Alena and Aubrey

How We Met

Aubrey and I met on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize on Valentine’s Day of 2016. I was on a solo backpacking trip and he was on vacation with his sister. The universe must have been on our side because I hadn’t planned to be there that day and he had wanted a quiet night in. But, fate had a bigger plan and we met that night at a bar while his sister sang karaoke, and won the competition! That night we all shared the rum that she won, laughed into the early morning and made an endless friendship. I was supposed to leave the next morning on the ferry, but Aubrey asked me to stay and I gladly did.

We spent the next 3 days exploring the island, getting to know one another, staying up late telling stories and sharing countless laughs. I remember riding bikes around the island at sunset and feeling so full and complete. I knew he was the one. When it was time to say our goodbyes neither of us was ready. My stomach was full of butterflies as I told him how much the last couple of days had meant and that I would love to come to Colorado to be with him. We both agreed we did not want our story to end before setting off for the rest of our journeys.

Over the next 5 weeks, as I worked my way through Guatemala and Honduras, we somehow found the time (and WIFI) to video call each other for two hours a day. We got lost in telling our stories, what we did that day or just the comfort of simple silence. I couldn’t wait to be back in the states so I could see him. Instead of flying home, I flew to Colorado and stayed for a week exploring the mountains and the quaint small town I would soon call home. After the week was up, I went back to Northern Michigan to pack my things and say my goodbyes. On April 20th I moved to Colorado to be with my best friend, where our love story continued to grow.

How He Asked

After two and a half years, we finally made a trip to Washington, where Aubrey is from. We spent the first weekend with family and friends, exploring the mountains, rivers, and lakes. Everyone was so welcoming and made me feel like I was home. The weather was damp and cold, but I was so happy to finally be on the west coast and immersed in Aubrey’s piece of the world.

The first sunny day was Monday; we woke up early for coffee before heading out for a quick hike. The weekend had been so fast paced we had hardly had any time alone to connect. We went to Clayton Beach and were lucky to find the tide was quite a ways out. We hiked up the coast, admiring wildlife and taking photos along the way. After a while, we realized the tide was coming in, but decided to find another way up to the trail instead of turning back. We found a small cliff that we could climb up that sat above a small rocky area that was covered in beautiful purple starfish. At the top we found a small overlook and took in the views and the quietness, holding each other and feeling incredibly grateful for such a beautiful day. Just as I thought we should be getting ready to leave, he turned me around and got on one knee to ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. Through the happiest tears I managed to say yes and we hugged with neither of us wanting to let go. After five minutes we realized we still hadn’t put the ring on! I admired how beautiful it was as my future husband placed it on my finger.

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