Allie and Alex

Where to Propose in Kyoto, Japan

How We Met

I grew up in WNC, and Alex grew up in Sarasota, Florida. Every summer since I was 6 years old, Alex and his family would travel up to WNC and stay at their summer home in Maggie Valley. My father ran a Shotokan karate school in my hometown, and Alex would train every year from May-August. As a 6 year old, I was in awe of this kid. He was my very first crush, and little did I know that we would become soul mates. Alex is older than I am, so we maintained a solid friendship from the time I was little until now. In November of 2011, Alex made a surprise trip to see me from Florida, and he asked me to be his girlfriend. Elated, I accepted.

How He Asked

We dated for 5 years, and Alex went to medical school. After medical school, Alex matched into a surgical program in Hawaii so we moved across the planet in 2016.

Since surgical residents work ridiculous hours and get three weeks off a year, we decided to take one of the weeks and mark an item off of our bucket list: Japan! On March 26th 2017, we hopped on the plane and took our journey to Kyoto. I was already psyched to be going to a place I wanted to go since I was six, so little did I know my life was about to change forever.

The first couple of days we immersed ourselves into the culture, food, and the scenery that Japan had to offer. We saw temples, we ate delicious udon and ramen, we saw the beginning of the cherry blossoms, and I got to train in a Japanese dojo. The trip was incredible. On the fourth day (March 30th), we decided to start our journey through the philosphophers path, which was something I had wanted to do since I started researching Kyoto. We started the path and I was cold and hungry (the combination is less-desirable for any party within a 30 mile radius of me), but I was maintaining positive attitude. We stopped by this tiny out-of-the-way temple called “Konchi-in Temple”. It didn’t have many people (maybe four throughout the entire temple and gardens), so it was perfect and by far my favorite temple. I walked through the gardens snapping pictures on my Canon, and I took in the tranquil scenery. I kept saying, “this is perfect, this is what I pictured when I thought of Japan”. As we walked through the gardens, I was in awe of my surroundings. I ended up sitting on the front steps on the temple that overlooked the gardens. I meditated… I allowed myself peace. Alex sat down next to me, and together we took in the peaceful surroundings. Next thing I knew Alex pulled arorund his backpack (I suspected nothing, and I thought he was getting out our guide book), and he pulled out a box. He then talked to me for a few moments and got down on one knee. I was so incredibly happy, but my mind was not registering words. I couldn’t scream or jump around because we were in Buddhist temple, so all I could mutter out was “YEEEEEEEEE” with two thumbs up. He brings out this gorgeous ring that he designed himself with his grandmothers diamonds. I was humbled, honored, and outright EXCITED!

After all of this time, who would have thought that we would be spending the rest of our lives together. I am lucky enough to marry my first crush and now my best friend. Our life has always been full of adventures, and I cant wait to see what new ones we take together. In March 2018, we will begin our journey to London for our honeymoon!