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Falling in Love in Peru

by Michelle Dinos

I used to say it would never happen. Falling in love, that is. I wanted to concentrate on my studies, on traveling during vacations, on my family, etc. I just never felt like I needed a relationship or a special someone in my life.

All that changed when I started traveling to Cusco.

On my first visit in 2007, I was on my way to Machu Picchu (in the nearby town called Aguas Calientes) when a handsome young man offered me the menu to his restaurant.

I had been warned about men in Peru trying to pick up young women who are by themselves so I quickly said no and left as fast as I could.

Later that evening I passed by the same restaurant and the same young man offered me the menu again. This time I cautiously accepted and he introduced himself as Miguel.

We chatted for a while as I ate dinner and ended up exchanging email addresses. That same night we said goodbye and I did not see him again during that trip.

Little did I know that almost a year would go by before we would see each other again.

During the next year, I won a grant to return to Cusco and, a few weeks before my travels, Miguel and I coincidentally began chatting through msn messenger. I told him about my upcoming trip and we decided to meet up in Cusco.

After my arrival, we hung out for a few days, but soon it was time for him to travel to Aguas Calientes to work for a few months. After he left, I thought we would never see each other again.

However, as the days went by, I started missing him a lot! I realized that I felt something for him that went beyond friendship. I had no idea that he was feeling the same way until I got an email from him that hinted at that. I then realized that I needed to see him again.

I immediately bought my ticket to Aguas Calientes and was reunited with Miguel a few days later. We talked about a long distance relationship and at first I said no. I was too scared that it wouldn't work out. However, he then said "If we don't try, we will never know if it is possible."

Those words really hit home and I ended up accepting being in a long distance relationship with him. I left Peru a few days later and for years Miguel and I only saw each other twice a year: for Christmas and summer. However, our love just grew stronger!

I am currently in Peru with him; we have been together for three and half years and plan to be married next year!

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