Bernie and Victoria Pollack, 39 and 30, met on a trip to Iceland in 2016. They now live in New York with their pet cockapoo
When Victoria booked an adventure holiday to Iceland in 2016, she wasnt expecting anything more than a break from her job as a midwife. But after Bernie met her on the group tour, he fell for her immediately. I think I was probably chasing her all week, he says. The trip was packed with outdoors sports and sightseeing, but he couldnt focus on the activities. People ask me what they should do in Iceland and I have no idea, he says. All I remember is being blown away by Vic.
After forging a close friendship, neither of them felt ready to say goodbye. He said hed come to the airport with me, says Victoria. Although his flight back to New York was much later, he wanted an excuse to spend more time with her. Bernie asked if she had more holidays on the horizon. I had a few days off several weeks later, she recalls. So he asked if I wanted to meet up again. Inspired by the flight board in the airport, the pair decided to visit Dublin for a mini-break. I said yes, but I never expected him to travel all that way, says Victoria. It was much easier for me, being based in the UK.
For the next few weeks, the couple sent each other flirty texts while they planned their trip. I had no idea if it would be more than friendship, says Bernie. I booked loads of tours and two hotel rooms. While he didnt want to be presumptuous, he says he packed some chocolates and bubble bath just in case. When they shared their first kiss, they both knew it would become more. We didnt go on any of the trips I booked, but its the best money I ever wasted, says Bernie. Over the next two months they travelled to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Puerto Rico. Bernie also flew to the UK, to spend Christmas with Victoria and her family.
Not long after they met, Victoria accepted a nine-month midwifery job on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic. Despite their budding romance, Bernie was supportive. He encouraged me to do it.
Once she was there, they had to cope with poor internet and phone services. We wrote each other hand-written letters to stay in touch, Victoria says. And then he made the five-day voyage from Cape Town on a Royal Mail ship to visit her. There were no flights available at the time. I arrived totally emaciated. My seasickness was so bad that they had to give me injections every day. He looked terrible when he arrived, Victoria says but she knew he must be serious about her.