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Cusco Likes & Dislikes

from the family

As we were sitting at a local restaurant waiting for lunch (almuerzo) one day, I took out my notebook and interviewed the kids with some random questions about our time in Cusco so far. I've added answers de Anne y yo, and hope that this gives a little more insight into what we are doing, seeing, and thinking.

What is your favorite food?

Alex: Delicrak (fried "almost popped" corn kernals)
Leah: Tortilla soup
Anne: Lomo Saltado
Noah: Sopa de adobo

What is your favorite drink?

Alex: Jugo Mixto (fresa y plateno y piña = strawberries, bananas, and pineapple)
Leah: Chicha Morada
Anne: Pisco Sour
Noah: Cerveza de Cusqueña

What do you like the most so far?

Alex: Going up the Pachacuteq tower (here's a picture from inside the tower de Pachacuteq)
Leah: Exploring Cusco (here's a picture of the city from the Pachacuteq tower)
Anne: The slower pace of Cusco, and meeting many interesting people from all over the world
Noah: Our new apartment in the South American Explorers club (here's a picture of the garden - our apartment is the window on the second floor behind the tree)

What do you like the least so far?

Alex: Bug bites!
Leah: Car pollution - stinky exhaust!
Anne: Noise pollution - car alarms and horns and fireworks/explosions for all of the fiestas
Noah: Cold showers!

What are you looking forward to the most in the next month?

Alex: Visiting Machu Picchu
Leah: Giving our host family's dog a present
Anne: Visiting Colca Canyon
Noah: Visiting Machu Picchu and climbing Huayna Picchu
(from BootsnAll)

What have you learned that you are proud of?

Alex: Spanish
Leah: Spanish
Anne: How to order food and shop in Spanish
Noah: Spanish, and how to "be" in a new culture

What do you miss about home the most?

Alex: Zillah (our dog) and playing Minecraft on the computer
Leah: Same as Alex
Anne: Central Heating
Noah: Hot showers with good water pressure

What is the most interesting thing that you've seen so far?

Alex: Local girls with baby lambs trying to get gringo tourists to pay for pictures
Leah: People in traditional outfits
Anne: The way that women have their kids with them all the time - on their backs, at work, etc.
Noah: Condoms made out of chocolate

And we'll end with a quote from each of us:

Alex: "I'll walk in front" (Alex doesn't grasp the concept of following...)
Leah: "But, we're surviving..."
Anne: "This is normal!"
Noah: "I don't know what's in this soup, but it tastes good, so I'm gonna eat it"

Posted by noahv 18:16 Archived in Peru Tagged cusco observations thoughts Comments (5)

Travel Lessons

What I learned from 2 weeks traveling


We (the four of us) just got back from 11 days back East for family reunion/vacation time, followed by 3 days camping near Mt. Rainier. I learned a couple of things along the way:

It's fun

  • Traveling is fun. Going new places and having adventures is fun. Being with my family is fun. Living life and laughing is fun. Even dealing with the stress of traveling is (kinda) fun.

It's tiring

  • Being away from home, and outside of your comfort zone is tiring. Being on airplanes and in cars for hours at a time is tiring. If we're going to be tired after 12 days away from home, what's it going to feel like after 12 months?

It takes energy

  • It takes energy to remain calm, to not stress over the inevitable bumps in the road, to remain in the moment and just...enjoy it. But it's a good sort of energy to expend.

It's easy to pack too little / too much

  • I ended up with more socks than I needed, but no deodorant. I think the kids mentioned at least 5 times that they wish they had brought something (usually something that we had reminded them to bring as we were packing, but either didn't make it into the bag, or they decided they didn't really need it). Anne is further ahead than the rest of us with "test-driving" travel clothes that she wants to bring on the trip (Ex Officio and Patagonia seem to be leading the pack), but I'm still throwing jeans and cotton socks into my bag...

It costs money

  • Traveling (especially traveling on vacation) puts us into the "sure why not - we're on vacation" spending mode. If we're going to survive a year on the road, we're going to have to be as cost-conscious (if not more so) than we are in our "normal" lives now.

Less is more

  • Making a conscious effort to focus ourselves on the moment, to limit what we think we need to do / where we think we need to go, will help us really enjoy where we are. Anne and I are lucky that we both share this sentiment - we are very aware of the lesson that spending more time in fewer locations will be more fulfilling than screeching through in full-on "European Vacation" mode.

Comfort (and Reliability) is King

  • It's easy to think of this in terms of your gear, but I'm extending this thought to the family as well. The more comfortable we are with each other, and the more that we feel that we can rely on each other (especially in times of stress), the higher probability that we're going to survive the trip without killing each other...

Framework and Flexibility

  • Knowing where / what we want to go / do is important, and having a framework itinerary is key to making this happen. The flipside is that we want to retain some flexibility to embrace the unknown, and go along on the adventures / opportunities that will present themselves during the trip. This is the piece that is both the scariest, and the most appealing to me.

It's fun

  • Because really, that's what it's all about. We're doing this now because we want to do it, not because we have to. As long as we keep reminding ourselves that "this is fun", it will be.

Now you tell me - what are some of the lessons that you've learned from traveling? How do you deal with being outside your comfort zone (or how do you create a comfort zone on the road)?

Posted by noahv 22:29 Archived in USA Tagged thoughts Comments (2)

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