Can you imagine being quarantined abroad for 79 days on your 3rd date with someone you just met?! @moviematt305 faced this reality with his date, Khani, as their five-day fling to Costa Rica turned into nearly THREE MONTHS stuck together after the coronavirus lead to cancelled flights, closed hotels and even the country’s borders to close indefinitely.
The two had met on a dating app and joked about taking one of the cheap international flights to someplace tropical for a spontaneous third date. But fate had other plans, and Matt and Khani soon found themselves in the middle of their own crazy quarantined corona adventure: camping in the jungle, encountering snakes and monkeys outside their tent, and jumping right into the middle of a full-fledged romantic relationship that neither one ever anticipated.
Once their last hotel had abruptly closed, the couple found themselves all on their own – lucky to find a place to rent in a small town of less than 500 people located about four hours away. Using their mediocre Spanglish skills, they hunkered down for what was only supposed to be a couple more weeks. After several more flight cancellations due to the growing pandemic, they found themselves fully committed to their new environment, two complete foreigners navigating through some of the most dense rainforests of Central America.
Normally, an adventure like this would be a dream come true for Matt, who has a reputation as a thrill-seeking world traveler – even going by the handle, “Movie Matt,” on his YouTube channel. This time, however, for these sworn commitment-phobes, the thought of being forced to live together abroad felt far more “horror movie” than it did romance.
“From the start of our trip in Costa Rica, it was a battle of wills, with neither one of us wanting to let our guard down. Most importantly, the last thing either of us wanted was to catch feelings,” says Matt. “But after a few weeks of being isolated with only each other to count on, we found that our feelings really started to change. A relationship didn’t seem like such a bad idea, after all.”
“It’s like we have been dating for a whole year now,” laughs Khani. “Seriously, though. If we went out once a week for a year, that would be 52 dates – and we’ve already surpassed that total, all while being at each other’s side 24/7! It’s really crazy to think about,” she added.
“Yeah, this is like dating in dog years,” Matt teases. “Honestly, if we knew ahead of time we would get stuck together like this, I don’t think either of us would have gone on the trip. I’m really lucky to get stuck with someone like her, though – it’s crazy how things work out,” he added.
“There’s this local saying, ‘Pura Vida,’ that they have in Costa Rica,” Matt explains. “It literally means ‘Pure Life,” and it is about recognizing that blessings are everywhere. It’s the mantra of the Tico culture, and they use it for everything – from saying ‘hello and goodbye,’ to saying ‘It’s all’s good’ or ‘Take care.’ We have really taken this to heart and are approaching all of this one day at a time – just go with the flow and make the most of this experience.”
Earlier this month, the now “official” couple made their way back to the U.S. on a government flight to Houston. Their adventure hasn’t ended there, though, as they decided to road trip all the way to Maine, where Khani is set to meet Matt’s parents.
“This is completely uncharted territory,” said Khani. “At the start, there was no pressure and zero complications, and it suited us both just fine. Things have definitely taken a surprising left turn, and, as it turns out, we’re still enjoying the ride.”