She’s found The One! After Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, she embarked on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she blogged about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay and subscribe now for an inside look at their plans to wed (and have many kids) — only in PEOPLE!
I’m sitting here watching the cursor blinking at me realizing this will be the final update I write for PEOPLE. I can’t believe this chapter of my life is over. But I want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to follow my journey and thank you to all the people who took the time to read this. It really means everything to me. I promise I’m not stalling. Maybe I’m stalling a little. Okay, Big Rach, pull it together – deep breath. Here we go.
We were in Rioja, serene, almost perfect and I was sitting with Peter confused in this beautiful place. Peter was tough and his confusion was confusing me. He wasn’t sure he wanted to get engaged, but he knew he loved me and saw a life with me; he just wasn’t sure he wanted an engagement with me. He needed more time and thought an evening in the Fantasy Suite — just he and I — might help him clarify some things. Although I was apprehensive, I agreed because if I’m being real, I needed the same clarity.
The Fantasy Suite with Peter was incredible. We spent the night together in this beautiful little villa, and in the morning he made me breakfast. We opened up to each other, which was so special and important but at the same time, I felt like Peter might just want a really great girlfriend and I had fallen into that trap before. On one hand, maybe that’s okay, to just take it slow? But on the other hand (I think there are too many hands at this point), I didn’t come all this way to find a boyfriend. This is the confusion I felt when I went to see Bryan.
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When I saw Bryan walk up with his big beautiful smile, it was such a 180-degree difference from the prior night. He seemed so sure, which I loved — but also kind of terrified me. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so sure?
Bryan and I had such a beautiful day riding horses. It was such a surreal life experience. When is the next time I will ride horses with a beautiful man through a vineyard in Spain? (Answer: Never!)
Looking back, I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I wasn’t all there to experience it. Part of me was with Bryan but part of me was back in that villa with Peter. When Bryan confronted me about acting weird, it was a little scary. The best part about Bryan is that he can see right through me, but it’s also terrifying to be that open and transparent. But I’m of the mindset that the best things in life should scare you a little.
So I went into the night of the Fantasy Suite a little confused and torn, that did not rock Bryan one bit. He was so sweet, and perfect, and steadfast in his conviction. The next day I woke up feeling great, it was a beautiful day but I knew there were more storms on the horizon.
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The rose ceremony was one of the most difficult days of my life. I decided to send Eric home. He is so amazing and wonderful, but in my heart of hearts I just knew that he wasn’t the person for me.
It came down to two: Bryan, the hopeless romantic who knew what he wanted, and Peter, the pragmatic optimist who wanted to make sure he 100 percent knew what he wanted. Such different men.
I met Bryan to explore Rioja, in a hot air balloon. Bryan’s love is a little like a hot air balloon — big, colorful, beautiful and a little terrifying because it’s so high off the ground. He had his arms around me on the hot air balloon and I’m thinking that there could be no more perfect moment but part of me was still wondering how to handle Peter.
For more on Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay’s engagement, including her plans for the future, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
I thought I was sure, until I saw Peter. It’s like sometimes things are so foggy but there are these brilliant moments with Peter, when things will just come into focus. Peter and I explored this beautiful monastery. We talked to a monk, where we got insight about love and what it means to us. Peter answered the monk’s questions nervously about needing to be with someone who you know is perfect for you. There is something about a monastery, surrounded by God, that makes the idea of marriage very real, and I knew Peter was feeling the weight of that.
We were on a balcony and he told me that getting engaged doesn’t scare him but multiple engagements do. This made total and complete sense to me, but, at the same time, in love there are no sure things and sometimes you just have to jump.
After the monastery, I knew what I needed to do, but I still decided I needed to sit down with Peter and talk. We had 24 hours and I needed answers. What you didn’t see is that the conversation we had lasted three hours! He told me he was not ready to get engaged but he was in love with me. Then he said he would give me a ring if it’s what I wanted. But that’s not how marriage is supposed to work. An engagement shouldn’t be a favor — a ride to the airport is a favor.
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Walking out he kissed me, and in that kiss I felt it. I felt that love. It was so real and so special. Watching back, I realize how long it took me to leave Peter. I think that’s because deep down I knew this was goodbye and I’ve never been good at breakups and breaking hearts.
Watching Bryan picking out an engagement ring really filled my heart and affirmed everything for me. To see someone so certain not only about marriage — but about me — just made everything so clear, and I was just certain.
I stood at the top of the hill and watched Bryan walking up, so damn handsome, I almost fell over, my legs and arms were trembling and in my head and in my heart I just heard, “Oh my God, I am going to spend my life with this person.” I could not believe this was happening and the man of my dreams was walking towards me to get down on one and ask me to spend forever with him! Maybe I always knew from the first day we met and he whispered sweet things to me in Spanish.
He stood in front of me and told me all the things I already knew by looking into his eyes. I am so IN LOVE with this man and I reserved those words only for him! I also had trouble hearing him because if you didn’t notice, it was the windiest day in the history of the world. Although a nightmare for my hair, the weather was a nice metaphor for Bryan and I. Despite the winds that blew, we still stand, smiling, hand in hand ready to climb down this mountain and start a new life, a big life, an adventure, a new chapter. I’m so excited.
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The winds have passed and my typing has slowed down. I’m so ready to take on what ever is next. NO. Nix that! WE are so ready. But first, this girl has got to brush up on her Spanish.