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Soap Hub Travel Tuesday: Rory Gibson Finds Love in Paradise

The actor went to Hawaii as a single man and returned happily engaged.

Rory GibsonRory Gibson

Noah Newman on The Young and the Restless has had a complicated love life. Off-screen, Rory Gibson, who plays Noah, sat down with Soap Hub recently to chat about his recent engagement and trip to Hawaii in this week’s Travel Tuesday feature.

Rory Gibson Takes An Emotional Journey

Gibson traveled to Maui, Hawaii as a single man but returned to Los Angeles as an engaged man. While in paradise, he popped the question to his girlfriend, Alicia Ruelas. Find out how Gibson almost didn’t make the trip after suffering a personal tragedy and why he’s happy he decided to go anyway.

Soap Hub: You almost didn’t go on this trip, correct?

Rory Gibson: Yeah. I had bought this trip quite a long time ago. Aside from wanting to take a vacation, I wanted this trip to be where I’d pop the question. A lot of planning and a decent chunk of change went into it, but two days before, my dog Chet passed away after a reaction to anesthesia. It was just a freak accident. The vets were telling us that they hadn’t seen anything like this in six years.

Soap Hub: That must have been so difficult. Our condolences…

Rory Gibson: Thank you. Yeah. But…we talked to friends and family and quite a few people at Y&R. I had to go into work the very next day. Luckily, it was a darker-toned episode, so I was able to get through it. I talked to people there who said you could grieve at home or grieve in Hawaii. People said if I went, it might help raise our spirits. I’m glad we went.

Soap Hub: Had you told people you were going to propose?
Rory Gibson: Yeah. I wanted to keep it hush-hush. I started to tell people that I didn’t think it was the right time. We weren’t in the right head space for happiness. Stacey [Alfano], our head makeup artist at’Y&R, and I were talking. I told her I didn’t think I could do it. But she gave me the best possible advice. I realized the extreme moments of pain and sadness are the times when love is most prevalent. I started to think about this a lot. We went through this wildly traumatic thing together. It was very apparent that it brought us closer.

[Stacey] convinced me to bring the ring with me just so I’d have it. So, I did. Sure enough, as every day passed, it got better and better. We were out in nature and the ocean…we got to this peaceful place that elevated us both. On the second to last day, I woke up and realized this is the right time.

Soap Hub: How do you get something so valuable, like an engagement ring, through the metal detector?

Rory Gibson: I was in a constant state of worrying about the ring being lost or stolen or that I’d mess up somehow. I put the ring in my personal item [bag]. It went through the metal detector. I was afraid [an agent] would go through the bag and say, ‘Oh, this is just a wedding ring.’ I got through that, and the plane ride was fun. When we got to the hotel, I made sure anything she may possibly need of mine wasn’t in my bag. I am putting this ring into the deepest darkest corner I can find in the room. The day of the proposal is when I was most scared. I wanted to have the box with the ring in it in my pocket. But it’s kind of a big box. I was afraid she’d say what are you carrying around? Luckily, she didn’t see it.

Soap Hub: Your experience at cheating certain camera angles at Y&R probably came into play.

Rory Gibson: Yeah. That was probably it.

Soap Hub: So you went ahead with the proposal?

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Rory Gibson: Yes. Our family members loved Chet, and they miss him, but they were thinking about us and wanted us to go on the trip. They were all concerned about our mental well-being and how we’d take this. I’ve learned after losing my dad…if you just sit in the sorrow, it doesn’t make it better. It only makes it worse. Yes, you have to grieve. At the end of the day, you have to find reasons to be happy.

Soap Hub: I’ve seen a lot of TV proposals…In real life, isn’t the ring picked out together?

Rory Gibson: We’ve been together a while…we’ve talked marriage. I went to this company where you can customize your own ring. I realized we had never discussed what she wanted in a ring. How have we never talked about this? Probably because we’re both laid back. I had no idea what she wanted. I reached out to a few close friends who’d either gotten engaged or been married.

One friend, Alexa, told me what she thought didn’t look good when I’d send her ideas. Alicia and our friend Lauren were away at a bachelorette weekend…Lauren said she could get the info out of Alicia without being obvious. Two hours later, I had all the specifics as to what she wanted in an engagement ring. She actually had no idea of her ring size…but when I gave it to her, it was a perfect fit. [Laughs] We got lucky.

Soap Hub: Meant to be. What fun things did you do in Maui?

Rory Gibson: We initially wanted to rest. Then, we wanted to get into the ocean every day. We went to great restaurants. We went to his luau and to this place called Twin Falls. You had to trek through this forest area…there was lush green everywhere. You come across this giant waterfall…we got there, and there was no one there. It was just me, Alicia, and our friends Sage and Alexa. For a while, it was just the four of us. It was cold but serene and peaceful. We were in a great mood. A few hours later, more people started showing up. There was this instant communal sense of camaraderie. It was such an incredible day.

Soap Hub: When you travel, do you prefer to immerse yourself in local culture or plan things out in advance and go to mainstays?

Rory Gibson: I like to get there and figure it out as I go. I stay open to possibilities, and when you do that, you can end up having a lot of fun. Our friend Alexa is an intense planner. She knows we like to chill out…she only planned a few specific events. We took things day by day. [The trip] was everything that I needed it to be. I’m immensely grateful that we went and also to the people who convinced us to go. It all worked out incredibly.

Soap Hub: Going through the metal detector on the way back wasn’t a problem?

Rory Gibson: [Laughs] No, that was all Alicia. She’s telling people, ‘We’re engaged,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, she’s really stoked!’

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. For an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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