Alex Rose and Milena Costa get engaged

Can you imagine talking through Google Translate for the first six months of your relationship?

A first date is often awkward and nerve-wracking, without having to watch as the other types into an app.

Yet that’s how Alex Rose of Yass and Milena Costa of Brazil, both aged 29, conducted their modern courtship.

A ‘selfie’ captured the special moment Alex proposed to Milena during a holiday in Chile.

PERFECTLY TIMED: The moment Alex proposes to Milena. Photos: Alex Rose

PERFECTLY TIMED: The moment Alex proposes to Milena. Photos: Alex Rose

Now, after three years of travelling between continents, visa issues and months of not speaking the same language, the happily engaged couple are set to create a life together in Yass as Milena has been granted a visa to Australia.

A ‘selfie’ captured the special moment Alex proposed to Milena during a holiday in Chile. The holiday was one of many meet-ups that helped the long distance relationship endure.

Almost three years to the day since they met, in Chilean capital of Santiago, Alex and Milena were walking a street of the Barrio París-Londres neighbourhood. It reminded them of an earlier time spent in Paris.

“It had cobbled streets, old lamps, and was very beautiful,” Milena said.

UNAWARE: Milena poses for the camera as Alex sets the timer.

UNAWARE: Milena poses for the camera as Alex sets the timer.

It was evening and Alex held the ring in his coat pocket. Milena, unawares, stood under one of the old lamps as Alex set the camera for a picture. This was nothing out of the ordinary, a normal routine for the couple, both avid photographers.

Perfectly timed, caught in the flick of a shutter, Alex walked over to Milena, dropped to one knee and popped the question.

With no internet access, the couple spent the next 24 hours soaking up the magic moment together before sharing the happy news with friends and family.

Alex and Milena originally met in Brazil in 2014. While volunteering at a holiday camp in the country, Alex was invited to join friends at a barbecue at Milena’s house.

After all we’ve been through, we’re good partners already. The wedding is more like a celebration … After uncertainty for a long time.

Milena Costa

The first exchange was simple: Alex thanked Milena for her hospitality and went on his way.

After crossing paths once more, though, they planned a first date. The clause: with no common language, the day would have to be shared through Google Translate.

“Incredibly awkward” is how they described it, exploring a park and feeding monkeys in Milena’s hometown of Uberlandia.

However, a deeper connection had been formed and, a few months later, Milena joined Alex in Europe where he had been backpacking. On a houseboat in Amsterdam, the couple decided to “give it a go”.

After almost two years trying to find a permanent living situation, they have settled in Yass and excited to be marrying in October 2019 or March 2020.

 “After all we’ve been through, we’re good partners already,” Milena said. “The wedding is more like a celebration … After uncertainty for a long time.”