Karen and Chi

Image 1 of Karen and Chi-wai

How We Met

We were introduced in 2009 at a club through mutual friends but we didn’t really get to know each other until a summer cottage event and Cuba trip that year. We quickly became friends… but it stayed that way for quite a while. We both loved to try new things, got along well and eventually became really close friends but we were dating other people at that time. It wasn’t until we were both single in 2015 that our relationship started to become more than just friends. After he confessed his feelings, I was still doubtful and hesitant on viewing him as more than a friend. Slowly, he prevailed my three rejections and we started dating. Just as we started, about half a year in to our fresh relationship, I moved away to Seattle for a new job. We decided to try a long distance relationship and travel to see each other every 2-3 months discovering new places.

Image 2 of Karen and Chi-wai

Image 3 of Karen and Chi-wai

From there, we talked about the next step in our long-distance relationship. I’ve hinted to him about a proposal so I knew it was coming in the near future. Our next trip was Peru and I also secretly hoped he would do it at the end of our 4-day Inca Trek at Machu Picchu.

how they asked

On the fourth and final day of the trek, I was getting a little anxious… is he gonna to propose? He acted completely normal during the entire trip so I was doubtful if he was actually planning anything. There was one moment I got a suspicious since Chi was discreetly chatting with our tour guide and I overheard some excitement from our guide. It sounded like Chi told him he is going to propose at Machu Picchu!

Image 4 of Karen and Chi-wai

We arrived at the sun gates to get the first glimpse of Machu Picchu. It was crowded and nothing happened. When we arrived at Machu Picchu, we broke off from our trekking group for free time alone to explore. I thought, “This had to be it!” I waited as we wandered and even sat under a tree… but nothing happened.

Image 5 of Karen and Chi-wai

We were then leaving Machu Picchu and I figured he didn’t intend to propose and maybe was planning a surprise visit and proposal for my upcoming birthday or Christmas. I woke up the next morning knowing we’re heading back to Machu Picchu and hiking the ‘Machu Picchu mountain’ but I tried not to think about a possible proposal to avoid disappointment.

We climbed 1.5 hours of uneven steps to the summit for an aerial view of the ruins. As we climbed, the fog and low handing clouds were blocking our views. My mind was busy motivating me to keep climbing and also hoping the fog would dissipate by the time we climbed up. When we reached the top, the sun was shining and the fog lifted to reveal a spectacular view of the mountains. I felt so lucky to see this view but little did I know what was coming…

Image 6 of Karen and Chi-wai

After taking photos, resting and eating snacks, our friends headed back down and Chi was getting anxious to pop the question. One of our friends Rosanna, stuck around and casually started taking some photos of us. My mind was busy soaking in the views and just being glad to finish the entire hike. Chi told me to face the mountain to take a photo looking out to the mountains. So I posed facing outwards with no expectations.

I turned around and thought I saw Chi tying his shoe lace… I had to do a double take. Yup! He was in fact, on one knee with a ring in his hand and nervously asked me to marry him.

Image 7 of Karen and Chi-wai

Image 8 of Karen and Chi-wai

I smiled and laughed hysterically before saying “Yes”.

Image 9 of Karen and Chi-wai

Image 10 of Karen and Chi-wai

Image 11 of Karen and Chi-wai

It happened so fast… but it was magical and perfect. When I expected it, it didn’t happen and when I didn’t expect it… it happened on top of Machu Picchu with one of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen. I’m so thankful for that.

Image 12 of Karen and Chi-wai

Special Thanks

Rosanna U
 | Shot the photos