How we met: ‘As the borders closed, I got the last seat on the last plane out, to be with her’

Damoon, 32, and Mengzhu, 33, met online at the end of 2019. They had a long distance relationship during lockdown, before moving in together at the end of 2020

In 2019, Damoon was teaching at a school in Coonamble, a town in rural New South Wales. He was keen to date, having just come out of a relationship, but felt his options were limited. “Lots of people wanted to have kids and I didn’t, plus the dating pool was very small where I lived,” he said. In December, he posted in a subreddit community for people who are childfree, explaining who he was and what he was hoping to find in a relationship. Mengzhu, known as Meng to her friends, spotted the post as soon as it went up.

“I thought he looked really nice and interesting, but I was living miles away in a remote mountain town in Queensland,” she says.” She responded to wish him luck, but said it was unlikely they would ever meet. Damoon sent her a direct message to ask if they could be friends instead. They began exchanging WhatsApp messages and calls, realising they were both passionate about travel. Meng told him she was a dentist in Mount Isa, often driving for days to remote towns to visit indigenous communities who have poor access to healthcare.

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