Departing a Girlfriend, Returning a Fiancé: The Story of Our Engagement

MontrealAs a teacher, I was anticipating Christmas break weeks prior to the last day of school. As you can imagine, my students, like myself, were anxiously awaiting a much needed holiday. When it finally arrived, I departed the Maritimes bound for Montreal, QC where I would spend part of my break with my boyfriend and his family. I hadn’t seen my boyfriend in 10 days so I was extremely excited to see him and spend my first Christmas with he and his family in Montreal. Like a kid in a candy store, I was wide eyed and thrilled to go on a mini-vacation. It was 4 months prior since I had been on a flight and I was starting to get withdrawal. After 14 months of traveling full time to 22 countries and on 65 flights, I was starting to feel more at home on the road than in my actual home. I felt relief and excitement to get my fill of air travel and big city explorations this Christmas break.


Due to the fact that my boyfriend works for a northern Canadian airline, he is based in northern Ontario, while my job has me residing on the east coast. We are lucky enough that his schedule allows him to come home every 10 days for 5 days at a time, but it’s not ideal that we can’t see each other whenever we want. We somehow (crazily) managed to make it work while I traveled the world on my sabbatical, so I knew that we would make this year work too. We have been able to get through the last 4 months since my returning to Canada, so I was extremely ecstatic when I found out that his employer scheduled him with 8 days off during my vacation (as a teacher, I automatically get two weeks off at Christmas). It would be such a joy to spend 8 days of pure bliss with him in one of my favorite metropolitan Canadian cities, rather than the typical 5 day visit. Not only was it my first Christmas in Montreal with his family, it would be the second Christmas in 5 Christmas’ that we have been able to spend together. Typically, I go to see my family in Nova Scotia for Christmas, while Corey goes to see his family in Montreal (divide and conquer right?). It was always easiest to coordinate that way since we live in between both provinces. I’d go south east, while Corey would go west. There was one year that Corey and I spent Christmas with my family in New Brunswick (that was our first Christmas together after 3 Christmas’ of being apart). In the end, we’d usually spend New Year together and that always suited us just fine. As long as we saw each other and our family it didn’t really matter when. I knew this year would be an extra special one since we planned the holidays the opposite this year.  Christmas in Montreal with Corey and his family and New Year in New Brunswick with my family. Change brings excitement, new traditions, and unforgettable memories. This is a trip I will never forget.Montreal

As soon as my holidays started, I immediately left for Montreal. After arriving in Montreal, I reunited with my boyfriend after 10 days.  With only 8 days, we quickly got settled in and started the tour of visiting family and friends, while spending some alone time together. It wasn’t long before we started seeing those who were looking forward to seeing us. Two days after our arrival, Corey suggested  we spend a day together. I was looking forward to seeing more of Montreal that I hadn’t seen during previous trips. I have been to Montreal countless times, yet there is still so much I haven’t seen. I was keen to visit the Jean Talon Market after hearing so much about it from other travel bloggers. I knew that Corey hadn’t been either even though he grew up in Montreal (crazy eh!?), so I knew it would be the perfect place for us to visit. Corey suggested we visit Mont-Royal, a park with incredible views of Montreal. I had mentioned to him earlier that I wanted to visit Mont-Royal to get some pictures for the blog. I knew our day exploring Montreal would be a perfect one. What I didn’t know was that my perfect day in Montreal would conclude with such a happy ending.Montreal

After doing a little bit of travel accessory shopping at Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC), buying matching holiday pajamas for Christmas eve, and nibbling our way through the Jean Talon Market we made our way to the snow covered Mont-Royal. The weather was much colder than it had been the days prior. It was slightly overcast, with the sun trying to peep through the clouds. At the top of Mont-Royal, there was a winter haze that hung in the air. The previous snowfall covered the trees perfectly and it was picture perfect! I knew it would be a great day for travel photography to show off Montreal on the blog. The walk up to the Chateau Mont-Royal lookout was cold and brisk. I walked quickly alongside my boyfriend, while I complained how much I hate the cold and wished I was in a tropical destination. At times, I covered my mouth and breathed into my scarf. As cold as it was, I couldn’t help but comment on the stunning views all around us on the trail. The snow flakes rested on the tree branches as if being placed there individually. The white haze atop the mountain made it a perfect Canadian winter day. When we reached the lookout point I was left speechless at the view of the city. I immediately started snapping photos of the snow capped skyline. The view was better than I expected.Montreal

I got my GoPro all set up on my XShot to get some pictures of Corey and I with Montreal’s spectacular view in the background. I set up the camera to take 1 picture every second knowing that I could pick out the ones I like best. As I held out the XShot and smiled at the camera with “tourist” stamped on my forehead, I noticed in my peripheral that Corey wasn’t looking at the camera. I looked at him and laughed as I said ‘you’re not even looking at the camera’. That’s when I noticed that he was holding a small box in his hand. I looked down and realized it was a dazzling diamond ring. He then asked me with a relaxed assurance ‘will you marry me’. My mouth dropped to the ground, and my eyes swelled up like melons. I was star struck for I don’t know how long. I remember I kept looking at the ring and looking up at him and then back down at the ring. I was speechless. Shocking I know. It is hard to make a chatty Cathy like me silent. I couldn’t speak. When my voice returned to me, I remember saying “what”, “are you serious”, “how did you do this”. He asked me again with a big smile on his face, ‘will you marry me’. With tears streaming down my rosy cheeks, I stared into his beautiful confident eyes and before I could speak he said ‘you didn’t say yes yet’. Overjoyed, I said “YES”. I also think I said repeatedly ‘oh my gosh’, but he would know best.Montreal

In that moment, he and I were the only ones at Mont-Royal overlooking Montreal on that perfect winter day. I hugged my fiancé repeatedly, while staring in awe at the diamond ring he designed for me. It’s beyond perfect. I was on cloud 9 (I still am), I walked around floating on a cloud not believing what had just happened. I kept asking him ‘is this real, are we really engaged?’. At some point we switched the GoPro to movie mode and I remember looking into the camera with overwhelming joy and excitement and stated: ‘I’m engaged!’. Shortly after, we were being congratulated by onlookers. Walking down Mont Royal, I no longer noticed the cold. What an unexpectedly perfect winter day in Montreal. Montreal is known to be one of the most romantic Canadian cities; now I know for sure that Montreal is the city for romance. My fairly tale has begun in Montreal. Montreal

A winter solstice proposal sounds like the perfect engagement to me. After my week in Montreal, I returned back to Atlantic Canada an engaged woman and a fiancé.Montreal



100 thoughts on “Departing a Girlfriend, Returning a Fiancé: The Story of Our Engagement

  1. Aw ww, what a happy story! I knew Mt. Royal was a good place to visit. Now you will always remember it with such happiness. Congratulations and it sounds to me like you don’t need any suggestions for your bucket list. You will be very busy with wedding plans. However, if you are looking for a nice place for a honeymoon, my daughter tells me Cambodia is great.

    • I am so excited! Now my 2015 bucket list will involve planning a wedding and having a wedding. Thank you for your thoughtful comments! Mont-Royal was the perfect place to get engaged for sure. Now I will want to visit that special place every time I go to Montreal. My fiancé had never been there before so he proposed at a place he heard was beautiful, but had never visited. So funny and romantic at the same time.

      • How exciting! You’re planning a wedding in the mountains on the South Island of New Zealand? Way to show me up! That sounds like a dream come true. I think we will be getting married in the summer/fall of 2015, but we haven’t set a date just yet. It’s really up in the air. We are also toying with the idea of a turquoise tropical destination wedding.

  2. OMG, how romantic. It is the most wonderful when you get surprised with such a question. I am so happy for you!!! Could the change of the year be any better? Congratulations from the bottom of my heart!!! 😀

    • Really? Seems like the time to do it I guess (or the popular time of year). When I brought my ring in to be sized the owner of the store said that 40 rings were brought in after Christmas to be resized. wow wow wow. Thank you so much.

  3. Congratulations! What a romantic proposal! I can’t wait to see all of your wedding plans! I know it will be beautiful! 🙂

      • Word of advice, get married at home but do the ceremony elsewhere if you like. Too expensive to do the paperwork and too expensive and complicated to get out of it if it fails. For example, if you are married in DR, and divorce in another country, DR does not recognize that divorce!!! Check other countries laws. Just a heads up. It’s so complicated getting married elsewhere. The documents you need are ridiculous!

  4. Well Jessica this is wonderful news! Congrats too you both! When is the big day? Where in Canada will you marry and settle? Oh, so many questions? Nosy aren’t we? Not, not really just interested in sharing in he news. Best in 2015.Your Florida USA Friend. Cheryl

    • It is very wonderful news indeed. Thank you so much for your comments.

      Well, since the proposal was a surprise I have no idea when the date will be! We will start planning this month.

      I’m not even sure at this point if we will get married in Canada or in a tropical turquoise destination.

      As for where we will settle, that is also unknown too. I might have to go to Northern Ontario where he is based for the meantime until he gets another job in a large Canadian city. I’m happy to see your excitement.

      Stay tuned.

  5. Congratulations!! Your story is so lovely and the way your fiancé planned the proposal is very sweet. You can feel the happiness from all those pictures 🙂
    Enjoy the wedding planning!!

    • Thank you so much. He couldn’t have planned it more perfectly. It was beyond what I could have ever imagined. I’m so glad you can sense our love and adoration for each other. I’ve never been treated so well!

  6. Congratulation! I’m so happy for you, what a wondeful surprise on your trip. What anbeautiful story, I’m so glad you dexided to share this with us. Again, congratulations, big hug.

    • Thank You, Thank You, Thank You from the bottom of my heart. We are so excited to start planning our wedding and our honeymoon. Yeah, it’s always a toss up to know how much personal information to share, but I wanted to share with the world my perfect proposal.

  7. What we say for the event like this “Allah tamamına erdirsin” . It means “May Allah let you finish to the road for what you set off” it is a loose translation but it pretty what the parayer means. We say this when an event srarted but hasnt finished successfully yet. So wish you complete the occasion successfully

    • Hello brother
      What is Allah tamamina erdisin mean? Is it for wedding/married couple or ensued couple? Is it nikah ceremony or engaged ceremony? Kiny reply

      • It is for couples who are engaged. When one hears the engagement news , we reply the news with this pray. We wish by saying it that may your engagement ends up with wedding.

  8. Congratulations on your engagement! You make a wonderful couple. Wishing that this be just the start of a long and wonderful journey.

    The news of your engagement is certainly a wonderful one. I am glad for you. You’re two wonderful people who make a great couple. Keep loving each other.

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    • Thank you so much! It’s so exciting isn’t it? I bet you didn’t think you would see this on my blog! I am super excited to be planning our perfect turquoise inspired wedding!
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  11. I love your answer stating that no road, ever really ends, therefore no journey is ever complete, but what we learn along the way, is priceless. Congratulations Jess, and to your Fiancee Corey. To stand that distance when you were travelling, and to stay strong and still together, although you are apart for days, is testament to the strength of your relationship. May it continue to blossom and flourish in every way. You appear to be soulmates. The whole post is very romantic and greatly written. Very atmospheric and realistic. Well done xx Hugs

    • Did I say that? haha It sounds so insightful. lol

      Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment and sincere interest in my journey. It truly has been a journey, and I am not saying it to be cliché, but to express the experience I have had. I really appreciate your readership, and online friendship throughout my blogging experience from beginning to now. It was definitely a test to our relationship (traveling on and off for 14 months), but it only made us stronger. It continues to bloom with each and every sunset and sunrise. It’s an amazing thing to find the love of your life and know that that person makes you a better person and completes you. I continue to be blown away. I’m living a movie.

      • Hi Jessica. That’s wonderful. I am thrilled for you. Thanks for your friendship too. It’s lovely. Until I meet the ‘one’ soulmate, I am sticking to being single, forever if I need to. I think your other half should make you happy or happier as you make yourself ,and that you should enrich each other’s lives just by being in it. I am thrilled for you to have this and so much more.

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