A Whirlwind Romance From Virginia to Peru, the Journey of our 3rd Date that Led to a Year and a Half of Love

From Virginia to Peru A Love Journey That Took Flight on our 3rd Date and Has Soared for a Year and a Half

The author (left) and his partner in Isla Múcura in Colombia on the left, and at El Castillo in Medellín The author, left, and his partner on Múcura Island in Colombia (left) and at El Castillo in Medellín. Courtesy of the author

  • I met Renzo in Lima, Peru, while traveling.
  • We went on two dates and stayed in touch.
  • I flew across the world for a third date.

“You’re doing what?” my friends asked, bewildered by my revelation that I was crossing continents to see Renzo. “Yes, for a third date,” I responded cheekily.

I understood their surprise, considering our limited time together. But hey, things were going smoothly, and at worst, it would be an exhilarating adventure that ended with us parting ways. At best, it would deepen our connection and serve as a fantastic story to regale others with.

Love Blossomed in Lima

Here’s the tea, darlings. I had encountered Renzo in his enchanting hometown of Lima, Peru, early in the year while journeying as a remote worker. We indulged in two delightful dates, enjoying each other’s company. After I departed, we kept in touch casually. Neither of us anticipated what was to come. Nonetheless, our virtual conversations about the seventh season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” continued to bring joy and laughter, even as I returned to my roots in Virginia Beach.

So when I sought a new city to explore in my nomadic pursuits, Lima beckoned once more. I pondered the possibility of a third date with Renzo. If it didn’t work out, no worries. I would still have a captivating, writer-friendly city to call home for a few months. Either way, I tightened my belt and pondered what to pack for this momentous occasion.

Upon discovering my return, Renzo suggested a lavish dinner at one of Lima’s exquisite Chinese Peruvian restaurants. With an insatiable desire for novel culinary experiences, I immediately accepted his proposal.

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Thank the fashion gods, everything clicked during our date. Renzo and I swiftly realized that our connection delved far beyond “Drag Race” fandom and animated comedy appreciation. We shared a passion for language learning and cultural exploration. Crucially, we both identified as outsiders, not only within mainstream society but also in our queer communities.

Prior experiences played their part in our effortless bond. Previously, I had never encountered a healthy relationship, despite approaching the ripe age of 34. Alas, my twenties were squandered navigating the treacherous waters of alcoholism and self-destruction. Furthermore, facing homophobia from older residents of my Virginia hometown prompted a catastrophic detour, leading me to unsuitable partners.

Eventually, after venturing into the New York dating scene and realizing it was a whole new type of hell—surprisingly, still teeming with closeted men—I concluded that escapism was my salvation. Hence, Renzo and his grounded kindness became a breath of fresh air amidst a whirlwind of chaos.

Embarking on Wanderlust Together

By the time I encountered Renzo, my passport was adorned with stamps from casual international hook-ups. Yet, the connection we forged on that fateful third date twirled into something extraordinary. Our fourth, fifth, and sixth dates transcended brief rendezvous and transformed into luxurious weekend escapades—first within Peru, then traversing the vibrant landscapes of South America.

It was during a galloping horseback ride on a tranquil Brazilian beach in Florianópolis, two months after my Lima return, that I had an epiphany—I was head over heels in love.

Now, a year and a half has passed with Renzo by my side. That impulsive flight to Lima merely marked the commencement of our grand international adventure. Together, we have explored ten cities across three countries—Peru, Brazil, and Colombia—and our thirst for exploration shows no signs of waning. So, dear readers, if anyone in your life wonders what to do for a third date, allow me to divulge a few delightful suggestions.

Our Top Picks for a Memorable Third Date

Destination Activity
Paris, France A whimsical picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower
Rome, Italy An enchanting moonlit stroll through the historic city streets
Kyoto, Japan A traditional tea ceremony in a tranquil, serene garden
Rio de Janeiro Samba dancing lessons and a sunset caipirinha on Copacabana Beach
Cape Town, S.A. A thrilling hike up Table Mountain followed by a romantic dinner
Sydney, Australia An idyllic coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach

Breathtaking romance awaits those who dare to embark on unconventional journeys. So, go forth, my darlings, and seize the world with style, love, and a dash of audacity!

Alluring images captured on our travels:

The author (right) and his partner Renzo (left) horseback riding on the beach in Florianópolis, Brazil The author and Renzo on the beach in Florianópolis, Brazil. Courtesy of the author

The author (left) and his partner during a cooking class in Cartagena, Colombia The author and his partner during a cooking class in Cartagena, Colombia. Courtesy of the author

The author (left) and his partner visiting the natural monument El Peñón near Medellín, Colombia The author and his partner visiting the natural monument El Peñón near Medellín. Courtesy of the author

Tell me, dear reader, have you ever embarked on a whirlwind journey for romance? Share your tales in the comments below!