Back in the US, Craig and I were a pretty fun couple.
Once or twice a week, we’d curl up on the couch and watch a movie, but we worked hard to make sure that was never a default pattern. We preferred the intimacy of having a glass of wine by the fireplace, talking about our days, sharing funny stories, memories, or our views on the news, or giving each other massages if we were staying in.
More often, we challenged ourselves to find things to do outside the house. We packed picnics, met for a glass of wine, tried new restaurants (always shunning the chains), and sought out theater and music events, from free to indulgent. I could usually find a free festival or event on weekends, and Craig would take me on “surprise” dates, telling me what time to be ready but not where we were going.
We were proud that, in over three years of dating, we had *never* been to a movie together, and hadn’t fallen into the habit of sitting in front of the TV. We always wanted more out of our days than that, and we both worked to make it happen.
So, now that we have an exciting, nomadic lifestyle, surely we’ve kicked that up a thousand notches, right?
Well, yes. We hunt down new experiences almost every day, and do a lot of hiking and adventuring on weekends. But we also watch TV, go to movies, and even eat at Friday’s and McDonalds now!
Why? Well, it’s harder to hunt down free and cheap events in a tourist city, and even more difficult when you can’t read most of the posters and signs very well (we do try!) Not having a car is a barrier, too.
So, we stay in most evenings. But we’re together 24/7 now, so there’s little to talk about in the evenings.
Hence, we watch TV. There are a couple of English-language channels. They mostly show Friends, the Big Bang Theory, and CSI. (we draw the line at Mike & Molly). Recently we’ve started watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.
We also watch a lot of movies on Netflix. A LOT of movies. I’d say we’re up to 2-4 hours of TV and/or movies a night. Plus, we go to theaters when they’re available (not the case in Cusco).
We’ve eaten at a couple of Friday’s locations now. The other day, we ate at McDonald’s, just for nostalgia. It wasn’t good. I don’t think we’ll do that again.
The thing is, we get enough fun and adventure in our daily lives now to feed our spirits. (Sometimes “adventure” means accepting the gritty strawberry offered up for us to taste in the market, by the friendly lady with manure under her fingernails.)
Our souls are continuously fed by the gorgeous mountain scenery that surrounds us every day. Figuring out how to cook with the local ingredients keeps me engaged, and of course we both have our jobs to challenge us. We go out for either lunch or dinner most days, or walk to the market or on other errands. Since we don’t have a car, that’s a slow stroll down gorgeous streets that often takes several hours out of our day (and when the sidewalk is wide enough, we’re usually holding hands). The market is about a 5 mile walk, round trip.
In the evenings, though, we’re more typically American now than we were in America. But it’s all good. There’s so much”new and interesting” in our days, a little ‘easy’ and ‘familiar’ makes a nice break!
And, most importantly, if we get tired of it, we know how to turn off the TV and find other things to do!P.S. Without my knowledge, while I was writing this very blog post, Craig was setting up a Thai massage for me as a surprise.
He just asked me “Want to go for a walk with me at 4:30? You might want to wear comfy clothes in case somebody starts rubbing and stretching you.”
Surprises run both ways for us. Yesterday, I pulled him out of his office for a little spontaneous “Afternoon Delight.” Good to know that all this TV and fast food hasn’t killed our spark!