Great American Adventure Part Two: Peru & Chile

Well, it’s somehow already here—part two of our adventure starts in T-minus 30 minutes when we board our flight to Lima (by way of ATL of course).

The Torres! Well worth the steep hike
WE’RE GOING TO SEE THIS SO SOON!!!

After a wonderful weekend seeing Hartsville friends and dancing the night away at a beautiful wedding, the past week has been a flurry of packing, organizing, re-packing, calling banks, running errands, buying last-minute supplies, booking hostels, checking and re-checking schedules and flight plans, and hitting up all of our favorite Greensboro restaurants in between all the trip prep. 🙂

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Two months’ worth of gear in one backpack. I think I may have defied some laws of physics, but somehow it all fits!

And of course, this one important errand:

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Being in a different country is NOT stopping me from voting in this election! But I can’t say I’ll miss all the nonstop political coverage. 

It’s been a little bit hectic, but I think we’re as ready as we’re ever going to be. We don’t have every step of our route planned out (trying to leave some room for spontaneity), but here’s the general itinerary:

Peru:

  • Lima
  • Cusco
    • Vinicunca (“Rainbow Mountain”) day trek
    • 4-day Inca Trail trek into Machu Picchu
  • Puno & Lake Titicaca
  • Arequipa & Colca Valley
  • Arica

Chile:

  • Santiago
  • La Serena
  • Elqui Valley
  • Punta Arenas
  • Puerto Natales
  • Torres Del Paine National Park

If I’m being honest, I’m much more nervous about this trip than our U.S. route. I haven’t traveled like this since my study abroad days in college (somehow more than 6 years ago now)…and this time, neither of us speak hardly a word of Spanish. [Side note: I bought “learn Spanish” CDs for the road trip and we listened to a grand total of one 30-minute lesson. So “Hola, senorita! Habla Ingles?” is about the extent of my Spanish knowledge. This should get us pretty far.]

But knowing that I’m a chronic over-preparer, I’m reminding myself again that we can’t be ready for everything—and between the two of us, we’ll be able to figure it all out one way or another. After all, we did make it through that one time in Paris when we accidentally got stranded in a strange suburb at 1:00am when the trains stopped running.

And with that said, I have a plane to board…wish us luck! Hasta luego America, see ya in two months!

Learning to live in the moment

11,332 miles.

54 days.

25 states.

16 national parks.

Two tarantula encounters.

One fender bender.

Zero regrets.

… We’re back from our U.S. road trip!!!!!

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The “after” picture—all four of us (including the Subaru) made it back in one piece! Unfortunately, you can’t tell how extremely dirty everything and everyone is in this photo.

It was, in a word, a WHIRLWIND. After a couple of days basking in the simple pleasures of things like a real bed and a hot shower, I’m still processing everything that we experienced. I think I might be for a while yet. (Luckily we took eight billion pictures to help me remember it all.) But one thing I can confidently say is that we live in a giant, huge, stunningly beautiful, diverse, enormous country. (Did I mention how large it is?)

Continue reading “Learning to live in the moment”