Friday, July 12, 2013

365 Inspirations—193: Returning to Peru After Almost 20 Years

Backpacking on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
“No matter the deviation, all things come full circle. You begin and end your journey in the same place, but with a different set of eyes."—Jennifer DeLucy

Lots of things are coming full circle for me. I traveled a lot in my early 20s. In fact, I never really stopped traveling. I feel life is a journey and we never really stop moving and experiencing.

My husband is taking a group of yogis to Peru in September. I debated and debated whether or not to go, and now it's sort of happening on it's own. I'm going!

One of my hesitations in returning to Peru was that I was young and dumb and it was not an easy trip for me. I was 24 or so and I was alone backpacking through Peru and Bolivia. I had been teaching English in Mexico and had to decide whether or not I should return home or continue traveling. The thing is, I had very little money to travel. I had just enough for the plane ticket from Mexico to Peru and a few hundred dollars for traveling.

I speak a little Spanish, so I lived off the generosity of locals many times. I just read through my diaries and lots of memories of that time are coming back. I had really bad dysentery and slept in places that were run down. I was sick and I sometimes put myself in dangerous situations.

The other side of the coin was that I experienced amazing beauty and adventure. I let go and let the wind and road be my guide. I traveled across Lake Titicaca all the way to La Paz, Bolivia.  I kept crossing paths with many fellow travelers and locals in the oddest of places and they were like guardian angels to me. They led me to my next destination and I saw things I couldn't believe—Machu Picchu, floating grass islands, Quechua Indians dancing around the lake in colorful clothing, a half dozen condors soaring above Colca Canyon, penguins on Islas Ballestas, mysterious lines in the sand.

A lone llama at Machu Picchu

I know there is a reason I'm returning. It has to do with that book I've been telling you about. Lots of things are coming full circle. I know we will be traveling differently this time. We'll be staying in clean, nice places and traveling with a driver. We will be taking a guided trek to Machu Picchu.

But I have a feeling my view of things will be different. I feel a calling to return. I have purpose in my life now and while I still love to be spontaneous and go with the wind, I'm wiser now about my decisions and my direction. I still live in the mystery of it all, but I see it now in a much bigger picture that becomes clearer everyday.

Did you ever feel called to return to a particular place?

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