Jessica and Phil's Incredible Hiking Proposal in Norway

How We Met

Phil and I are both from Long Island, NY, and we initially met at the high school we both attended. Although we didn’t have many common friends, we became close during his senior year because our younger siblings were dating at the time! We starting dating in 2006 shortly before he left for college at Penn State University, just in time to attend each other’s high school proms.

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One year later, I also attended Penn State, and we created many fond memories together – including studying abroad together in Italy, and traveling over western Europe! Our relationship has always been based on laughter, silliness, and (usually outdoor) adventures.

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Towards the end of our college careers, we decided to go our separate ways as we started our professional lives. Although we kept in touch, we took a few years to ourselves in order to grow into the individual adults we were destined to be. Several years later in 2012, we reconnected and started spending more time together in New York City, where we both work at the same accounting firm. After approximately 7 cumulative years of dating, we now live together in Manhattan and enjoy traveling around the country together.

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How He Asked

This summer, Phil and I, along with my sister Andrea and her friend Kurt, traveled to Norway and Iceland to hike in the Norwegian fjords and to explore the glaciers and volcanoes in the “land of ice and fire.” The Norwegian hike which we specifically wanted to tackle was the grueling trek to the famous Trolltunga (aptly named “Troll’s tongue” for the shape of the rock jutting out over the fjord). Due to the advanced nature of this hike (and the fact that we rarely hike), we had trained for several months prior to our trip in order to adequately prepare for the challenge that lie ahead of us. It was an incredibly scenic 12-hour round trip hike, albeit half our time was spent sloshing through 4 hours of pouring rain and 2 hours of a snow storm as we traveled over the mountain range to reach the Trolltunga. The trail was about 75% covered in snow, which was unusual for early August. We had views of high elevation lakes, glacier-tipped mountains, and natural beauty for as far as the eye could see – at points we were walking above and through the cloud line.

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Once we reached the Trolltunga, we made our way out onto the Rock to take the photos which were our prize for our months of preparations. While we were on the Rock taking our various posed photos, Phil asked me to turn around so that he could take a funny picture behind me. I turned back around to find him down on one knee, asking me to be his wife! After nodding and squeaking out a “Yes,” my sister Andrea came to join us out onto the Rock yelling “We said Yes!” and “Philance!” (get it – Phil + fiance?) My sister Andrea is my best friend, and so I quickly asked her to be my Maid of Honor while we were in such a beautiful and memorable place.

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All of the other hikers around us were clapping and congratulating us in various foreign languages – the men especially gave Phil praise for having the guts to bring the ring into the wilderness with him and for picking such an amazing spot to ask the question which would change the rest of our lives.

Reaching the Trolltunga was a personal accomplishment for all of us; Phil proposing to me, after so many years of being together, made the moment that much more special. Getting a “rock” at the Trolltunga rock made the 6-hour hike back down the mountain that much easier!

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To make the hike back down a bit more fun/ridiculous, we decided to take photos with the mile markers in hope that would make the route back faster!

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(Not your typical engagement outfit ladies, but I was okay with that)..

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