He was devastated twice on The Bachelorette and had a summer fling on Bachelor in Paradise, and now Nick Viall is looking to find a love that lasts as The Bachelor‘s latest leading man. Read his exclusive blog for PEOPLE every week and follow him at Twitter, @viallnicholas28!
You know what they say: There’s no place like home! And I couldn’t have been more excited to visit these four hometowns of such unbelievable women. So much had been leading up to this week, I couldn’t wait to see where these women came from and meet their loved ones that shaped who they are as people.
First stop: Hoxie! Home of the girl with all the moxie!
I’ve always been attracted to Raven’s ability to live in the moment and have fun. I was so excited to spend the day in Hoxie and Raven didn’t disappoint. When she rolled up on that ATV, I knew I should prepare for a down and dirty day. Raven sure can ride, but I think I was able to show her a thing or two on there and had her beat.
Now, it was pretty hot to make out in the pond, but OMG was it gross. I was going for a sexy The Notebook vibe, but every time we went to kiss it was like half the pond was in our mouths. When the police rolled up at the grain bins I was freaking out! Never in my life did I think the first family member I’d be meeting would also be trying to arrest me. I kept thinking, My only crime is being head over heels for your sister! But Weston was funny and warm just like his sister. And even though two minutes earlier he was trying to arrest me, I felt more comfortable in going to meet Raven’s parents.
Heading into that evening I couldn’t have been on a bigger high, but then her parents broke the news. I was truly blown away with the news of Raven’s father being cancer-free. What an amazing blessing. I felt so honored to be with the family as Raven was given this news. I remember sitting there in that moment, the room filled with so much love an emotion. It is moments like that one I shared with her family that helps you remember what is important in life. I remember sitting there thinking that if I were to build a family with Raven one day, we would be lucky to have the bond that she shares with her own.
When I said goodbye to Raven I could tell she was holding back a little. I know in her last relationship there was broken trust and it is hard for Raven to open up and allow herself to be vulnerable. None of that changed how great our time in Hoxie went, but I did fear a little that maybe she couldn’t get there with me.
Everything is bigger in Texas! And my feelings for Rachel certainly match that phrase.
Rachel and I had chemistry from the night we met, and she was the one woman who consistently made me feel like I could always 100 percent be myself. I’d also been looking forward to this hometown visit ever since our first one on one in New Orleans. Rachel could have planned anything and I knew I’d have a good time … but I never expected to go to church! But I’d never been to a service like this one before. Church with Rachel was such an amazing experience. Her church is full of life and energy, it was an amazing community, and one I felt so welcome in. It was really cool to be a part of something so personal for Rachel. Also I have to admit I said a little prayer in the hopes to impress her father, Judge Lindsay.
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As Rachel’s brother-in-law Alex stated, I indeed am a white. But from day one, I’ve always been attracted to the woman Rachel is regardless of the color of her skin. I think the two of us have always focused on who each of us were on the inside and our chemistry. But as Rachel’s sister Constance said, we do live in a climate where race is a topic. I really appreciated how candid Rachel’s family and I were able to be while discussing race, but I think it was clear to everyone that what we felt for one another was the only thing we cared about.
I had an absolute blast meeting Rachel’s family. Something you didn’t see was me meeting Rachel’s father. I completely understand and respect that Mr. Lindsay couldn’t be a part of filming – but we did speak at the end of the evening. He was very intimidating! I mean he is a federal judge, a man that I’d be proud to have as a father-in-law, and I can see where Rachel gets her character from.
RELATED VIDEO: The Bachelor‘s Corinne Olympios Shows Nick Viall Her Hometown
Time to turn up the heat, because it’s time to talk about Corinne’s hometown in Miami!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Shopping will NEVER be the same! Corinne decided to open up her world of clothes and fashion, and I’ll never look at my clothes the same again. Trying on clothes with Corinne felt like a romantic comedy movie montage. Not every look was working for me – but man did I have a great time. Personally there were a pair of green horsehair shoes that I was very into, but Corinne put the kibosh on those. I’m pretty sure we settled on the best look, but I’m not kidding that I broke out in hives when the salesman ran that credit card.
The moment Corinne told me she loved me was really special. We have come such a long way from that first kiss the night we met. Corinne is wild at heart but sometimes doesn’t allow herself to be vulnerable. Knowing how Corinne felt made me so much more excited to be meeting her family.
Walking into Corinne’s home it became instantly obvious this was her family without a doubt. The energy and cries of love that broke out was what Corinne shares with me daily. So much had been leading up to meeting the people that raised this fun and charming woman, and they’re exactly as I imagined! Right off the bat, this family made me feel welcome and had me laughing right away. I also want to go on record that Jim’s olive really was one of the best I’ve ever had. Corinne’s parents were welcoming and very easy to talk to.
When I finally sat down with the famous Raquel, it was like meeting a hero from a novel. This woman has been such an important person not only in Corinne’s life, but a huge part of her family’s. I left Miami feeling welcome, knowing exactly how Corrine felt about me and looking forward to what lay ahead.
The week of hometown dates had been going so great, and last but not least I headed up north to Montreal to see Vanessa!
I’ve always been so impressed with what Vanessa does for a living, and I was really happy she decided to take me to meet her students. The welcome we received from her school was unbelievable. The profound difference that Vanessa makes in these peoples lives is really touching, I couldn’t help but become emotional. It was so great to sit in her classroom and be a part of her daily life with her students. Her class couldn’t have been more welcoming and props to the students for letting me bend the rules and steal a kiss from Vanessa during class. To see her in her element was impressive, and I was blown away with how special she is. But the love I saw that surrounded her at school was doubled the moment we walked into her family’s home.
Vanessa has talked about her family since the night we met, and I’ve been so eager to meet this big Italian clan! The moment we walked in I was hit with smells of rich food and the sound of people talking quickly in Italian. What a feast! Vanessa’s family was quick to welcome me into their home and feed me almost immediately. Lucky for me I come from a pretty big family so I felt right at home. Sunday lunches are a tradition for Vanessa’s family and something I continued to think I could get used to.
I visited both family homes that evening, Vanessa’s mom and dad’s. I know the divorce was really hard on her, but it was so clear that there was no lack of love. I respected the concerns and tough questions that each family member presented. I certainly understand the fear that her loved ones shared. I wish I could’ve had more answers, but this journey is complicated. I think that leaving that night it dawned on me that there are so many more conversations Vanessa and I needed to have. I just hoped Vanessa wouldn’t lose sight of what we had.
Visiting all four hometowns was a phenomenal week for me. I felt like I really got to know these women in much deeper ways. It was tearing me up inside that I had to say goodbye to one of them. I was still going over every detail of the past few weeks in my head when I heard a knock.
Opening the door to Andi was absolutely shocking. No part of me could fathom why she was there. What could she possible want or have to say? The last time Andi knocked on my door she broke my heart. With such uncertainly going into the rose ceremony and how I felt this could all end, I was terrified. Catch up next week to find out exactly what went down.
Thanks for reading,
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.