You never really know what’s out there until you go see for yourself. The world is a beautiful, intriguing place with constant surprises if you’re up for it! The first day I landed in Peru, I stared at the narrow streets with wonder. Suddenly, a pizza delivery man dressed as spider-man appeared at the intersection. Little did I know this would be the first of the many surprises throughout the trip!

As always, pictures and vlog at the bottom!

Spontaneity

I love a spontaneous adventure. There’s something about the rush of adrenaline after making the impulsive decision that makes the experience so much more special. While walking along the streets of Paracas with nothing planned for the evening, we saw small buggies and quad bikes. An hour later, we found ourselves driving against the wind through the vast sandy roads of the Paracas National Reserve! At Moray, we were stuck outside the viewing area because we ran out of money to buy the overpriced tickets. Before leaving, we impulsively power-walked ourselves to the viewing area and calmly walked out 5 seconds later out of sight from the guards. Sorry, not sorry.

It never hurts to ask

It really never does. Thank you, my friend, Shivani for really teaching me this. Your aggressive, aggressive bargaining and random curious questions truly made us save money and learn things we never would’ve otherwise. By the end of the trip, through team effort, we were having people give us half-priced juice, menus for 30 sol every item ($9) at a restaurant, and waived 80 sol ($25) for bringing outside drinks. Wow!

Taking a chance

No regrets. Take the risk! When I stood at the top of the sand dune hill and looked down, I thought to myself there’s no way…but then I realized I’m probably never going to be able to sandboard in Peru again. I took the chance and found myself speeding headfirst down the dunes 5 minutes later. And I loved every second of it. Did you really explore a country if you didn’t try its exotic foods? One night, we were walking and saw a street food stand to grill several types of meats–particularly, alpaca meat. I took the chance, and it was the best meat I’ve ever tasted (tasted like steak but more flavorful). My stomach didn’t take it well the next day but…no regrets!

Relationships

I came to the country with 3 of my friends, so I wasn’t at all expecting to make new friends. But, meeting new people became my favorite part of the trip! I loved talking to all the solo travelers and hearing their crazy stories. I was also surprised by how genuinely nice Peruvians and everyone else was. To the man that clicked open our door at any time of the day, the cute European who asked if we were “having any trouble” and the man who paid for our taxi after we were given fake money, the sweet juice lady who gave us 4x the amount of juice always, anyone else that made us smile, thank you!!! Not sure if they treated us broke college travelers so well out of pity, but these kindnesses really made us happy.

Earth

Seeing the beauty of Earth ALWAYS surprises me. In Paracas, I could not believe I was seeing over half a million birds from my boat. On the way back from Machu Picchu, i looked across to the mountains and saw the brightest stars shining all around the mountain’s silhouette. On top of Rainbow Mountain, I could barely breathe and the bright rainbow colors still took my breath away more. Finally, on the last day, I sipped my wine on a balcony and looked across the entire city of Cusco. What a moment!

Vlog

Gallery

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