Nature, exercise, and good chats all rolled into one genuinely healthy activity? It’s no wonder online walking groups have taken off since lockdown.
That’s where Roger Taylor, 28, and Sam Price, 37, first met. Just over a year later, the pair are engaged.
Both joined the Walking in Wales Facebook group in 2021 with the hopes of meeting ‘like minded people’ to go on walks with.
When Sam posted in the group looking for route recommendations, having already completed many solo walks and cold swims in South Wales, Roger replied, and eventually, the pair met up to trek together as friends.
‘I joined the group two months before speaking to Sam, purely because I wanted ideas of where to go and meet fellow outdoorsy people,’ says Roger, a father of two children aged seven and nine.
But it didn’t take long for them to start catching feelings for one another.
‘We were on our own journey, but he’s a funny guy so I stuck around!’ adds Sam, also a mother-of-two and a dental nurse from Abertillery, Wales.
Eventually, Sam and Roger found themselves on the phone to each other everyday, consistently visiting gorgeous locations across the Welsh peaks.
In December last year, they took a special Christmas visit to the Pontneddfechan waterfalls in Glynneath, Wales.
After a year together this September, Roger decided to ask Sam to marry him – at the exact same spot – and Sam ‘gladly said yes.’
‘I had been planning it for months, and knew I wasn’t going to do the everyday restaurant thing,’ says Roger. ‘It’s just not me and Sam and wouldn’t have the same effect.’
He even gave Sam a bespoke emerald ring ‘to represent leaves and nature’.
The pair say they owe their engagement to the Facebook group, as they think it’s unlikely they’d have met without it.
‘We’d spoken about getting engaged but I was not expecting it,’ says Sam, who is planning to be married in 2024.
When Sam shared photos of the proposal on the Walking in Wales group, she quickly racked up 8,700 likes and hundreds of comments.
‘It’s so lovely that people are happy for us,’ she says. ‘It’s just like its own little community, and I want to show my appreciation for the group – it’s amazing to have met somebody through it!’
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