A young Sydney woman and her German partner have revealed how they managed to maintain their relationship throughout the height of the Covid pandemic and 17,000km separating them after they met on Tinder.
TikTok star Bella Sinclair met Kim Strahija, 22, using Tinder Passport, which allows users to match with singles from all over the globe.
Despite international travel bans and a costly visa process, the couple have kept their romance blossoming for two years.
Ms Sinclair said shortly after connecting on the dating app, she learned Ms Strahija was planning on moving to Sydney, just around the corner from her home in Dee Why on the northern beaches.
TikTok star Bella Sinclair (right) met Kim Strahija, 22, (left) using Tinder Passport, which allows users to match with people from all over the globe
The couple’s whirlwind romance suffered a major blow in August last year when Mr Strahija was forced to return to Germany amid the worsening pandemic
Ms Strahija was talking to a family in Curl Curl about becoming their au pair.
‘For five months we did the long distance thing, Kim in Germany and me here. We spoke every day and just fell for one another. When she finally arrived in Sydney, it was the best feeling,’ Ms Sinclair told 7News.
The happy couple then bought a van and travelled down the east coast of Australia, before deciding to move permanently to Phillip Island, just south of Melbourne.
‘We didn’t haven’t a job, we didn’t have anywhere to live, Kim’s visa was about to expire. But we just decided to leave it to fate,’ Ms Sinclair said.
The pair moved into a home on the idyllic island before Ms Strahija started a job at a local farm in order to stay in Australia.
But the couple’s whirlwind romance suffered a major blow in August last year when Mr Strahija was forced to return to Germany amid the worsening pandemic.
Ms Sinclair said they worked ‘day and night’ to get Ms Strahija’s working visa and an exemption to travel.
‘We put in so much effort – I wrote six pages about our relationship, about 40 friends wrote references for us. It was insane and one of the hardest things I’ve done,’ she said.
Ms Sinclair said she was on cloud nine when her partner’s exemption was approved, just one day after applying.
‘Kim still had to go back home though and she was excited to see her family. But it was so stressful dropping her at the airport, not knowing when I’d see her again with everything that was happening with Covid.’
Fortunately the couple only had to spend three months apart before Ms Strahija flew back to Australia in November.
Ms Sinclair said she was on cloud nine when her partner’s exemption was approved, just one day after applying
‘We heard so many horror stories of people having their flights cancelled at the last second, leaving them stranded – and we were so scared it would happen to Kim,’ Ms Sinclair said on Instagram.
‘She booked her flights months earlier and we couldn’t believe it when her flight went ahead – we were so lucky.
‘Kim did her two weeks in quarantine in Sydney, it was the longest two weeks of my life. I was so happy to see her again.’
Ms Sinclair and Ms Strahija now work in the same Sydney cafe and are tossing up the idea of moving to the Gold Coast or New Zealand given that the trans-Tasman travel bubble is about to open.
Ms Strahija is now in the costly process of applying for a partnership visa. However, the loved-up couple said their relationship has been worth it, and plan on eventually getting married.