I would like to share my story of living abroad in Peru. My first experience here was in July of 2010 and have many stories to share with my family and friends about my life ever since.
I also own a travel agency and promote travel within Peru. If you or someone you know are interested in traveling to Peru, please visit my website at www.expertperutravel.com or my Travel Blog.
Time sure flies when you are having fun! I'm sure many of you are saying where did the summer go - is it really half over already?? In the meantime, I am cheering yes - winter is half over!! Maybe someday I will see the sun again? At this point, that feels like a big maybe. Lima becomes a very different place in the winter months. I would say the city is just taken over by blah... nothing really has cooler, everything seems a little dirty, the trees are drooping, there is a constant haze type of mist in the air most days (it never really rains, but things are always wet), and it is just plain gloomy. Come to think of it, it is kind of like you can't even notice color when the air is always heavy and you don't see the sun. Even cars passing by kind of all look the same. From what I am told, come September the sun will be back!! Not in full force until maybe November, but I will be happy with any sun I can get.
First Picture together - still my favorite
I can't say that too much has really changed even though my last blog was quite a while ago. For the most part, everything is going steady and good. The job selling vacations here in Peru is continuing at a somewhat steady pace so that is nice. The political and economic situation here actually seems pretty stable. Even though there was soooo much drama and bad publicity throughout the elections; now, things are actually looking somewhat positive for the future of Peru. I am most surprised by the way people seemed to just really accept the results of the election. For how much passion and fire these Peruvian people had leading up to the election, I was almost a tad bit disappointed there wasn't more havoc after the results came. in. I guess it is good that there wasn't a stir of riots and in general the public either doesn't care and feels they can't do anything, or they feel they had their vote and the majority won - no hard feelings. BTW if I hadn't previously stated this, Humala, the far leftist, won the eleciton.
This is hard for me to admit, but, I believe it has been approximately 8 weeks since I have left the city of Lima, Peru. I always wondered how people who lived in big cities could never leave the city; I kind of now feel like I understand. This city is so huge that it feels nearly impossible to leave without a lot of planning and time. I guess the most inhabilitating factor would be that I do not have a car, but there are many other reasons as well. It is really probably not very safe for me to travel alone, I don't know anyone that lives outside of the city, most destinations of interest are at least 3 hours away, I'm not familiar with those closer local oasis that some may enjoy closer to the city, it's not really that cheap, and there aren't that many things close by that interest me. I sometimes forget that Lima is actually on a coastal dessert, and you have to go quite a ways before you see much vegetation or really anything. The point I am trying to make is that I know understand how and why people can get "trapped" in a city. "Trapped" definitely reflects how I feel here sometimes, and I find myself desperately longing for green cornfields! However, I will be breaking out of this trap next week, and that I am very excited about. Julio and I have a vacation planned to the northern coast and a couple days in the sierras. We are traveling with another couple, friends of Julio's, who are very nice. I am looking forward to warmer temperatures, sun, relaxation, no work, and lots of new experiences. Luckily, Julio's friend has a car, so this will be a road trip - my favorite type of trip! We won't be hitting any major tourist destinations and fighting the crowds; we will be heading to a couple quiet destinations with several sights to see and places to explore. It is everything I could ever want in a vacation - truly!
The last few weeks I have finally started to see the finish line to a never ending race. The start of this race began when I said my first "hola como estas" with a horrible American accent. The end of this race gives me the confidence to actually speak up and completely understand a conversation. I may not be real close to the end of this race; however, I definitely passed the halfway mark! I find myself actually understanding people, replying without thinking to hard, and then smiling to myself like wow - I can do this! Of course, this usually occurs with basic common conversations. I can usually now understand some of the more complex or group conversations as well; however, I definitely need a lot of time to first think in English - translate to Spanish - make sure I am using the right tense (there are like 40!) - then reply. My delayed responses are getting my by I guess, but I look forward to further improvements.
It has been a trying couple of weeks here in Peru as far as my relationship goes. I blame this on a wonderful thing called finals week! Thank goodness it is over. Julio and I generally just see each other on the weekends and one night a week, and that is about right in my opinion. He is very busy with school and work, and I feel very happy with the time we get to spend together. However, the last two and half weeks have been more challenging. He has been crazy busy and stressed - putting him in a bad. I never get to see him or talk to him - putting me in a bad mood. I then talk to a couple people who kind of put some crazy ideas in my head like that I need to demand more from my boyfriend and not put up with anything. So, I get a big head and try to demand that I deserve everything and won't except anything else. (maybe this is a little dramatic - but you probably get the idea).... Anyways.... What I am trying to say is that I took a normal, happy life - made up some problem in my mind and acted on it - which actually created the real problem when there was no problem before - then I feel bad and realize I acted like a "typical woman" which of course no woman wants to be. In the end, I'm lucky to have a boyfriend who is very understanding and still loves me. Maybe it is in the water down here, putting that Peruvian fire and passion into my blood - not sure!
my crazy look
So now that I am back to being sane again - after only being crazy for a couple of days, life is good! I may not have as much direction and acheivement in my life as I had set out to have, but I think I have something more. I feel alive, able, and free. I'm not sure we can ever truly learn and know who we are in our lives, but that does not mean we should ever stop searching. Life is an everchanging process. I have no clue what I really want to be (when I grow up), where I want to live, or plans for the future. Oddly enough, I do still feel 100% confident in who I am and the values I have. At times, I wonder if I am slacking.... should I be setting higher standards for myself? real life goals? Then I think, if I had these predefined standards I was working towards at all times - could I ever just live and be happy? I'm sure there is a combination that works best for each person. I've decided, at least for now, I'm pretty ok with just taking things as they come. I always try to do well at what I am doing and make others around me feel happy. I'm pretty sure that isn't the secret to life or progress in society, but it leaves me at peace.