I’m officially on my way to Lima, Peru this morning! After planning and talking about this trip for almost a year now, it’s crazy to think that I’ll be in South America before midnight. I’m all packed and ready to go, including my new waterproof backpack that I got very last minute after a panicked visit to REI. Shoutout to my boyfriend for guiding me through the store (as I am probably one of the least outdoorsy people out there) and helping me figure out how to convert cubic inches!
After months of planning and excited googling to see what travel bloggers have done in Peru, it’s almost hard to believe that I’ll finally be checking off Machu Picchu off of my bucket list. For the next 10 days we’ll be hiking our way from Cusco to Machu Picchu, stopping along the way at lodges where we’ll be able to relax and take in the wilderness around us. Granted I’ve never actually hiked 7-9 miles a day before, but there’s a first time for everything and I’m secretly kind of hoping that it’ll ignite a love of hiking in me!
Because I’ve never been to Peru before, let alone South America, I’ve been doing all that I can to prepare for our family hiking adventure. Besides buying hiking boots and trekking poles, I’ve also read several books including National Geographic’s “Traveler: Peru,” Mark Adams’ account of his attempt to retake the steps of the much vilified Hiram Bingham III, and I’ve also been trying (somewhat successfully) to learn common phrases in Quechua. Although I have an embarrassingly strong American accent, I believe that it is so important to learn about and respect other peoples’ cultures. Thus why I’m taking a stab at learning a new language somewhat last minute! Because, to be honest, nothing’s tackier than a tourist who walks around with no idea of what’s going on around, culturally and socially.
How do you guys usually prepare for a trip? I’m also a big fan of studying maps, although we’ll obviously have a guide leading us through the mountains. Which is definitely clutch because despite my love for maps, I have a terrible sense of direction!