This week we are bringing you a love story of international proportions. This is a couple whose journey has been the epitome of serendipity — it’s like a real live Sleepless In Seattle! Their story even won a local competition and was published in The Glenview Lantern. We hope Ari and Piotr inspire you to take chances, remain patient, and expect the unexpected in love.


AriPeter-wedding-JolieImagesPhoto by Jolie Images

“Little did I know that a small chain letter e-mail would change my life forever…

Back in my early high school days, a dear online friend loved to send chain letters. I mostly ignored them, but this one caught my eye — Not because of what it said, but who it was sent to.

Along with the usual suspects, there was an e-mail address that stood out: “terran_hunter”. “Well what is a terran and why is he hunting them?!”, I thought to myself.

I sent that person an e-mail asking about the name and also hoping I could find a new interesting chat buddy. Well … ‘interesting’ would be one way to put what I found.

The person I found on the other end of the e-mail thought I was a hacker. Yes, you read that right: he thought I was a hacker/scammer trying to steal his identity. It took him a long time to finally understand that I was just a normal high school student just like him.

We started to talk, then video chats, and even birthday cards … For seven years we grew closer and closer. This boy who played video games, loved computers, watched anime … this boy who was always happy to listen to my stories, my joys and my worries … this boy whose voice I never heard nor never felt his warmth, he wormed his way into my heart.

He was the love of my life…
But he was in Chicago, and I was in Bali.

I knew I loved him, but I also painfully knew it would never work. I played it safe. We were best friends, each never making a move for fear of ruining something good that we had – a fear only solidified by the distance.

Fate though, has a strange sense of humor. On a whim one day in college, I decided to apply for a US student scholarship, never expecting to get in. But I did. I got a full ride – all expenses paid scholarship – to study at the University of Arizona for two months. I could barely contain my excitement to tell him the great news; the news that I would finally be able to meet him.

But it was not to be. He was going to go study in Europe for two years. With my hopes and dreams crushed, I cursed the heavens as I went to sleep that night. It rained that night. It rained a lot.

As time passed, I got over it and resigned myself to never being able to see him. But it seemed my luck hadn’t run out yet. He surprised me with a question a little bit before his trip: “Would it be ok if I visited you in Arizona?”

My emotions flooding back in, I didn’t know what to do, so I said: “Yes! Very yes!”

We arranged to meet on the first night I was in the USA… But that never happened. He was supposed to arrive several hours ahead of me to get everything ready, but his plane was delayed by 6 hours. By the time he knocked on my door, it was already midnight.

Even with the plan falling apart, it was everything I imagined it would be and more. It was magical and perfect – my most memorable night ever.

We spent one month together, and at the end of our time he proposed.

After that he flew to finish his first year in Europe and I flew back to Bali.
So that we could be together, he flew to Bali and stayed there for three months.
After that we both flew to Europe and I stayed with him there until he finished his studies.
Then I had to fly back to Bali and him to Chicago.
Finally, came the excruciatingly long process of getting me to the USA on a fiancée visa,
(which we did and then quickly got married).

So many trips around the world, so many different things to experience and so many great memories — all because of a simple chain letter.”

– Ari

AriPeter-wojoimage-photography-01AriPeter-wojoimage-photography-02 WojoImage Photography

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