Traveling is fun and enjoyable especially when we spend it with people who are dear to us, but it is even special when we do traveling for ourselves. We get a chance to know our own capabilities, exceed our own expectations, meet and know people who we didn’t know will make significant changes in our lives. This kind of significant change is the good kind which our friend, Mai, has experienced.
We had good moments together with a few of our friends, got to know her and her story, and believe me she is happier now than she ever was. God and traveling became her refuge for all the struggles, heartbreaks, and frustrations she experienced. She went on from hiking solo to having a travel buddy and finally getting engaged! And she shares her story with us. Mountains do magic!
“My fiance and I met at the beginning of summer, February 2016. It was my third mountain to hike and my second event with Layag Malaya Backpackers. The Mud Survival event was held at Mt. Romelo last February 02, 2016. He was sitting in front of me inside the jeepney while we’re on our way to Laguna. I have already noticed him since he’s good looking and he has a charming personality. But he caught my interest when I found out that we’re working for the same company and workplace.
A week after Mt. Romelo hike, we had our third event at Mt. Manalmon last February 13-14, 2016 where we celebrated singlehood with our new found friends for Valentine’s Day. That was the beginning of our friendship, and he instantly became my companion since then. We had several dinner dates together at our workplace, and out of town-hiking trips together with our friends.
Then one day, we both decided to join a private event organized by one of our friends at Mt. Batulao (March 5-6, 2016). We spent our day and night with the beautiful view of Mt. Batulao, and at the river of Layong Bilog. Before we left the place, I was hoping that he would reveal his feelings for me. I was in love with him during this time and I was just waiting for him to reach out to me.
We left Batangas with no words spoken from him. While on our way home on the bus, he finally spoke to me about how he feels and finally asked me to be her girlfriend (March 6, 2016). That was the happiest day of my life because I know, this is the genuine love that I’ve been waiting for my entire life.
For almost one year, we continued traveling to places and hiking together as a couple. He became my best friend, my travel companion, my food buddy, and my hiking partner. He is the love of my life.
On February 26, 2017, we went hiking at Mt. Talamitam and Mt. Apayang. I thought it was just a regular Sunday hike for me. I didn’t expect that this date will be significant to another journey for the two of us. By the time we reached the summit of Mt.Apayang, we rested for a while and took photos of the beautiful view and of Mt. Talamitam. He asked our friend to take a photo of us, when I looked at him I saw that he was already holding a box with the engagement ring. He proposed to me, and right away I said “yes”. We became officially engaged at the summit of the mountain where it all started.
The mountains made a big significance in our lives. I think it’s God’s way of introducing and letting us appreciate and fall in love with each other through nature. It’s God’s way of blessing us both for patiently waiting, overcoming the challenges during the time when we were single, and through our continuous faith in Him.”
Chester and Mai will tie the knot in March 2018 and we are all excited and happy for her! She deserves all the love and blessings she has right now from what she has experienced in life. Chester is a God-given gift she has been waiting for. A guy with a love she truly deserves!
So to all you folks who are traveling, love yourself first, enjoy every moment, and love will come running next to you! Also, don’t forget that there is magic in the mountains! Jane and I started at Mt. Daraitan!