Dreaming about Peru

The Back StoryMachu Picchu 069

I’ve been dreaming about Peru for years, so it’s pretty hard to believe that I’m literally sitting on the plane, ready to leave. This is the one destination that started my travel obsession, and I haven’t looked back ever since. After countless flights, plan B mishaps, dozens of nights spent in hostels, and hundreds of hours spent researching, I’m almost ready to take the plunge. As a lot of you know, I’m also on the cusp of a divorce, and hence in need of a serious getaway. For about a year, Chris and I have both been going back and forth with whether or not we’d like to stay together or call it quits. We’re young, own zero property together, and don’t have any kids. If there were ever a time to walk away, it’s right now.

A little over a month ago, Chris suggested that I should just forego the entire trip and cancel it. At the time, this didn’t seem like a terrible idea. We had only bought the initial one-way flights to Lima, and bailing wouldn’t cost us that much money. Did I mention that we were technically homeless too? Not homeless as in too poor to afford a place to live, but homeless due to lack of options and an abrupt work relocation. Yes, he was correct, a multi-week international trip makes zero sense when you have no place to live.  Be that as it may, everyone who knows me also knows what this trip means to me, and how soul crushing canceling it would actually be. Dreaming about Peru and preparing for all of the aspects of it has been life changing. The preparation alone has launched hundreds of adventures that otherwise would’ve never happened. The fact that someone so close to me could even suggest this as a possibility, tells me everything that I need to know.

Calling it Quits

Soon after our discussion, I realized that Chris and I would always have the same fight. Control is an interesting thing and sometimes you can’t even grasp the weight of it’s power. I never want to ask for permission or be with someone who’s jealous and feels excluded by me merely being myself. I’m going to be on this planet for about half a second and I can’t spend a fraction of that time worrying about someone else’s feelings. Earlier this summer, an acquaintance was trying to describe their best friend who had passed away and said this: “He lived his life completely untamed and with zero regard for anyone else. It was never with a callous or self-centered agenda, but in a way that any person bursting with energy and non-conformity dreams about living. I’ve never met another person like him.” That conversation has stuck out in my mind for several months now. Who wouldn’t want to live that way?

Living for Myself

As you can probably guess, I didn’t cancel my trip. Instead, I moved into a friend’s spare bedroom, convinced another friend to join me around week two, and decided to suck it up and hire a tour company to take me trekking. I could’ve taken Chris’s suggestion, and we could’ve kept going through the motions. That wouldn’t really be fair to either of us though. I’m not scared of being alone, but I am scared of being stiffed by fear and conformity. I never want to wake up in a house, surrounded by beautiful things, only to feel trapped and weighed down by them. I have one shot to be epic and feel the rush, and I have to take it.

Dreaming about Peru – The Plan

  1. I’m going to hike the Santa Cruz Trek without dying of exhaustion or altitude sickness. I’ve done an incredibly terrible job of getting in shape for this trip and it is without a doubt going to show. I’m doing this trek solo-ish. The highest point in elevation is Punta Union pass and it’s over 15,000 ft.
  2. I’m planning to take some bad ass pictures. In the divorce, I lost the cannon rebel. Which is awesome, because it was a total piece of shit anyway. So last week I bought myself a pretty awesome mirror-less cannon and it’s fricking rad. It weighs 1/4 of what the old one did and is way easier to use for manual functions and settings.
  3. Once Kylie gets to town, we’re going to find this crazy rainbow mountain deep in the Andes. The couple that is taking us is going to pick us up at 2:15 to start the hike. That is insanely early and I can’t sleep worth a damn in vehicles. http://www.flashpackerconnect.com/
  4. After that, we’re going to trek to Machu Picchu. No, we aren’t doing the Incan Trail, so stop asking. It’s super crowded and nearly double the price of taking other routes to the top. Instead, we’ll be doing a 5 day trek up via the Salkantay route.
  5. Maybe I’ll get some writing done. Yeah, I’ve done an incredibly lousy job creating content for the blog in recent months. A combination of life stress and a lackluster relationship has left me feeling anything but inspired. I still haven’t put pen to paper about Canada or my great adventure through the National Parks out west.
  6. We’re going to walk on floating islands made out of grass and stay with locals. Lake Titicaca here we come. For as long as I’ve been dreaming about Peru, I’ve been dreaming about this strange place too. It almost got cut from our itinerary in favor of the rain forest. Then we realized that our lacking funds would get us a lot further by just venturing to the high altitude lake and enjoying ourselves there.
  7. Enjoy the bohemian district in Lima. After three weeks of non-stop travel, we’re going to do our best to enjoy our little time in Lima and soak in the trendy gastronomic capitol.
  8. Disconnect and reflect. It’s really easy to get caught up in the day to day bullshit. While I’ve been dreaming about Peru, I’ve also been working fifty hour weeks in order to make it a reality. I’m excited for some alone time to think and keep dreaming. I don’t know where I’m going next, but I want it to be epic.

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