How We Met
Jared and Leah were both invited on a canoe camping trip weekend to celebrate their mutual friend, Spud Marshall's birthday. Jared and Leah hit it off right away. He even helped Leah set up her hammock that night! The next week, Jared invited Leah out to dinner at Kamrai in Lemont. They really enjoyed that first date, but there was a little problem. Jared was working remotely at the time and was planning on moving to South America for six months. It seemed like the spark would end there as Jared flew off to Columbia.
An Unlikely 2nd Date
After Jared left for South America, he and Leah continued to send messages to each other. Eventually, they started setting up video call dates. Towards the end of the summer, Jared was moving to Peru and invited Leah to trek to Machu Picchu with him. Leah was already flying to Miami to meet up with her best friend, Ali, so she decided to just add another stop to her flight and go to Cusco. Their four day trek over the Salkantay pass (15,000 feet) was an amazing experience to share. At the end of the trip, Jared decided to move back to State College, PA and their courtship began!
Falling In Love
In their first year of dating, Jared and Leah traveled to Yosemite for a week and spent six weeks in Europe. They got to know each other more fully while traveling through the Netherlands, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, and Czech Republic. They both love to hike and travel and fell in love while doing both.
In the summer of 2019, Jared and Leah took a vacation to Portugal. On their first day there they took a sea kayaking trip along the coast. As they paddled, they went into sea caves and ended up at a private beach. After they pulled their boat up onto the sand, Jared got down on one knee. He noted that they met while paddling and fell in love while traveling. How perfect to ask Leah to marry him while they were paddling in a foreign country! Leah immediately said "yes!" and they shared a perfect picnic lunch before paddling back. They enjoyed the rest of their week in Portugal on a sort of "engagement moon" before sharing the good news with friends when they returned to the United States.