Greetings from yet another bus in South America!
November has been full of movement. There have been countless adventures, big challenges, heartwarming connections, and the realization of some lifelong dreams.
For those of you who haven’t been following the most recent journey, my lover and I have been backpacking through South America since October.
At the beginning of November, we were in a village called Vilcabamba in Ecuador. This area is also known as the “Valley of Longevity” because the residents live to be extremely old (and happy)! It must be something in the water. Or it could be the gorgeous mountain views and ridiculously easy-going lifestyle.
After Vilcabamba, we took a bus down to Peru. After a long night bus, we spent one week volunteering at Casa Fresh, a beachside hostel in Huanchaco, Peru. The exchange was simple: free accommodation for 5 hours of work a day with 2 days off a week. Our work included helping the front desk with guests (check ins/check outs), working the bar, and refreshing the décor by painting the walls. It was a great experience! Thanks Clare and Casa Fresh family.
During our time in northern Peru, we also visited archaeological sites Chan Chan and Huaca del Sol y Luna from Peru’s Moche and Chimú civilizations. A must-see when in this region.
Before we knew it, we were packing our bags once again. Next, we spent time in Huaraz where we completed the Santa Cruz trek, a 4-day hike through the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.
Next up, we headed along the coast until we arrived in Huacachina, a picturesque oasis in the middle of the Ica desert. It looked like it could’ve been straight out of a movie scene. We did some sand boarding, dune buggy riding, and bodega touring. It was awesome.
From there, we took a cozy 12-hour overnight bus ride further south to Arequipa, a beautiful city surrounded by mountains and volcanoes.
And now, I’m sitting in yet another bus en route to the highest navigable body of water in the world, Lake Titicaca, which sits pristinely at an altitude of 3,812m!
Phew. That was a lot, right?
The highlight of this month has to be hiking the Santa Cruz trail in Peru. Check out these incredible views!!
The biggest challenge of this month was the utter foreignness of some of the places we visited. The main thing that comes to mind is the environment in the markets in South America. There were animal corpses and intestines left and right, guinea pigs roasting on a spit, awful smells, piercing stares. It was traumatic! Those were the moments I wished I were back “home”, wherever that is.
I’ve been on the road now for about six months, and it’s been incredible. I am extremely grateful to be able to learn and grow through traveling the world. Yet I’ve realized that even with all the adventures, eventually I want to be a part of community and work with a company I truly believe in. Maybe that means starting my own 😉
There are some things in the making! Now I’m just waiting for everything to fall into place as it always does. Just remember, we are here in this life to make the most of our gifts and talents, and if we’re feeling “stuck” or unhappy, we just have to dig a little bit to uncover what lies beneath and believe we have what it takes to succeed! You got this! Do what excites you, what inspires you the most.
The first half of December, we’ll be exploring Peru’s most famous region: Cusco. Then, I’ll be in Fort Worth, Texas visiting my best friend for a week. After that, Christmastime with the fam! After two years of spending the holidays without my family, I’m very excited to reunite with them once again.
How was your November? What were the highlights, challenges, and insights? What are some of your intentions for the upcoming month?