In 1992, I was sailing on a ship, the SS Universe, for a study abroad program called ‘Semester at Sea.’ We stopped in Egypt and I flew to Israel. One night my friend and I met a couple guys in Jerusalem and I had ‘love at first sight’ moment when I met Shalomi. We spent the evening talking and watching a beautiful Israeli sunset over the Holy Land. For some strange reason I had this connection with him and felt our paths would cross again one day… Unfortunately, I had to fly back to Egypt the next day to catch the ship and didn’t see him again, though I couldn’t stop talking about him. This was before the Internet so we wrote a few letters back and forth afterwards but eventually lost touch.
Several years later, while living in Sydney, Australia, I received a package from my parents, which included a postcard from Shalomi asking where in the world I was. I turned the postcard over and it showed a picture of Sydney with a postmark from there, too! It was hard to believe we had been living in the same city this whole time. However, my year in Australia had unfortunately come to an end and I was leaving in a few days. I frantically tried to find his contact details because although I knew he lived in Sydney, I didn’t know how to get a hold of him. Fortunately, we were finally able to connect and reunite and both of us marveled how the universe had brought us together a second time on another continent! While we enjoyed our short time together, he did have a girlfriend at the time and we went our separate ways after that.
Interestingly, my heart would call me back to Australia again, but not for Shalomi. The second time there I ended up meeting and falling in love with my future husband—who coincidentally was from my home state of Iowa and even worked in the same company as my mom (which is an entirely different ‘small world story’ which I love to share!).