Our Engagement Story in Santorini

One Year Engaged – A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was going to share a recipe today until I opened my calendar to see a little note to myself saying ‘one year engaged’ and I realised life’s far too short to be talking about healthy lunches and meal prep. Instead, I thought I’d do a little sentimental update for those who might not know Rich and I personally, seeing as I started L&L while we were long distance.

I’ll start from the beginning. We met over four years ago when I was a Sophomore at University of South Carolina studying abroad in London. I was studying Criminology whilst I was there and it was his minor – so we had a little bit to talk about, but not much else in the beginning. He was bartending at the University’s pub, when a friend of mine (who also worked there) introduced us. Why? I don’t think anyone knows – we couldn’t be more opposite.

I was less than enthusiastic in the beginning but he was prescient and finally I agree to go to Winter Wonderland with him on our first date. It was probably the easiest date I’ve been on, to finding out he’s scared of heights (after we were already on the Ferris Wheel and at the very top) to me pretending like ‘yeah, roller coasters aren’t terrifying, sure I’ll go on it with you.’ The conversation was easy and light and after that night we pretty much saw each other everyday. We practically had to see each other every day though because I was leaving in under a month.

My last day in London we spent the today together with two of my friends and flatmates  – I went and got a tattoo (as you do) as a reminder to come back again. That night we had a huge going away party and after a bit of champagne we decided we would give this a go.

I returned to the States the next day and cried most of the flight home – side note: really sorry to the woman who was sitting next to me and probably thought someone has just died. Thus are long distance relationship began. I wasn’t home a month before I had booked my tickets back to London for Spring Break – it was both exciting and terrifying – it was January and I booked a trip for April, what if we didn’t last that long? What if long distance was just too hard? It was hard. Really hard. But we made it to spring break and it was one of the best weeks of my life. So that was that. We’d make long distance work.

I finished out the next two years at USC and we accumulated a lot of air miles between the two of us. One of us was traveling every 4-7 weeks for TWO years – yikes! I don’t even want to think about how much we’ve spent. So after two years of traveling, I moved countries and we moved in together. Kendall and I packed our bags and I started my MA at University of Westminster. Long distance was finally over…or so we thought.

After 15 months of bliss, approximately one year ago, Rich called me and told me to book some holiday off work because we were going on a trip before I headed back to America. So I packed my bags with no idea where we were heading (apart from, ‘pack a bathing suit’) and off we went. Amsterdam, then Athens and our final stop – Santorini.

Seeing Amsterdam in a Day Athens for the Day Weekend Reads

We got engaged on top of a cliff as we walked the sunset behind a historical lighthouse – and if you remember the above mention fear of heights you’ll know that being on a cliff at all, let alone on one knee was terrifying. It was perfect and I was tricked into documenting the whole thing. It was a happy time, we were engaged! Until reality set in that we would once again be doing long distance now that I completed my degree and was going back to America.

A month later I headed back stateside with Kendall and Rich and I were long distance once again – now for nine months – until I received all my new paperwork and Kendall and I were back to London. So now after years of uncertainty, we’re finally able to say we live in London AND the wedding is just 4 months away which is CRAZINESS!! I guess that means I should probably get to ordering our invitations… 

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

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