That's just one example of the many "drama of life" moments that we've been dealing with while travelling. Elsewhere, there've been disagreements, debates, fears, worries, and arguments (mostly minor ones, fortunately). We have a lot of shit to deal with besides this journey, but this blog has always been exclusively about the travel experiences.
With that said, there are times when the journey itself becomes a stage for important milestones in our relationship. Angela and I recently made a big life decision: we're going to get married. We both make each other immensely happy, are comfortable being ourselves with each other in a way that we've never felt with anyone else, and when we imagine ourselves growing old, we grow old together, just the two of us.
Since we came to the decision mutually, it didn't seem necessary for me to propose. We knew it was what we both wanted, so posing the question on one knee seemed somehow redundant. On the other hand, despite not being a very traditional person, I couldn't help but wonder if the marriage would lose something if I hadn't done the sacred deed. What if our future selves looked back and regretted the omission of this amorous gesture? Plus, a little romance never hurts.
So, with only a handful of places left to visit before our big wedding day, I decided I would propose on the Malaysian island of Penang. Originally I'd considered doing it from the summit of an Indonesian volcano at sunrise, but I was worried about the weather conditions: often it's cold and drizzly at such altitudes. The island of Penang, on the other hand, seemed suitably balmy and tropical.
So, we made it to Penang's capital, Georgetown, did some typical touristy things, and then, under the pretence of heading out for some food, I bought Angela a ring while she was napping at our hostel. That was the easy part. Picking a good location was a little trickier...
|Our route by bus from the Cameron Highlands to Georgetown, Penang.|
|Crossing the road from mainland Malaysia to the island of Penang.|
|On our first day we had a brief look around the old, historic heart of Georgetown, but mostly rested since we were tired from our journey.|
|Exploring by night.|
|The next day we went to Little India to seek out some apparently delicious samosas that some friends in the Cameron Highlands recommended to us.|
|There was a lot of really tasty street food along this Ramadan market.|
|Samosa time! We ate quite a few of these over the course of our stay.|
|Many of the streets of Little India are filled with colourful stores selling saris and Bollywood DVDs, with loud Hindi pop songs blaring down the street.|
|More explorations of Georgetown.|
|The charming Armenian Street.|
|Georgetown is known for its street graffiti, and we saw plenty during our explorations.|
|One of the many mosques in the city.|
|Having some delicious Kashmiri curry for dinner.|
|Fortunately we arrived before nightfall, and the orangey-turquoise colours in the sky were perfect.|
|Celebrating with some cocktails on the beach.|
It took a long time for the euphoria to die down. For the longest time we couldn't stop grinning, couldn't stop calling each other "fiancé/fiancée," and couldn't stop admiring Angela's new ring on her finger. Neither of us, when we first came to Korea in 2012, ever foresaw that we would be engaged to the love of our lives in less than two years. We were both so happy with how the proposal went as well, despite me frantically searching for the right location at the last minute! It was a beautiful moment, and we are so happy to be committed to one another fully, forever.
This wasn't the end of our time in Penang. Our friends, Matt and Kimmi, would arrive the next day, and we would spend several days exploring the island with them.