A million miles away P.2

Continuation of ‘A million miles away‘…

Me: Safe travels! Let me know when you’re here.

SA Boy: You know it.

Picture he attached upon arrival at airport

SA boy was here, in Canada! It didn’t seem real. We had been messaging and calling one another over Whatsapp since the beginning of February. The thought of finally getting to meet him face to face was incredibly exciting.

He wrote early the next day, saying he was pretty busy with family activities during the day – but could hang out later in the evening for dinner, with the potential of joining him and his cousins afterwards at a bar.

We decided to meet up at 8pm for a late dinner. I was disappointed to learn that he was just going to be having a guys night out with his cousins. That meant we would only have 2 hours together before he had to meet them, but that wasn’t going to put a damper on my evening.

I arrived at the restaurant right at 8, and ran straight to the washroom to freshen up. I awkwardly sat on the toilet for about 5 minutes, eagerly waiting for him to say “I’m here”. However, SA boy didn’t appear to be receiving my messages, and I was developing a pit in my stomach.. thinking that he wasn’t going to show up. Around 10 after I walked out of the washroom back towards the front entrance. As I’m walking, someone stands up from their table and taps my shoulder. Startled, I look over and it was him!

He grinned and showcased the most beautiful dimples I’ve ever seen. He bent his 6’4 stature over to hug me hello. I must have been blushing like a little school girl. Then he started talking…. and my whole body melted. It was one thing to hear his sexy South African accent over the phone, but to have the whole package *ha ha* in front of me, I just couldn’t take it.

Our time together whizzed by. We ordered some drinks and both got the same pasta dish. We were joking around about South African vs. Canadian lingo. Like did you know that in SA, they call street lights robots? Also, trunks here are called boots there! Before I knew it his cousins were writing, asking where he was.

He was quite the gentleman and pulled out his wallet to pay, but I insisted it was on me since he was a guest in my country. He then walked me to the subway. It was so cute… his teeth were chattering the entire walk over (they don’t get snow in SA, and the coldest it ever gets is about 5 degrees). I looped my arm through his, joking around saying I’d keep him warm. He clearly took that as an opening to place his arm around me and pull us closer together.

When we got to the subway, he ordered an Uber and we talked about potentially meeting up once more the next day before I left to go out of town. I looked up at him, our eyes locked, and like out of a fairy tale, we kissed. I completely blocked out the people walking around us – and soaked in those next 2 minutes before he had to go. He was an amazing kisser. ;)

We tried to meet up again the next day, but sadly the timing didn’t work. We agreed that when I go visit there, we would have more time to spend together.

I’m trying to stay realistic. He lives half way around the world. July is also a fair time away. I’ll keep my search going in the mean time, but rest assured there will most certainly be a part 3 to this story. Potentially part 4, if this fairy tale has more chapters.

A million miles away

Well it’s already two months into the new year, and I’ve only had one or two potential matches. None of which were exciting enough to report. Until now…

This year marks my mothers 40th year since she immigrated to Toronto from South Africa, so we felt it was the right time for us to go visit as a family and explore the part of the country she grew up in. So in a few months, we will be flying almost half way around the world (a total of 21 hours to be exact)… for what I’m sure will be quite an emotional and exhilarating trip.

As we started looking into our trip a month ago, I had a crazy idea: why not see what the guys are like in South Africa? So I hopped onto JSwipe, changed my location setting, and low and behold was presented with a few dozen new profiles of Jewish South African hunks. I knew my chances were slim of getting matched with any of them as they could see I lived so far away — but still swiped right on a few profiles.

The next day, I got a match! SA boy looked absolutely dreamy in his photos — beautiful dimples and the most perfect smile. You know you’ve matched with a guy from Africa when he has profile pictures with parrots on his shoulders and elephant trunks wrapped around his body.

SG (Suburban Girl): “Want to be my tour guide when I come visit?”

SA Boy: “Sure! Gladly.”

SG: What do you for fun in SA?

SA Boy: “You mean when not racing cheetahs? ;P There’s plenty to do, but like anywhere in the world we spend way too much time watching series.”

We started bonding over several TV show series, and he told me about all the romantic things we could do in SA when I came to visit — like going surfing and watching the sunset on the beach. I was already swooning. Fast forward a few messages later…

SA Boy: “Ironically, you might be the one being the tour guide first! I’m actually going to be in your city for a wedding in March.”

I couldn’t believe it. Of all the men I could have matched with in South Africa… he was already planning to come visit here for the first time — for his cousins wedding! I leaped in excitement.

Despite the 7 hour time difference, we’ve been managing to write lengthy messages back and forth to one another. The more I’m discovering about him, the more excited I am about meeting him in person. The countdown is officially on until we meet for the first time. Of course the reality is that he does live so far away, and it’s truly a fairy tale to think that it could end up working out and one of us moves to live with the other person. However, I am truly a romantic at heart, and you never know where life will lead you next.

What are your thoughts? Would fellow romantics route for this to go somewhere?

Hold tight for part 2 of this story.

The Spicy Israeli Soldier

A few weeks ago I departed on a 10 day organized trip to Israel with 39 other Jewish young adults. The thought of traveling without my family or friends for the first time was daunting, while at the same time extremely liberating. It was an opportunity for me to develop a deeper connection with my Jewish roots, and challenge me to go on an adventure so far outside my comfort zone. I was also somewhat optimistic to connect with a nice Jewish boy to bring home to mom and dad. ;)

The first day or two of the trip was extremely exhausting; especially finding it difficult with the time zone change and lack of sleep. We were all running on adrenaline to get through the action packed days.

By day 3 or 4 – I unfortunately had to write the majority of guys off my list, as they were either in a serious relationship or had already hooked up with two or three girls. From the short remaining list – there was one in particular that I was really into. We sparked up conversation here and there, and it sounded like we had things in common. However, he seemed a bit more reserved and shy so I mainly stuck to hanging out with the girls I connected with.

On day 5 – we had a group of Israeli soldiers in the IDF join us for the remainder of our trip. Most of them were close to the end of their mandatory service period and were given the opportunity to travel their country with our group. As we shook hands with all of them, I was surprised to see that one of the soldiers looked a lot like my ex-boyfriend, so of course… he immediately caught my attention.

The following day we all had a long bus ride to the Judean desert. We arrived and got settled into the Bedouin tents. I still had to pinch myself, thinking how unbelievable it was that I was actually in the middle of a desert! When the sun went down we all went star gazing, which was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life. While walking back, the IDF soldier I had been eyeing approached me, and we struck up a conversation. When we arrived at the tents, there was a bonfire going and he asked if I wanted to join him. I had butterflies gathering in my stomach, and happily accepted his invitation.

Over the next few hours – we continued chatting by the fire and it truly felt like there was no one else around us. I was so interested to learn about his life, and in return he seemed to want to absorb every little detail about mine. He was so open to telling me about his position in the Israeli Navy – specifically the submarine unit. Considering his first language was Hebrew, I was pleasantly surprised that there was hardly a language barrier. Hearing all the IDF soldiers share their stories around the camp fire made me gain such a deep appreciation for what they do to defend their country.

Over the days that followed we continued to get to know one another. We had a magical evening in Jerusalem where a replica of the Eiffel Tower was the backdrop to our first kiss.

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 12.03.42 AM

We walked around the markets where he bought me an army beret to remember him. Afterwards, we met up with the rest of the group and went to a nearby club. It was overwhelmingly jam packed – but once we ordered drinks and found a spot to dance – all of us had the most incredible time. My soldier and I were grinding against one another in the middle of the dance floor, and somehow or another we ended up dancing on top of the tables with the rest of our group. Meanwhile I saw the other guy I liked in the corner of my eye – and he seemed to be getting closer with another girl on my trip. One might I add that was the polar opposite of me personality wise, and was surprised he would be interested in her. It was a little frustrating knowing that he might of been a better long-term match – but my mind was focused on living in the moment with my soldier.

We all got back to our hotel at around 1:30AM. I didn’t want the night to end with him so he kicked his two roommates out for a while. He shut the door and played some Israeli music. We shared a beautiful night together – one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

The time arrived when we had to say goodbye to all the soldiers – which was hard for me. Luckily, being the sweet and incredible guy my soldier was – he promised to come by the airport to see me one last time.

True to his word – there he was, waiting while my group checked in our luggage at 3AM. Once he finished hugging the rest of my group goodbye, he came to me and in the little time we had left together, we shared one last passionate kiss.

Upon my return home – we were still writing to each other quite frequently. Maybe once every day for the first few days. After a week, conversation started slowing down. Although he has plans to come visit here in a few months once finished with the army, I know that I just can’t do long distance.

Overall – the trip was eye opening, inspiring and an absolutely incredible adventure. Hoping there will be more exciting adventures to share soon.

(Everything I Do) I Do It For You

About a month ago I told you about Advertising Boy. Since then, we exchanged phone numbers and have been texting each other frequently. We constantly smile and make small conversation as we pass each other at work and occasionally sit in the kitchen together for lunch.

About a week after we started texting – I asked if he wanted to step out for lunch with me to go to a farmer’s market across the street from where we worked. He said yes! Despite the rain downpour that arrived soon after we got there – we had a nice time! I learned we both enjoyed live music, had similar family values, career goals and aspirations. He had the most gorgeous smile which I couldn’t stop melting over every time I looked at him.

That same week – a co-worker had sent out an all-staff email letting us know there would be a free Bryan Adams concert in our city on July. 23rd. It was first come first serve for the seats – so I immediately texted AB asking if he liked Bryan Adams and sure enough he said yes, and that he’d love to go see him.

The day of the concert arrived and I was a bundle of nerves, at the same time very excited for our “first date”. We had to be at the venue for 7pm. Both of us had to stay late at work to finish up a project – so we left together at 5:45pm. We decided it would be better to go to a mall close by the theatre and grab something from the food court (as that way we would get our food quickly and make it to the concert in time).

We arrived at the venue right at 7pm and took our seats in one of the 4-seater boxes to the right of the stage. We probably had one of the best seats in the house.. not to mention it was very romantic being in such a small, private section. It was one of the most incredible concerts either of us had been to. Bryan Adams was amazing, and we sang along to each and every one of his songs. When he started playing (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, we got a bit closer and our arms and legs were touching. We looked over at each other and smiled.

After the concert he asked if I wanted to go grab a coffee but it was already half past 10 and I knew it would take another hour to get home (and we had work the next day). He walked to the subway with me and once we got there, we both said we had a really nice time and we gave each other a really nice hug goodbye. There was a second there I thought he’d go for a kiss, but the hug was good enough for me. He told me to text him to let him know I got home safe.

I just got home! Thanks for a great evening. :) Had so much fun.

AB: That was fun! I had a great time as well. So mad its over haha. Okay gnite see you tomorrow!

Night!!

The next day at work – my co-worker that had sent out the email about the Bryan Adams concert came up to my desk and asked if I had a nice time. I looked at him and said yes, I did. He then proceeded to tell me that he saw AB and me together. My jaw dropped. I said we just went as friends and he replied..

Whatever you say. *wink face*

The truth of the matter is that we are still just in the “friend” phase, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s almost better to start it off as a friendship and see where it goes. I can see he still checks his OKC page.. as do I… so I’m not getting too excited just yet. Definitely feel it’s off to a good start though!

Should I be ‘Game’?

Over a month later, and I finally have an update on Zach, the guy I met through LinkedIn! If you haven’t read about him, take a quick read over ‘Business Meets Pleasure‘ and ‘Post Valentines‘. I followed your advice, and stopped wasting my time pursuing him. About a week later, he reached out to me again – which I found very interesting. Since then, we had been writing back and forth every few days.

Friday night, I casually asked Zach what he was up to this weekend. He told me he was free Saturday night, and asked if I wanted to go out. I was pretty excited that he asked, although I knew my expectations shouldn’t be very high. I suggested going to Dave & Busters, which was very appropriate as we were both gamers – and knew it would be a place for us both to relax and have fun.

Zach picked me up at 8pm last night and I felt sparks flying as soon as I got in the car. When we got to D&B’s, we went to the restaurant/bar area to grab some food. Conversation flowed pretty smoothly. Zach told me how he mentioned to some of his friends how he met a girl off of LinkedIn, and they responded, “how can you get a date off LinkedIn, when I can’t even get one girl off of Tinder?!” I couldn’t stop laughing.

After dinner, we proceeded over to the games/arcade room.

As soon as we walked in, both of us turned into giddy school kids. I ran over to the first game I saw, where you had to hit a button 3 times and if you landed on ‘7’ each time, you won the ticket jackpot. Sure enough, on my very first game, I WON THE JACKPOT!! I couldn’t believe it. He seemed pretty impressed, which was one of my goals for the evening.

We played a good hour and a half of games. He creamed me at Guitar Hero, but I creamed him at Mario Kart. Once we ran out of points, it was time to go over to claim our prize. For 860 tickets, Zach picked out a blue pucker fish for me, which we named ‘Lorenzo’.

We headed back to his car around 11:30pm. Zach warmed up the seats so it was nice and toasty – and to top it off he started playing Spanish tunes from his iPod which was incredibly sexy. I suggested we go to a Tim Hortons in my area. When we got there, the parking lot was pretty vacant. He parked, and blasted the music a bit louder, and started singing along to it. I was more than a bit mesmerized, and just lay there staring at him / stupidly grinning / trying to remain somewhat sexy and flirtatious myself. He then looked over at me and asked what I was thinking about. I told him way too many things were running through my head and asked what he was thinking.

Zach: “I’m thinking… that you should kiss me and then we’ll go and grab some Hot Chocolate.”

At that point I just went for it, and I’ll tell you… it was definitely worth the wait. ;)

A good half hour later, the conversation started getting a bit deeper (past relationships, sexual experiences, etc.) which started making me feel a bit uncomfortable. I could tell from what Zach was sharing with me that he had quite a bit more ‘experience’. We were pretty honest with one another in the car, and he made it clear that at this point in his life he wasn’t ready to jump into another relationship. When he first said it, I was a bit disappointed. However, I appreciated the honesty. He told me he was really enjoying spending time with me, but it was my decision whether to go any further (knowing for right now it would just be harmless fun or friends with benefits).

He dropped me off back at my house around 12:30am and kissed me goodnight. All of last night my brain was floating in a million directions as to what I should do. On one hand I think it’s important to gain sexual experience and go with the flow. He’d definitely be a great teacher. On the other, there’s always the fear of getting too attached / risking your heart getting broken. Your two cents?

Business Meets Pleasure

Since my last blog post – I have been busy working on the vector character for the guy I met on LinkedIn – Zach. It was a project completely out of my element, as I have never before designed a Dragon Ball Z type character. However, I was excited to take on the challenge.. especially for him! As soon as Zach e-transferred me half of what I quoted him – I got straight to work.

The first few days were frustrating. However, by Day 4 I got to a stage that I was pretty satisfied with. So I sent the initial design to Zach to review. He wrote back saying it was coming along nicely, although it didn’t quite look like him.

I thought… this is a perfect opportunity for me to ask to meet up with him. Why? So I can get a better ‘visual’ of him to translate his features into the character. So I went for it and sure enough – he was open to meeting up. We made plans for tonight, 8pm, at a local coffee shop.

The day had finally arrived, and I was a bundle of nerves. I could barely get through work today as my stomach wouldn’t stop turning and my heart kept racing at the thought of meeting him. I kept saying to myself.. calm down. Don’t get your hopes up. He may be seeing someone / this could just purely be a business meeting and nothing else. Still, I couldn’t help the way I was feeling.

I parked near the coffee shop at 8pm sharp and walked inside. He walked in a few minutes after me, as I was taking my jacket off. I think my nerves tripled, and my heart was literally about to burst out of my chest. He was just as handsome as in his pictures – tall, dark and handsome, with the most gorgeous greenish-blue eyes.

Zach extended his hand to shake mine and afterwards we put our jackets down. He suggested we grab a hot drink to warm up from the incredibly cold weather outside. We walked up to the counter to place our orders. Once I asked for my tea, the woman behind the counter asked if we were paying together – and he said yes.

Me: “No, you don’t have to. I don’t feel right about that.”

Zach: “Don’t worry – it’s all good. You will just have to take me out for a steak dinner next time”.

At that point, I felt like this was certainly more than just a business meeting.

My nerves started calming down once we sat back at our table. Conversation flowed so smoothly, as if we had known each other forever. From what started off as laughing about how this was both our first ‘LinkedIn’ meet up, turned into talking about what videos games we liked, our family backgrounds, places we’ve traveled to and our favourite food items. An hour in and I was pretty infatuated with this guy. I intuitively felt he was reciprocating those feelings towards me.

We started talking about different languages we spoke, and he told me he could also speak Spanish.

Me: “I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish. Maybe you could give me lessons?”

Zach: “Definitely. If you teach me how to use Photoshop.”

Me: “Deal!”

Around 9:30pm, I reminded him about the designs I had brought to show him in the first place.

Zach: “Oh, I almost forgot about that. *checks watch* Wow, it’s already 9:30. That hour and a half went by fast.”

I lit up and tried to hold in my excitement. For the next 20 minutes we went over the designs and we pretty much were on the same page with how it should be finalized.

10pm arrived and the lady who had served us behind the counter came over and said: “Sorry, but we are closing”.

I looked around and noticed that everyone else had left. I didn’t even notice, nor did he. So we packed up our things, and proceeded towards the front door of the coffee shop. He gave me a hug before we went out into the cold, and I held onto it for a solid five seconds. He was a great hugger.

Something tells me this story is not quite over yet…

LinkedIn to Love

Working in the design industry, my profession is all about networking and connecting with others. LinkedIn is a social networking website which has really helped push my career forward… but never did I think it may also be a place where I would find a potential love interest. Although – if you think about it… what girl wouldn’t go a bit gaga over a profile picture of a guy in a sexy business suit? Or browsing a profile of a guy who appears quite career driven?

Back in October I logged onto LinkedIn and was browsing through the ‘People You May Know’ section. I came across a handsome guy who looked around my age. I didn’t know him but I decided to peak at his profile anyway, and discovered he lived in the same city as me and worked in the financial industry. I went ahead and added him as a LinkedIn friend and he accepted my invitation a few hours later!

I figured I had nothing to lose by sending Zach a private message.

“Hey. Thanks for connecting! If you / your company ever needs any design or branding materials developed, let me know. On a side note, you look pretty familiar.. not sure where from though. I’m sure we’ve crossed paths at some point!”

The last line was a lie – although I didn’t think it hurt to add that in since we both lived in a city where a lot of people knew one another.

The next day I got a reply!

“Thanks for letting me know. I actually have a live streaming / gaming TV account that I started and was interested in getting a custom design created for it sometime in the near future. Would your rates be fairly reasonable for a small project like that? Also yeah, your last name seems familiar. Thanks for connecting!”

Even though the design project was completely unrelated to his professional career – that didn’t matter. The fact that he had a project for me meant we would get to talk more. I also found it incredibly attractive that he is a gamer. Growing up – I used to be a huge video game nerd. I’d pretty much crush all of you at any N64 game!

I responded the following day telling him I was somewhat familiar with what he was telling me about and that maybe we should meet up over coffee and discuss the project further. No response. Was a bit disappointed, but I moved on from it and focused on work and my other online prospects.

January 8th – I received a new message alert from Zach in my LinkedIn inbox.

“Hope you had a good holiday! I was wondering if you were familiar with vector imaging. I’m looking for someone that’s able to make a cartoon version of me for a website. (I know… sounds strange) Let me know whenever you get a chance, may have something for you. Thanks!”

I wrote back and told him I’d be up for the challenge. I gave him my email address and from there he sent me a more detailed outline of the intricate character he wanted. I had never designed anything like this before and knew it would be a bit of a learning curve for me – but I was willing to take on the challenge… especially for him!

Today we spoke on the phone for about half an hour and right off the bat I was pretty smitten due to his confident, sexy voice. Soon into the conversation he asked me if I had Facebook – as he said it would be easier to ‘send over links’ through Facebook chat. I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret that one – was he wanting to check me out more? I didn’t know what other reference links he could really send me other than what was sent via email. Not that I was complaining – as I was certainly interesting in learning more about him.

Every now and then we veered slightly off topic but we primarily kept the conversation on a professional level. As the conversation came to an end, he told me to check out his live streams during the week and I said I’d keep him updated with my progress on the design as well.

I can’t tell if he’s single as his Facebook page doesn’t mention his relationship status. Although from looking at his recent pictures – there doesn’t appear to be any other girl.

How do you think I can take this to the next level after the business part of this relationship is over?