Couple finds love in NZ, but settle in Belfast

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Couple finds love in NZ, but settle in Belfast

A chance meeting on the opposite side of the world has led to a Northern Ireland man and New Zealand woman settling in Belfast to open a reform pilates studio.



Neal McCaffin and Yvette Brooke met in Auckland in 2012 while he was in the country to watch the Irish rugby team and she was visiting home.

McCaffin was living and working in Australia at the time, while Brooke was staying in London. They would later find out that they had left their homes for their respective destinations in the same month of the same year.

“It is strange we grew up on different sides of the world and at the same time in our lives decided to leave our home countries,” Brooke told the Belfast Telegraph.

“We were like ships crossing in the night as Neal flew to my part of the world at the same time I was flying to his.

“It does sound cheesy, but we did click straight away when we eventually met up in New Zealand and we had a long distance love affair for a few months after I went back to London.

“I left New Zealand for London because I wanted to be a professional dancer and I did pilates between jobs. I did dance and some commercial work while I was in London.”

They spent the next three years working in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and decided to settle in Belfast when Brooke fell in love with the city while visiting McCaffin’s family.