Beauty.

I secretly wish I am a silver fox when I grow old.

Picture taken by me at Lake Titicaca, Peru, polaroid made by Poladroid

Peru 4: Amazement.

Peru Day 1: Lima airport and Cusco

Traveling to Cusco, Peru was quite an arduous experience. I flew from San Francisco to Houston, then Houston to Lima where I would end my trip with a final flight to Cusco. The flights were ordinary and very manageable, except for the last. I landed in Lima at 10pm where I would wait and wait…. and wait. My flight out of Lima to Cusco was not until 12 hours later (because my originally flight at 5am had been canceled). I made the most of my time eating a tasty salad, playing words with friends and buying/reading a book, Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell.  In my twelve hours at the Lima Airport, I snapped a good number of pictures……

Obliviously, there were many people sleeping in the airport at these wee hours of the morning.

My first alpaca (or llama) sighting… well, kind of.

When we finally arrived in Cuzco, a man from our hostel came to welcome us. As he drove us to the “city center” where our hostel was, I was amazed. I couldn’t believe I was finally there! Modest homes covered the hillsides. Cars sped past us. The rain sprinkled down. Cusco welcomed us with it’s unsuspecting charm. Every time I travel, I am amazed with how similar and different these mysterious places are with what I call home. Cuzo and Peru, by far, offered the most different experience than I’ve had with any other place I’ve visited. (Perhaps because this is the first time I’ve ever visited South America or anywhere Latin.)  Below is a narrow street our taxi driver maneuvered through on our way to the hostel.  His driving skills greatly impressed me.  He was a whiz!

Here our packs welcome us!

One of the girls booked our hostel, and we unknowingly stumbled upon a jewel. We stayed at the AMARU 1 Hostal. The hostel was named for Tupac Amaru, a great leader of one of the cities in the outskirts of the Cusco in what is known as the Sacred Valley.  For a hostel, it was amazing… for a hotel is was GORGEOUS.  I felt like I was staying at the cozy guesthouse of one the locals.  The staff greeted us each and every day, and our room was equipped with an outdoor sink area and study and positioned next to a semi-private garden.  Later on, I found this hostel in my guidebooks with very high reviews.  The room for the four of us was only $65.  What a steal!

Needless to say, our room was very, very charming and cozy.

Our view from our hostel. Can you say gorgeous???

My Business Strategy for Life.

Believe it or not, I’m a huge introvert.

If I went through a week without talking to anyone, I would be ok. Don’t get me wrong, I love being with people and cultivating relationships, but I just feel most comfortable by myself with all the thoughts in the world whirling through the nooks and crannys of my mind. During my travels or rides on public transportation I find myself most at peace, so while in Peru you can bet I did A LOT of thinking.

Most of my thoughts included evaluations of my life and how I could improve myself and my life. I came up with a bunch of different small steps I could take in order to make a big impact on my life. You could say I was inspired by The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell.

I’m not sure how much these introspective thoughts relate to what I’ll talk about next but…. I decided to make some minor changes to this blog. The design of this blog still under construction as I’m still writing out the code for this CSS Stylesheet, but I already like it better than my old one, which could only post small-format pictures. And speaking of pictures, I’ve decided to get rid of my watermark. I’m not some fancy photographer–I’m just me. Recently I’ve felt pretty pretentious putting a watermark on my pictures when I don’t think I’m up to my own standards yet. So until I feel I’m super good… you won’t be seeing my name on my pictures.

Below is a quote that currently inspires me.

image from here.

Peru 3: On the Go

Peru Day 1: Traveling

I had spent the night before packing, watching Julie and Julia and playing Words with Friends. That is my travel ritual… stay up all night so that I can pass out on the plane.  As the plane started to hum with sounds of circulating air and people settling into their seats, I sunk into my slightly comfortable window seat.  Young man, strangely energetic at eight in the morning, sat next to me, eagerly chatting up the woman in the aisle seat.  As I closed my eyes, anxious to get my 25 hours of traveling started, I caught a glimpse of clusters clouds formed in the sky.  It was breathtaking….

I snapped the pictures shown above and tried to pass out. Unfortunately the young man next to me caught on to my interest in photography and the beautiful landscapes we would be flying over. He proceeded to chat off my ear about flying while I tried politely to yawn and tilt my head towards my pillow, punctuating how tired I was. Finally he diverted his attention to the other woman who was sitting in the aisle. At that time we were in still flying over the Bay Area, so to my surprise, I was rudely awaken by this young man to see the Rocky Mountains, which according to him I’d “regret if I never saw them from the air” (even though I’ve seen from the air). I patronized him, shooting the picture below, then quickly mumble some incoherent words and fell back in deep sleep.

Much to my surprise, the young man woke me again. Mind you, I was exhausted since I hadn’t slept before, so even though only a half hour must have passed between each of these incidences, I had most definitely hit REM each time. This time he woke me up for breakfast, which, even though I was grateful for, I experienced in an unconscious half-awake/half-asleep state. Again, I snapped some pictures of the landscapes below. I was lucky this time, as breakfast perfectly coincided with the Grand Canyon.

I love to travel, but sometimes being on a plane for so long gets exhausting. The young man I sat next to was kind, but I would have loved to have slept uninterrupted.

Peru 2: Alpaca

Peru Day 2: Exploring Cuzco

Pet my first alpaca today. Then ate alpaca for the first time for dinner. Super cute and super delicious

Peru 1: traveling

Hi.

So I made it to Peru! I’m here in Lima waiting for my next flight to Cusco. Hurray!

Who wants a discount?

Hi.

I have a coupon for 20% off a Virgin America flight, but I can’t use it.  You must book by February 12 (that’s tomorrow), and fly from Feb 15 until March 10.

Here’s the code: 549ECB0E  (that’s a zero).

I hope someone can use it.  I only ask that if you do use it, please leave a comment and tell me where you’re going and why!

I’m sad I won’t be able to use it.

I am a creature of routine…. sorta.

The more I travel, the more I have this packing thing down to a science.  I have little pods and bags that I know I need to fill.  Usually I pack for half the number of days I’m traveling… knowing I’ll wash clothes or buy clothes. :)  I have my bag for toiletries I know I just need to fill.  A bag for journaling. :)  A bag for electronics.  A bag for cords.  A bag for cameras.  I just throw everything into it’s respective bag and throw the bag into my suitcase (and in this case, a backpack.)

When I have a flight, I try not to sleep the night before so I can pass out on the plane.  Like most nights before I fly, I am sitting here mostly packed, trying to unpack so I don’t bring to much junk, and watching a movie.

Tonight’s movie is one of my new faves and my inspiration to blog. Julie and Julia.

Well… I am off to the airport to go to Peru in four hours!