Monday, November 17, 2014

Peru (Part Two)

Part of the group
Hello All,

Since the last email I have spent the last weeks(?) village and town hopping throughout Peru. I've met a great group of sixteen people who I have gotten to know them very quickly. We will be traveling together for a total of three weeks.

I have just gotten back from hiking the Inca Trail this morning. It was not so much the 3000 stairs that I had to climb, but the altitude that really impacted me. Seeing Machu Picchu today was pretty remarkable, but to be honest it was the four day trek that taught me some lessons. I have been up since 4am and for the last 3.5 days I have hiked 44KM (elevation went from 2700 to 4215 meters in two days).  I must say, it was the most physically challenging activity I have ever done. I would not have been able to complete the trek if it had not been for the support system cheering me on and dressing me. It was raining and windy and I was so mentally drained and physically exhausted on the first mountain called Dead Women’s Pass that one of the guys literally had to put my parka on me during the rain, hand me my poles and direct me down the mountain. It's moments like these that I truly appreciate my new group of people.

This trip has also forced me to become reliant on myself and deal with my own issues. As one would know, no traveling is complete without food poisoning - on a ten hour night bus.  Every three hours I calmly walked towards the swaying bathroom and wretched my guts out and quietly stumbled back to my seat.  I also had the privileged of calling my bank, more than once, to literally yell at them because my bank card and credit card (only source to access money at this time) was not working. Again.

The epic photo of Machu Picchu
Throughout this trip I have slowly become easier on myself and  have started learning from my mistakes. Since early September it has taken me three weeks to forgive myself and stop analyzing my past. There have been a few incidents in Peru where I have made unwise decisions in which I have dwelled on momentarily and then simply let go and went onwards.  The next six weeks have been spent on focusing solely on my present, selfishly only thinking about myself. I have ate endless chocolate/cake, gotten my coca tea leafs read (and tarot cards), bought tacky tops and an odd dress and slept way past acceptable. And I have love every moment of this. Finally, the last few days I have been thinking about my future and what that will look like once I return to Canada.

Colca Canyon - When I realized how happy I am in this lifestyle
Biking the Death Road
Things have been going really well thus far, every moment feels like a Friday. Each day I feel as though I am moving further out of my comfort zone.  I have been wondering the streets of Cuzco for two days prior to my trek and loving the freedom of venturing wherever I want to, when I want to. I am back in Cuzco for two more days where I will be taking a yoga class tomorrow and checking out the tattoo parlor.  It's so fascinating that the farther away you get from your version of the norm make you question your morals and so the larger the grey area becomes.  Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror after I shower and wonder, with a smile, who I have become. Life is so unbelievably good. I am completely aware that I am essentially living in a bubble at the moment as the most stressed out I have been was deciding what I want for breakfast, but I plan to take much of this content lifestyle and these calmed down emotions home to Canada with me. I want to continue volunteering and ideally find a position that will allow me to continue contributing in a positive and direct way -this is essentially my hint for you all to job hunt upon my return home.

On that note, I will be arriving in Calgary on November 27th.  I have decided that it is time to pick up some responsibilities and visit a particular new Niece in Canada and if I stay any longer in Peru (particularly Cuzco) I will, quite honestly, not be coming back. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Calgary. So feel free to book a lunch/coffee or yoga/running date with me, I’ve got loads of time!



She never believed she was brave like that.