If you know today’s date, then you know I’ve been slacking on this blog post. I’ve been putting off writing for awhile now, every day making up a new excuse: I’m too busy with work, I’d rather grab a drink with my friends, I have to watch OINTB/House of Cards/Master of None/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix you’re killing me right now). But in reality I know I’ve been putting it off because it’s getting harder and harder to think about the past month without thinking about the next one. The final one.
The carefree, blissful spirit in me has dimmed a little, with the end of my adventure looming over my head. Lately, with every incredible sight I come across and every laugh I have with the people I’ve become so attached to, along comes the thought of a nearby time when those moments won’t be available anymore.
These emotions started to overwhelm me in Lima, and I realized I was getting in my own way. Slowly, with the help of a book, a few podcasts, some motherly advice, and some time, I made it one of my goals – if not the most important goal of my next two months – to live in the moment. Be present. Be here until I’m not, and then wherever I go next, be there.
May Was Cray
Yeah, I said CRAY. I actually shocked myself when I backtracked through my pictures and realized how much I did. I traveled through three countries, ten (I think?) cities, saw a wonder of the world, hiked to 17,000 feet above sea level, and somehow made it down here to Argentina.
Lima was home base, though I’ll remember the trips I took throughout Peru more than the city itself. Things it has going for it: incredible ceviche, strong pisco sours, and a beautiful coast line.
Two weeks in, we headed to Machu Picchu. I had been debating this trip for months, worried that it was an over-hyped, expensive tourist attraction. I was very wrong. It’s called a wonder of the world for a reason:
The next day, I woke up at 2 am and headed to hike Rainbow Mountain. We ended up having to take horses up most of the way, and even the small part I hiked to the top on foot was one of the hardest things I’ve done this year. The altitude kicks your ass when you’re 17,000 feet above sea level. But damn, it was worth it:
Peru is a special place, and if I had opted out of this side trip I would have missed out on some of the most unique spots it has to offer.
Surfing, Santiago, and Lots of Salt
After heading back to Lima, taking a surf lesson, aka getting beat up by the ocean, doing an amazing open mic night, and recording a pretty epic video with a new friend, I took off to visit Santiago. We visited a winery, took a trip to the coastal city of Valparaiso and saw some incredible street art, and made some new friends along the way from another RY program.
From Santiago, we headed back on a plane to meet 35 of our closest friends in La Paz for a five-day trip in Bolivia that I can definitely say put me in my growth zone. Think overnight busses, few showers, no heat, and an array of bathrooms (or lack thereof) that led me to think soap, toilet paper, and toilet seats are luxuries.
But when you’re with your family of 35 in places like this, it’s all worth it:
Weeks 41-44 Highlights
You know the big ones, but a few I haven’t mentioned yet include when I:
- Saw sea lions and penguins from a boat at the Pucusana cove
- Visited a ruin site in the middle of Lima
- Went to a sunset yoga class by the coast of Lima
- Explored Lake Titicaca and its floating islands by boat
- Climbed on 19th century trains at the Train Cemetery in Uyuni, Bolivia
- Visited a cactus-filled island made of coral in the middle of the salt flats
Last stop: Argentina.