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In 1995 I spent a year living in Sydney, Australia and then returned back to my home state of Iowa.  However, for some reason my heart seemed to keep calling me back to Australia.  It took five years, but I eventually moved back to Sydney do my master’s degree and arrived just in time for the 2000 Olympics.  One of my friends, Yayoi—whom I met sailing around the world on Peace Boat a few years earlier—came for the world event. Little did I know that through her introductions my life would change forever and I would come to understand why my heart had brought me back to Australia.  Through a series of introductions and new acquaintances made during evenings out socializing, on the night of the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics I met a boy from my home state of Iowa who had also just moved there.  Even more surprising, while we talked I discovered that coincidentally he was working for the same company as my mom back in Des Moines, Iowa. We met while watching the magical fireworks show over the Sydney Harbor and that was the start of our romance that ended up spanning countries and continents.
Four years later that same guy from Iowa proposed to me on the Greek Island of Santorini on a cliff overlooking the scenic Augean Sea. The next day at the Olympics in Athens we experienced a ‘small world’ moment when we amazingly ran into some Japanese friends from Peace Boat who became some of the first people to congratulate us. We later got married in Maui where we were able to celebrate our special day with friends and family from around the world. I never would have dreamed that I would travel the world and end up meeting and falling in love with a boy from Iowa in Australia and that we would eventually get married and end up—full circle—back in Iowa. We often joke that it’s even stranger that I’d marry an Iowa Hawkeye since I’m an Iowa State Cyclone!  This year we’ll celebrate our 10-year anniversary—our story is truly one of my favorites. I always love when someone asks me, ‘How did you meet your husband?’
Love Down Under

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