It Started with a Promise & a Kiss, But it was Sealed with an Emerald

Location: Rome, Italy
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our day was spent wandering around the city. The cruise ship was scheduled to leave in two days so we had to ‘pound the pavement’ to make the most of our time in Rome. After dropping our bags off at Hotel Romance we headed out to the streets to grab a coffee and visit the Colosseum. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to wear a T-shirt and shorts. We purchased our tickets from a guided tour (which I typically don’t like to do as my attention span seems to dwindle too quickly)…but for some reason, we made an exception. I’m very happy that we did. The tour was great, guided us through the entire Colosseum and then the Forum up the road shortly after.

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After wandering around for a couple of hours, we were exhausted. We went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and get ready for dinner. The hotel room was classic and extremely elegant with gold trim and antique decor.

Weaving through the cobblestone streets, we aimlessly wandered taking in all of the sights, sounds and smells of Rome. Even though the smells weren’t always the most pleasant, it was still apart of the city and we were on a mission to embody Rome for the next few days.

We found a tiny cafe on one of the side streets where the tables were set directly beside the road. Cars and Vespas sped by us as we enjoyed our pizza and ravioli. After finishing the last sip of my cappuccino, we decided to walk home past the Trevi fountain. Shawn was antsy to get going and kept grabbing the pocket of his beige cargo shorts the entire night. I knew he was up to something but couldn’t figure out what.

We had a small map with us but really no idea where we were going. That was the beauty of Rome, you could pick a direction and walk until you came across one of the historical sites that the city had to offer. As we approached the Trevi fountain it was overwhelming as we were swarmed by travellers, children playing and locals enjoying a gelato or cappuccino. As we squeezed through hundreds of people, we made our way to a viewing spot of the fountain. Flashes from cameras lit up the area. Bouncy balls, yo-yos and other kids toys were for sale all around. We felt so insignificant in a vast group of unknown people.

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We set out for a romantic evening beside the fountain but moved on from that idea after being surrounded by hundreds of tourists. Don’t get me wrong, the fountain at night was stunning…but we we’re hoping to find a place where we could relax and enjoy each other’s company.
On our walk back to the hotel we walked slowly taking in all of the beautifully lit up buildings while enjoying the moment. It’s times like this when we begin to realize the things that are truly important in life.

Shawn approached one of the guys who was selling the children’s toys and roses and came back with three crimson red roses. We stood across the street from the government building under the stars and before I could blink Shawn was down on one knee and reaching into the pocket of his cargo shorts. He pulled out a tiny black box and inside was a beautiful emerald ring with diamonds surrounding the stone and covering the band.

I was so overcome with joy and excitement that I reached right into the box grabbed the ring and slid it on to my ring finger. I leapt into Shawn’s arms and there we were in our own little corner away from the crowds in Rome enjoying our first moment as an engaged couple.

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… Continue to read on for more information about our time roaming in Rome…

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From Daily Gelato within Reach to Skydiving over Airlie Beach

I’m still not entirely sure if we were seeking an adventure or if an adventure was seeking us. After travelling 1000s of miles we were privileged enough to experience a lifetime of memories within two months.

I will never forget the sounds of the waves as they delicately splashed against the boat while it rocked us gently back and forth. I will never forget the way the stars twinkled through complete darkness and lit up the sky while we cruised through the middle of the ocean. I can still taste the fresh salty air that hit my lips as I walked the top deck. This was truly a vacation of a lifetime and I will forever value the bond that Shawn and I were fortunate enough to have formed while exploring the world together.

I still go back to the day we approached the airport after an afternoon of hugs, goodbyes and tears. There we stood in the middle of a whirlwind of people all travelling for different reasons. Everyone kept moving while we stood still. It was as if we were in our own tiny bubble while the world kept whizzing by us. I don’t know why it was such a dramatic goodbye. Maybe it was because our families knew that Shawn had something up his sleeve (or buried in his carry on), or maybe it was because we were finally taking that leap and going off on our own to experience the unknown.

Where did we begin? Like all great romance stories, our journey began in Italy. And yes, it was completely like the movies. Romantic walks through dimly lit cobblestone pathways while music and laughter filled the streets. Shared spaghetti and a delicious glass of Rose became the norm for our dinner time routines. It’s true what they say, “travel is the only thing that you buy that will make you richer.”

Where did our journey end? After getting engaged in Rome, sipping a Singapore Sling at the Raffles hotel, riding camels in the Wadi Rum desert, rafting in Bali, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef and skydiving in Airlie Beach, it was time to head back to reality.

…Read on for everything else in between…

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Wandering the World, One City at a Time…

Welcome to my blog! Thank you for joining my husband and I as we travel our way around the world. Since 2007, we have been jet setting, cruising, hiking and road tripping our way through a variety of different cities, countries and adventures. In 2011, we decided to take a risk and sell our house and leave work for a couple of months to travel from Europe to Australia by cruise ship. Having these experiences has allowed us to significantly grow and develop a thorough understanding of how beautiful our world truly is! These trips have also ignited our passion and love for traveling.

Here’s a list of the places that we have traveled to…so far…

North America
Canada:
– Ontario (Currently, we live in New Hamburg, ON)

United States:
– California (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara) Road Trip along Highway 1
– Nevada (Las Vegas)
– Colorado (Denver, Morrison, Colorado Springs)
– Ohio (Cleveland)
– Florida (Ft. Myers, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Clearwater)
– New York (New York City)
– Michigan (Detroit)

Caribbean:
– Mexico (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Mayan Riviera)
– Jamaica (Kingston, Montego Bay)
– Bahamas (Nassau)
– Bermuda (Hamilton, St. George, Flatts Village, Somerset Village)
– Dominican Republic (Punta Cana)

South America:
N/A so far…

Asia:
– India (Mumbai, Cochin)
– Indonesia (Bali)
– Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
– Singapore
– Thailand (Bangkok, Ko Samui)
– Vietnam (Ho Chi Min City)

Africa:
– Egypt (Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor, Safaga)
– Jordan
– Oman (Muscat)
– United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

Europe:
– Greece (Athens)
– Turkey
– Italy (Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Civitavecchia)

Australia:
– Darwin
– Cairns
– Airlie Beach
– Sydney

…On to the next adventure