Ana and James
How We Met
Depends who you ask. Ana will tell you that we met in the hallway of our business school during our Accounting graduate program in 2011, but if you ask me, I will tell you that we met on the first day of class. Well, we didn’t exactly “meet” on the first day. My definition of meeting was seeing a beautiful young lady with an open seat next to her so I decided to sit next to her. However, I couldn’t work up the nerves to say anything to her (for almost a month).
With that being said, Ana’s story is the accurate one. I saw that she was having a conversation with one of my friend’s in the hallway of our business school and that’s when I took the opportunity to introduce myself to her. During our conversation, we (I mean she) realized that we had a few classes together. From there, we exchanged contact information so that we could “study” together. To be honest, studying was not my intentions at all but it was definitely hers. A couple of weeks pass by and I ask her out on a date and she said “yes”. At that point, it was the happiest day of my life.
My plans for the first date was the typical dinner and movie but things took a wrong turn. I picked her up but we ended up starting out at a Starbucks because during that time I was in the process of applying for jobs and the application deadline was the same day. I was an idiot for waiting until the last minute. I thought to myself that I had definitely screwed up my chances with her but she sat there patiently and waited for me to finish my applications (btw, it took a few hours). At first I thought she was just being nice and would leave right after but she was still up for seeing a movie with me afterwards since it was a little too late for dinner. When Ana stuck through the whole date with me even after a horrible first impression, I knew she was the one for me.
How He Asked
Since we started dating in 2011, we always talked about wanting to explore the world so once we landed our first jobs in 2012, we decided to take our first trip abroad. That’s when we found our passion for traveling and from then on we’ve made it a point to travel abroad every year. 6 years later we are at 15 countries & counting.
We always knew that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together but it was up to me to officially ask the “question”. I just didn’t know when, where, and how I was going to do it but I knew it had to be something different and somewhere abroad. Now fast forward to the beginning of 2017. We started to plan for our yearly trip abroad and initially we were deciding between Iceland and Spain. However, Ana had always talked about wanting to go to Kenya to visit the Giraffe Manor because of how beautiful the hotel is and also her love for Giraffe’s. She wouldn’t stop talking about this place.
That’s when I knew this was the place I wanted to pop the question. For my plan to work, I needed to convince her that we should go to Kenya instead. It really wasn’t hard to convince her. She said yes before I could even finish asking the question. What we didn’t know was how difficult it would be to obtain a booking (we started looking in May) in August (peak season) at the Giraffe Manor. We talked to several tour operators and many of them had no availability in August that would work with our schedule.
After stressing out for a couple of weeks and almost changing plans, a tour operator finally found a date (August 5th, 2017) that would work with our schedule. I thought it was to good to be true because I knew that making Ana my Fiance had just become a reality. In the months leading up to the trip, I was secretly planning the proposal with the Giraffe Manor manager via email.
The plan was to propose to her during tea time (late afternoon) when the Giraffe’s would come by the Manor for the guest to feed and take pictures. As part of our booking, Giraffe Manor provided us with a photographer, who I ended up implementing as part of my proposal plans.
We arrived at the Giraffe Manor on August 5th, 2017. I was a nervous wreck because I really didn’t know how everything would go. While Ana was getting ready for tea time, I quickly went down stairs to speak with the manager to double check on the plans. He reassured me that everything was in place but I was still nervous! Tea time begins with all the other guests but about 10 minutes into feeding the Giraffe’s, the Giraffe Manor team and the photographer pulled us aside privately along with one of the Giraffe’s to take photo’s. Ana thought that this was just part of photography but this was all part of the master plan. While we were feeding the Giraffe alone, the photographer gave me the thumbs up and that’s when I got down on one knee….and then….she said “YES”!!! The best answer to a question I’ve ever asked. Next yearly trip, destination wedding!