“Love does not consists of gazing at each other, but at looking in the same direction.”
I believe in manifesting what you want out of your life. I believe in creating your own path and creating your own outcome to the best of your ability. Since I was 18 years old, I have kept a journal. Journaling helps me through the tough times and assists me in expressing the happiest moments and documenting my goals, fears, dreams and aspirations so that I stick to them and hold myself accountable. When I was in my mid-twenties, I started thinking about my future with a partner and the kind of lifestyle I wanted in a partnership and eventually a family. One day I decided to do an exercise that was inspired by the book, The Secret, which was to write down exactly what I wanted in my future, which included the partner I desired. I wrote down several pages of attributes, characteristics and qualities in the man I wanted. A few of them were extremely specific because I figured, why not? What did I have to lose by being specific? I’m pretty sure that part of my journal entry went something like this:
“I would like a future partner who is well-cultured, has traveled the world and/or wants to travel the world to learn about new cultures and try new foods with me. I’d love a man who is kind, funny and driven and who pushes me to never be complacent. To always strive to be the best version of myself that I can be. Someone who is entrepreneurial and questions the norms of societal homogeneity because he is well-read, well-educated, and knows how to think on his own and devise his own opinions. I’d love a man who enjoys food and my cooking and who lives to eat, rather than the other way around. Someone who will adore my singing and appreciate musical talent and go to musicals and operas with me. I would like a man who is born in a different country and raised in Colorado. Oh, and if he could play an instrument or speak another language, that would be cool. And if he could be tall, that would be great too.”
If at least 80% of them came to fruition, I would be happy. It’s all about the 80/20 rule. However, I got even better. I got over 95% in Sasha! (He doesn’t play an instrument). However, he is all the things I listed, and, can you believe it, he’s a dual citizen born in Russia and raised in Boulder, Colorado!! 6’7″ is a bit taller than I had imagined, but I’ll take it! When I met Sasha and found out that he was raised in Colorado, I got goosebumps because of what I had manifested in my journal so many years ago. I willed him into my life and I couldn’t be more thankful to the Universe (and our friend who introduced us) for bringing us together in this life.
15 months ago, in April of 2016, I went camping with some mutual friends, including the handsome tall man whom I now get to call my fiance. At the time, Sasha and I had only known each other for a few months in a friendship capacity. We were walking alone along a beautiful rugged path in Eastern Washington when he asked me what was on my bucket list. I remember thinking to myself, “wow, what a great conversationalist this guy is!” After telling him my bucket list items (which included extended world travel), I asked him in return and he said without hesitation, “traveling the world, flying a helicopter, and proposing to my future wife in Greece”. Wow! A guy who knew what he wanted and a romantic at that! Very shortly after, we started dating (that last bucket list item may or may not have been a big factor in that decision, ha!) 😉
Here is one of the first photos we ever took with each other on that camping trip in Eastern Washington. Pretty comfortable together already!
This photo is special because this was the trip (our best mutual friend’s birthday in Port Townsend), that we decided we had feelings for each other stronger than a friendship and decided to pursue each other exclusively. It already felt like we had known each other for a lifetime.
This one was taken when we were meant to hike with another friend of ours, but my car hit a massive pothole and we got a flat tire. We didn’t end up getting to hike that day, but it was our first adventure together. And the fact that Sasha successfully changed my flat tire was a pretty good sign! I decided that I would keep him. 😉
Sasha and I both worked in corporate management careers that didn’t seem to suit what we wanted deep in our hearts, which was to travel the world. Two months after we started dating, we had a pivotal moment that would plant the seed which would be the base of our decision for our future path ten months down the road. We were hiking Ross Dam Lake in the beautiful North Cascade Mountain Range of Washington State. As we always do while hiking, we were having deep and stimulating conversations about life and our future. That was when he turned to me and and asked a question that would stick with me for 10 months to come. He said, “what if we quit our jobs and traveled the world?” This question both excited and terrified me. The first thought that came to my mind was, “I could actually see myself traveling with this guy for six months.” The second thought that immediately followed was a realization that it was then and there that I knew I loved Sasha. I knew it was early and we still had a lot of getting-to-know-each-other, but the saying “when you know, you know” is absolutely true. Because we are older and met through our best mutual friend, we skipped many of the niceties and first date awkwardness and immediately clicked. I had decided then and there that it would be my goal to save up as much money as we could, so that we could eventually leave our life in Seattle to explore the world together.
This photo was taken shortly after this decision.
So after 15 months of dating, 7 countries visited, and a whole lot of laughs and happiness later, we are engaged!!! I have never been so sure of anything in my entire life, especially since we both knew we would marry each other long ago. Ten months after the above photo was taken, we fulfilled our dream and reached our goal. We left our jobs (on great terms, with both our employers fully supporting our dream to travel long-term), and here we are in Crete, one of the most beautiful Greek islands, traveling the world for six months. (And as a fun side fact, Sasha has fulfilled all three of his bucket list items now. I can’t remember what my bucket list items were that I mentioned to him, but two of them have certainly been fulfilled (finding the man of my dreams and traveling the world).) It’s a goosebumpy sort of feeling the way everything worked out. It certainly feels like we’re living in our own little fairytale. I love this man more than chocolate (and that’s a LOT), and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together. 💍 ❤️
So in case you’re wondering the story of how Sasha proposed, I’ll be happy to share. However, I should probably tell you that the featured cover photo for this blog is not the actual place where the proposal occurred. 😉
It all started at one of the most beautiful locations on Crete…Elafonisi Beach.
The day was a beautiful one. We strategically arrived around 5:30 PM to have around three hours before the sunset and to have the beach more or less to ourselves. (This is a touristy beach during the daytime, so coming later was perfect.) We found a semi-private cove and settled in.
Perfect for a dip and a snorkel.
Ever since we arrived to Greece I have been waiting on pins and needles because I knew he wanted it to happen here. However, we are in Greece for a total of one month so he really kept me on my toes!
After a snorkel, a nap, a bit of reading, and a walk together to explore the other coves, we returned to our cove where I started to write words in the sand that brought me joy, such as “love”, “health”, “family”, “friends”, “calm”, “tranquility”, etc. He started filming me with the GoPro, which was not uncommon as we have documented much of this trip filming on the GoPro. He then handed me the GoPro and said, “let me add to this.” I knew then that it would happen.
He wrote in the sand (way more slowly than I could bear!), the following words…
I handed the GoPro back to him and went to our towels where his floppy hat was sitting. I lifted up the hat and there was the ring, a gorgeous rose gold sparkling white sapphire. He got down on (two) knees (which made him nearly exactly my height since I was on a bit of a slope and he is so tall! He proposed to me first in English and then in Russian. And, no surprise, I said yes!!! (Actually, I said Конечно), which, in Russian means “of course!” The moment was perfect and one I will never forget.
The sun had just begun to set across a cloudless sky, and with a warm breeze kissing our happy faces, we decided to take some photos and engage in some acroyoga at sunset.
The next evening we had a celebratory dinner with Sasha’s parents, who happen to be on Crete during the same time we are!
We dined at a waterfront restaurant in Chania, a beautiful Venetian-style harbor where the sunset was again spectacular.
We love silhouette photos, and since the background was so stunning, we decided to re-create the proposal for a photo that his Dad took. 🙂
So that, my friends, is our love story. We are looking forward to a lifetime of more adventures, happiness, a family, obstacles, challenges, and overcoming them together. Here’s to love, to manifesting your dreams, and to traveling.
NEXT UP: CRETE ISLAND, GREECE