Well I have had a crazy week out in the mountains of Colorado! Not only was I a speaker at the best TBEX conference to date , if you follow any of my various social media channels you’ve probably already heard the news: Michael proposed to me!
Mike and I met at TBEX in 2010, right as I was planning to head off on my solo round the world trip. I wasn’t looking for a guy at all, I was actually feeling pretty great about my choice to be single for the foreseeable future. Fate had other plans, and soon we were backpacking together around China, Thailand and Vietnam. Sometimes you just gotta take what life throws at you.
So it was only fitting that he would propose this week: our two year anniversary and the week of TBEX 2012. Thankfully he didn’t choose to pop the question in a room full of bloggers or something else horribly embarrassing. What he did was much sweeter:
We got to Colorado a few days early to spend some time on our own exploring the Rocky Mountains. Mike reserved us a gorgeous hotel room at the Breckenridge Lodge and Spa, perched 10,200 feet in the air (it’s possible that the persistent light-headed-about-to-pass-out feeling added to the romance I guess). We drove our rental car around the mountains, ate ice cream in historic little towns and generally had a really pleasant day.
That evening, before dinner, Mike suggested we drive up to some scenic overlook the hotel staff had recommended. We drove our little rental Kia up a thin gravel and dirt road. Up, up, up until we were treated to the most beautiful view, like something off a postcard or beer can. In the distance were snow topped crags and below was a beautiful golden valley with lakes sparkling in the later afternoon sun.
We parked so I could take some pictures. Mike was shuffling around in an oddly nervous way. A few meters away a woman and her two kids were posing for a family portrait with a rather professional looking photographer. They weren’t particularly dressed up so the professional lighting seemed a bit much, but it was a pretty spot, so whatever.
“Let’s ask the photographer to take a picture for us,” Mike suggested. I didn’t really want to bother them but he was insistent. We posed for a quick picture with my little point and shoot Canon before Mike shoved it in his pocket. Before I really knew what was happening, Mike was down on one knee and the photographer was snapping away at US.
Yes the family was a decoy. Mike hired a photographer to capture his beautiful, mountaintop proposal. My first reaction was to laugh- I was so happy! Then of course I started to cry. It was such a powerful moment and so very beautiful. I don’t think I even heard what Mike was saying, but I said yes- of course!
After that we took some engagement shots: the sort of thing I would never manage to get organized on my own. I can’t believe Mike managed to put all of this together, without ever having been to Colorado and without tipping me off. It was an incredible gift.
And then of course there was a ring. I wasn’t too concerned about getting one (and pretty adamant about not having a diamond), but the symbolism and the sentiment won out in the end. With some input from me and a brilliant Etsy seller, Mike designed the most beautiful white gold and aquamarine ring. It’s elegant but good lord it is so shiny. It’s distracting me as I type this.
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect climax for our travel love story. When I started this journey of traveling and blogging nearly three years ago, I never could have imagined where I would end up. I made a willful choice to veer off the beaten path, and the resultant journey has taken me across oceans and continents, has given me an amazing outlet of expression and has brought me some great friends. Most shockingly of all, for me at least, it’s lead me to my favorite person, my new best friend and my travel partner for life.