking bets on whether the couple would last. It was reported, in fact, that there was a wager on whether the relationship would still be a thing at the time of Super Bowl LIII, which was scheduled to take place on February 3, 2019. Apparently, the proposition bet odds were -1,000 that Patrick and Rodgers would remain together and +600 that they wouldn’t.
However, Rodgers was determined to not let outside influences affect his relationship. “When you just let go and don’t worry about it as much, you’re actually practising that indifference all the time. Then any type of response – positive or negative – to one of my posts or one of Danica’s posts that I’m in doesn’t bother me,” he told Artful Living.
“So you just don’t worry about [others’ opinions]. You’re not scrolling through the comments. You’re just living your life,” Rodgers went on. “And every now and then, you just open the door a little to that. I’m not worried about what will happen, what the response will be, what [gossip site] TMZ or random people will say.”
Such an approach to the public scrutiny surrounding the couple may have paid dividends, too. Certainly Patrick appeared to be happy when she ended 2018 with a series of photographs posted on Instagram. “First half of 2018 was epic! Surprise trip to Hawaii, last Nascar race at Daytona, meeting the Dalai Lama, last race of my career – Indy 500 – and an amazing quick pit stop at Stonehenge,” she wrote in accompaniment to the snaps.
Patrick added in another Instagram post, “The last half of the year was just as epic….. Tahoe golf tournament, hosting the ESPYs, lifetime achievement at the Kids’ Choice Awards, getting our L1 Crossfit certification, beautiful Wyoming, the day my foot finally touched my head [and] healing old wounds by learning to love England and Europe again.” In addition, she mentioned Rodgers and posted a heart emoji.
And to close out her recap of the last 12 months, Patrick concluded, “I can’t believe how amazing this year was. So much love, adventure, joy, growth and bravery in 2018! Who knows what 2019 will bring… but I’m ready!” A beautiful picture of her and Rodgers kissing in front of a mountain accompanied those words, too.
Then, when 2019 rolled around, Patrick and Rodgers embarked on yet another adventure together. In particular, the retired racing driver revealed on Instagram on January 25, the pair had gone to New Zealand. She chose to post some photographs of the quiet beach that they had found, too “In New Zealand they use helicopters like cars… and this very remote lunch location was amazing… wherever it was,” Patrick added.
Nor would that be the last update that Patrick gave about her vacation. On January 27, for example, she uploaded some stunning shots of her and Rodgers kayaking against the backdrop of snow-topped mountains. “He took me to the waterfall and did most of the paddling!” Patrick wrote of the occasion.
“It looks like the water drops off in the distance, but it’s flat all the way out to the ocean,” Patrick continued. Then she shared some advice with her followers, writing, “Take some time to get out in nature! I know it’s really cold in some places, so even just opening up the curtains and letting natural light in can lift your mood.”
What’s more, Patrick indulged in some potentially dangerous activities while in the Land of the Long White Cloud. “I am scared of heights… So the most logical thing I could think of to help get over that was bungee jump,” she wrote on January 28 alongside a spectacular picture of her leap. “It didn’t work. But I just like to know that if I had to do something uncomfortable, I sure as s**t could.”
Another great shot showed Patrick and Rodgers flinging themselves into the water and was captioned with the phrase “If you jump, I jump, right?” This is no doubt a reference to the famous love story in the film Titanic, with Kate Winslet’s Rose speaking those words to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack as they try to escape the sinking ship.
It must be said, too, that Patrick has plenty of time for globetrotting now, as she retired from racing in May 2018. “What I love about racing was that ability to progress and get better and finish better and better and ultimately win. And I just felt like that was becoming less and less something that was in my control,” she told Nightline at around the time that she ended her professional career.
By contrast, though, Patrick appears to be very much in control of her personal life. And her Instagram account is certainly envy-inducing, filled as it is with beautiful pictures of the star amid gorgeous scenery. One such image from February 2019 even shows her doing a handstand against a backdrop of snow-crested peaks. “Our reality is formed by our own perception. The simple example is – is the glass half full or half empty?” Patrick contemplated in the caption to the shot.
“Choose to see the good, and more good will come,” Patrick added in her accompaniment to the image. “Choose to believe something will happen for you, and it will. Be brave enough to ask for whatever it is that you want from this life. And accept no less. If you don’t like your situation, change it. We are all one decision away from an entirely different life,” she wrote. Perhaps in a way she was talking about her relationship with Rodgers.
At the very least, both Rodgers and Patrick seemed to be feeling the love when Valentine’s Day 2019 came around. For that occasion, Patrick added a photo to her Instagram page that depicted the couple looking deliriously happy together. “I love doing life with you! Happy Valentine’s Day!” she wrote to her boyfriend – with lots of exclamation marks to punctuate her point.
And Rodgers replied with his own snap of the pair, along with a caption that read, simply, “Happy Valentine’s Day @danicapatrick.” He also tagged the post with “#NZ” and “#hobbiton.” It seemed, then, that Rodgers and Patrick had taken a stop at New Zealand’s famed Lord of the Rings set, Hobbiton, while on their adventures around the country.
As for what the future holds for the pair? Well, perhaps it involves even more time together. After all, Rodgers seems to be contemplating retirement; in 2017 he told NFL Network that he felt he was “on the back nine of [his] career.” And, of course, Patrick has seemingly put her racing days behind her. Maybe, then, the happy couple will just travel for the rest of their lives.