I know it’s now been quite some time since Christmas, but having spent the holidays in Peru, a few pictures are in order. So are a few words.
I spent Christmas 2012 with my sister in Peru. In the weeks leading up to the trip, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was go to a foreign country. I was filled with so much apprehension. The fall and early winter of this past year was a hectic, busy time for me – so much change in so little time. I changed jobs multiple times. I moved. I took on greater responsibilities in my professional association. I tried learning to balance family, a relationship, friends, professional life, and work life. I was extremely stressed. I cried in the shower almost every week.
By December, the prospect of going anywhere was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted to do was spend a month hiding at home, away from the world and any responsibilities.
In other words, I’d never felt so unprepared for a trip. I researched very little, prepared almost nothing, thought I might die climbing Wayna Picchu, and expected pretty much the worst.
What a relief to be wrong.
Peru ended up being exactly what I needed – a week away from work, surrounded by people I love, absorbing an unbelievably stunning landscape. In our short week, we visited Lima, Cusco, the ruins at Pisac, and Machu Picchu. We overcame fears and climbed Wayna Picchu, the mountain towering over Machu Picchu. We spent time hiking in single file through ruins, listening to our guide speak Spanish with half-comprehension (or none, depending on which one of us you were). We ate delicious meals together and shared stories. We became obsessed with Peruvian textiles.
In the ruins of Pisac and Machu Picchu, there were many moments when I looked around and thought, I must remember this moment; it will never happen again. Photos cannot quite capture the breathtaking beauty (and using an iPhone exacerbates this considerably). These will have to do, though.
As we made our way to Cusco airport to begin our journey home, Wilson, our endearing tour guide, encouraged us to return in five years. I don’t know if that will happen – it likely will not – but I do hope to go back. In retrospect, I’d love to have planned more dining in Lima, more explorations in the ruins and villages surrounding Cusco, more days hiking the Inca Trail. I hope we’ll all make it back one day…