5 Questions For The Guy That Traveled To 26 Countries To Make A Wedding Proposal Video
If you’ve used any type of social media the last few days or so, chances are you’ve come across the story of Jack Hyer, the Montana man that put together a 26-country wedding proposal, 4 years in the making (see above), featuring him trouncing around the world, lip-syncing to The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”.
In fact, Hyer’s story has been mentioned everywhere from People, Huffington Post and The Telegraph, and has likely caused many a very uncomfortable dinner for men around the world when confronted by their fiancées about the planning that went into their own blasé proposals.
It all began back on Sept 30, 2010, when University of Montana students Jack Hyer and Rebecca Strellnauer went on their first date. Afterwards, Hyer was so convinced they were going to get married, he wrote in his journal, “I’m going to marry this girl eventually.” He then set about traveling the world, putting together this elaborate proposal video, featuring countries such as Turkey, China and Cambodia.
Fast forward four years, and upon their recent graduation, Hyer queued up the video he had made and showed Strellnauer and their friends at a graduation party (he told everyone they would be watching a “graduation slideshow”). Then, when the video concluded, he came clean with his true intention.
“I’ve been on many adventures. I’ve traveled on elephant, on camelback, hiked to the lowest point on the earth and I’ve gotten to see some of the highest, but the best adventure I’ve had is loving Becca.” He got down on one knee and popped the question. (She said yes, obviously.)
I recently spoke with Hyer by email, and he agreed to answer a few questions for TheExpeditioner readers while doubtlessly fielding a number of other similar requests.
1) You traveled to 26 different countries to make this video. Were you traveling just for fun and decided this would be a fun way to put together a proposal, or were you traveling for another purpose? Tell me about your motivation.
I was traveling for many reasons. This proposal was actually a side project along the way. My first trip was from Israel to London, mainly to learn about the history of the region and meet up with a high school friend. The second trip was to Asia where I traveled from Bangkok to Beijing. My sister graduated college and was going on a graduation trip and invited me.
Lastly, my trip to Africa was a volunteer trip to offer help at an orphanage, mainly teaching English and math. After Asia, I felt I should start traveling with the purpose of giving back. Although it took four years to make, it was actually three separate, seven-week trips.
2) Was it difficult shooting the video? It looks like you were employing the help of lots of strangers. Can you tell me about the process of shooting?
Most of the shooting was done by my sister while we were in Asia and by a high school friend while we were in the Middle East. Occasionally, I was forced to shoot it myself or to ask for help from strangers. I definitely weirded quite a few people out while singing random parts of a song on camera . . .
3) What was Rebecca’s reaction when she saw the video? Be honest, was she a little freaked out that this was four years in the process, or did she simply think you were the most romantic person on earth?
Becca was thrilled, honestly. We have been friends since childhood and knew each other very well when we started dating. After our first date, our relationship became very serious since we already knew just about everything about each other — we basically skipped the “get to know each other” phase.
When she saw the video she starting bawling and loved it. She was actually in a few parts of it; I had been forced to silently lip-sync so she wouldn’t know what I was doing.
4) I take it travel is a big part of your life, do you and Rebecca plan on traveling a lot together in the future? Do you have a trip planned soon with her (namely, your honeymoon)?
Becca and I want to spend as much time traveling as possible. I’m currently looking for international business positions that would allow us to move abroad permanently. We actually were offered a free trip to Belize because of the video, so that will be our next trip. Following that, we have plans to hike the Inca trail in Peru.
5) At last check, the video had over 3 million views on YouTube alone. Life must have gotten quite crazy since it went viral.
Since the video went viral things did get a little crazy. The phone was buzzing off the hook, emails were pouring in and wedding services were offering free stuff for publicity. (Needless to say, I think we’re going to have a free photographer for the wedding.) I’ve taken a few interviews so far and have been contacted by a few talk shows and the producers of The Amazing Race.
It’s been pretty exciting seeing how things have turned out, especially since I simply posted this for my friends and family to see, unaware of the consequences.
Matt Stabile is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheExpeditioner.com. You can read his writings, watch his travel videos, purchase the book he co-edited or contact him via email at any time at TheExpeditioner.com.