Change Yourself…Change The World.

February 26, 2010, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Peru

Dear friends,

It’s been three months, but pictures of my day in Peru have finally been posted, which you can check out here. These are the final photos from my South America trip, and I feel a sense of accomplishment from finally getting them all up, but also a sense of sadness- I think the reason why I dragged it out so long is because I didn’t want to admit to myself that my travels are ‘temporarily’ over. Also, since I’m not in travel mode for me right now, it’s hard for me to be in that kind of space while writing on this blog.

However, I knew that I had to get to Peru sometime, so here goes: I spent one day in Lima, the main city. I visited my friend Sonja who was currently living and studying there, and she took me all around to see the sights and to taste the amazing food. It was an amazing, fun day.
First, we headed over to Barranco, which is an area in Lima chock full of poets and artists- you could call it ‘the hip area’ of Lima. Taking a cab there proved to be an interesting challenge, because no one was willing to take us for the real price (most of them demanded twice the price). After half an hour of searching, we finally were able to take a cab for the correct price with one willing cab driver (note to travelers: just hold out on the cab drivers), and so we hopped in and headed over to Cafe Tostada for lunch. Cafe Tostada is AMAZING. We drank Chicha, which is this popular Peruvian beverage (it’s fermented and mostly made from maize. I wasn’t the biggest fan but it did the job). We then ordered their famous dish, which was fried rabbit rubbed in orange. Absolutely amazing. The worst part of the experience? As soon as you enter the restaurant you are bombarded with frames upon frames of cute little bunny rabbits. I had to avert my eyes as I sucked the orange off of the fried rabbit.
After lunch we decided to stretch our overly full stomachs by walking along the ocean of Barranco, which is incredibly beautiful. Two men serenaded us while we walked over a bridge overlooking rows upon rows of brightly colored house stretching out to the sea, and I remember feeling really happy where I was and enjoying all of the beautiful architecture in front of me. Barranco is definitely a place to see. We headed over to a small park where indigenous crafts were being sold, and entertained ourselves by dressing up sweaters and bags. Sonja bought a Peruvian flute earring to commemorate her music experience, as she was studying ethnomusicology in Peru. There was also an incident with a candy apple which you can check out in the photos.

After wandering around Barranco, we headed back to Sonja’s house and took a nap before going out to Miraflores, the ritzy area of Lima, for dinner. We decided to splurge a bit and head over to Huaca Pucllana, which is one of the best and nicest restaurants in Peru. We spent the evening dining on Peru’s finest delicacies (anticuchos, fried guinea pig which was surprisingly DELICIOUS, lomo saltado, and pisco sours) until we were so full we couldn’t move. I would go back to Lima JUST for this restaurant, it was one of the best I’ve ever been to. And with a nine course meal, it cost Sonja and I only fifty dollars.

In the end, while I was only in Peru for one day it was incredibly fun and light-hearted, which is exactly what I needed before flying to the US the next day. Thanks to Sonja for taking me out for such a great time.

And that’s it with the South America adventure folks! Expect an update soon about what I thought of it overall.
Much love,

Going Home Early
November 19, 2009, 7:43 pm
Filed under: Argentina, Chile, Peru, USA

Dearest friends,

As you may or may not have been able to tell, I have been neglecting this blog a little bit. Unfortunately, I have so much work to do these days that I don’t even have much time to do the exploring and adventuring that I wish I could.

I feel that traveling has given me so much in the past two years. It has been my nourishment, my well being, and it has taught me so many things about the world and about myself. And one thing it has taught me is to listen to myself and know what my limits are. And I have reached my limit. I just decided to go home two weeks earlier than planned. I’m skipping Ecuador and Peru (including Macchu Picchu) and going home on December 5th.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Most importantly, I miss my family. In the past year and a half, I have been in the United States for about 3 weeks. All three of those weeks has been about unpacking and repacking, rather than spending time with my family. If I go home on December 21st as planned, I will only be home for approximately two weeks, which will again, all be about packing for New York. So I decided if I came home 2 1/2 weeks earlier, I would be able to spend some more time with my brother, sisters, and parents.

Another thing is, I’m quite literally exhausted. 20 countries in 2 years. That’s quite a lot. And on top of that, while I’m traveling, I have a lot to do- a huge research paper, applications to 30 or so internships in New York, plus finding a place to live in Brooklyn– it’s very hard to do this AND travel. I feel as if I can’t fully experience or enjoy the places that I am in, which is unfortunate but true.

Moreover, I don’t feel completely satisfied with my South American adventures. I want to see MORE. I want to spend more time in Uruguay, I want to spend at least 6 weeks fully discovering Argentina, to see the Andes mountains, to explore Bolivia, different parts of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, even Brazil- I don’t have that time or luxury to do so right now. I know that in the future, I will come back here. Maybe one day when I’ve saved up a nice sum of money, I will take a year to see all of South America that I want to. I feel that is better than getting merely these amazing glimpses that I don’t have the time to fully embrace and appreciate.

Part of me protests at all of these ideas, because my travels has always been defined as me deciding to do something random and spontaneous, which has always provided fruitful results. Whenever I’ve felt tired or exhausted (as I have really been feeling these past few months), I go to a new country, and instantly I feel energized. URUGUAY! PANAMA! COSTA RICA! Everything is always amazing and new and there always something to do and see. I know that I still have that little bit of reserve in me– I know that I could make it 2 or 3 more weeks to see Peru and Ecuador without collapsing.

But at what cost? I know that I will travel for the rest of my life. I know that next year, there is a very slim chance that I will even be home for Christmas at all. And I feel that I have the rest of my life in front of me to explore and see the world- but I should also appreciate and be thankful of the things that I have in my life right now, before one day all of my siblings are grown and with their own families.

So with all of these things together, I’ve decided that I’m going to go home early, and I am really happy with that decision. I am really happy to be able to fully enjoy all of Christmas with my family, and to relax at home. I’m happy to have some time before I go off to New York. I am 21 years old, and South America isn’t going anywhere.

The itinerary until December 5th is as follows:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Santiago, Chile
Easter Island, Chile
Lima, Peru

Until then friends,

Of Things To Come
October 22, 2009, 6:22 am
Filed under: Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay

I am currently in the stages of planning an epic month-long trip throughout South America. This week is Uruguay. On November 14th I start my adventure with 10 days in Argentina (Buenos Aires, TBD), and then continue onto Chile, Peru (Lima, and the 4 day Inca Trail Trek to Macchu Picchu), and Ecuador.

Originally I had plans to go to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, where I was planning on spending a good chunk of my budget. However, I learned that a trip to the Galapagos Islands is just too much money. In order to be able to actually walk on the islands (which is what makes the trip worthwhile), you would need to be on a boat of less than 15 people- which means that it would cost somewhere around $1500 for ONLY a four day trip. On top of that, they charge an extra 50% fee if you’re going alone. On top of THAT, then you need to pay for your plane ticket. With all of the charges, spending about 700 dollars a day is not ANYWHERE NEAR within my budget range. Though sad, I hope that one day when I am no longer a student, I can return to Ecuador and go to the Galapagos Islands.

This frees up some money that I have to play around with. So as of 15 minutes ago, I AM OFFICIALLY GOING TO EASTER ISLAND IN CHILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!