Seven years have past since we met. What began as an innocuous friendship, two fellow freshmen far from home and exploring the freedoms of life at UNC, quickly blossomed into a passionate relationship that carried us through college and beyond. Together we've loved, learned, laughed, and cried. We've navigated university and its challenges, we've taken the first steps in our careers, we've lived near by and worlds apart. And if you are reading this, you've likely played a special role in that process. On July 19th, 2014 we were married in the greatest city in the world (NYC!), and now we are gallivanting around Asia as newly weds, seeking out adventure.
Welcome to our About page! Feel free to scrounge around for all the juicy details and don't forget to subscribe to our blog!
Paul was born and raised in the Wild West (Colorado), and learned the meaning of competition early while battling his twin sister Annie for womb-space. He has the most supportive, loving and patient parents possible in Jeff and Mary Hiatt.
In high school Paul played basketball, table tennis, and practical jokes on unsuspecting peers. Nudged by the Robertson Scholars Program, he ventured east in search of warmer weather and his soul mate (check!).
Paul pursued a BS in Public Health, spending time at both Duke and UNC and traveling as much as possible during his summers. He discovered a passion for early stage technology late in his undergraduate career, and promptly learned web development. He currently co-runs a data analytics company called InfoHounds.com.
Michelle grew up in Frederick, Maryland, a sprawling suburb of Washington DC. Her wit and charm were inherited from her wonderful parents, Jody and Wilson. In high school she was a dancer, the secretary of her class, and prom queen.
At UNC Michelle studied International Studies and Political Science. She was a member of the UNC Rowing Team, worked for (and traveled abroad with) Nourish International, led the Millennium Village Project, and sang in the a cappella group Cadence.
She holds her M.Ed. from Loyola University and is a certified Montessori guide. Her insatiable wanderlust has carried her across 25 countries and territories, and she has recently accepted a job as a Montessori guide in Bangkok, Thailand.
We began dating on March 1st, 2008. Having been friends since the beginning of school, we got to forgo all the boring "get to know you" tedium and skip straight to the good stuff (hand holding). Our first date was the classic dinner and movie combination, Italian fusion at 411 West followed by Hitch. Foreshadowing?
Freshman year was followed by a fun summer house-sitting in Durham (quick shout-out to Diane and Lina!) and a New Orleans adventure. You'll find more pictures of Freshman year (and beyond!) in the Photos section, just in case this illustrated tour isn't visually stimulating enough. And for the truly dedicated, Michelle has insisted that we include a link to one of the music videos Paul made for her while apart for Spring Break. This was the first.
Sophomore year was full of firsts. Michelle made the first of what would become an annual trip to Colorado for Christmas, we celebrated our first year anniversary, and Paul made his first trip to Ecuador for an introduction to the "rest of the family." We also commuted back and forth to Duke nearly every day to visit each other while Paul put in his time behind enemy lines...
Junior year was crazy. We returned from our summer trip to Peru and Ecuador, jumping immediately into overwhelming class and extra-curricular obligations. Settled into the comfortable rhythm of our relationship, we frequently leant each other strength as we encountered perhaps the hardest year of college. But we also squeezed in a fun family trip to Costa Rica, Annie came to visit us in North Carolina, and before heading back to Ecuador for a return visit, we toured the West Coast in Ralphie (the Hiatt RV)!
Senior year saw the culmination of our UNC experience, a tremendously exciting time as we closed a major chapter of our lives and opened another. Knowing we wanted to stay together, we made the difficult decision to move apart in order to pursue our professional ambitions. This was the beginning of our long distance relationship, and a process of emotional maturation that helped us grow together while living apart. Paul stayed in Durham to pursue early stage technology ventures, and Michelle headed to Loyola to pursue a Masters degree in Montessori Education.
The past few years have been a tumultuous and nomadic experience. Michelle ventured from Baltimore, to Chicago, to Switzerland, to Colorado, and finally to Mexico as she navigated her first few years as a Montessori guide. Paul took a crash course in technology and started a company, staying mobile to accommodate extended trysts in Chicago, Colorado and Texas. Our online hangouts forced Skype to reconsider its business model.
Then, on May 10th, 2013, Paul proposed. The proposal is a story for another time (forthcoming on our blog). We were married on July 19th, 2014 in New York City. Since then, we have been living and working in Bangkok, Thailand. If you are interested in keeping up with our adventures, feel free to subscribe to our blog!