Caroline and Ian first met at Knox College. Caroline’s first memory of Ian is of the debate she found herself in with him during a party. In the days before iPhones, they couldn't determine a winner until the next morning, so a $5 bet was made. Caroline doesn't think it is necessary to dwell on who won the bet. (It was Ian)
In the years that followed, Caroline and Ian's paths rarely crossed as Ian graduated from Knox two years before Caroline and both relocated to different cities. It wasn't until they reunited at a friend’s wedding that the two reconnected and Caroline convinced Ian to come visit her and fellow Knox alum Sarah Koenig in St. Louis. In the months that followed, Caroline and Ian began visiting each other in their respective cities quite often. Finally, in early 2010, Caroline moved to Chicago and they officially began dating.
While in Chicago, their shared interest in travel prompted them to start discussing moving abroad for a year. Even though Ian will claim that it was his suggestion, Caroline knows that it was really her who planted the idea of teaching in South Korea. Within six months of her move to Chicago, they both had enrolled in TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) courses and began tutoring students on the West side of the city.
On December 28, 2010, Caroline, Ian and four large suitcases arrived in Seoul. They moved into a small studio apartment that didn’t have an oven but did have a great view of the Samkaksan Mountains. During their year as “Caroline Teacher” and “Ian Teacher” in South Korea, the two made some amazing friends, became regulars at a soju tent and explored the ins and outs of Korean culture together. Even when faced with the challenges of living in a different country, their shared sense of adventure only made their love for each other grow.
At the conclusion of their year in South Korea, Caroline, Ian, and their friends Meaghan and Cathal embarked on a multi-month backpacking trip through Asia. Their trip started in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where they rung in the year 2012. Over the next few months, Caroline and Ian’s relationship was enriched as they traveled through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India and Turkey via planes, trains, boats and rickshaws. Upon their return to the US, Caroline was offered a job in Cincinnati and in June of 2013, Ian drove the 13 hours from Connecticut to Ohio to meet her in their new home. Soon after, Ian accepted a job at Fifth Third Bank and the two settled into their life in Cincinnati.
On Christmas Day, Caroline boarded a flight from Michigan, where she had been visiting her family, to celebrate the holiday with Ian’s family in Connecticut. The next day, after a small snow fall, Caroline and Ian took a walk in the woods behind the Silander home in Storrs. While Caroline quizzed Ian about his childhood antics, they crossed a snowy bridge. As they were nearing the end of the bridge, Caroline was interrupted by Ian, who had paused on one knee, with a beautiful ring and a very important question. Ian didn’t have time to finish his speech before Caroline said yes.