The toughest thing about travel…

is the part where you have to go back.

People greet you with a sarcastic, “Welcome back to reality!” I actually resent this remark. For short vacations where you spend the week at a beach resort, sipping margaritas or touring the countryside, I would let that slip. Living in hotels and having no responsibilities could definitely count as non-reality. But my recent adventure, that was real. It was reality. This summer, I actually had a chance to live in Peru. I had a rhythm, a routine. I had friends and a family. I had work and responsibilities. I spoke the language, mas o menos. Each day, as my friend eloquently put it, we worked to survive… watched our backs so we don’t get mugged, hit by a crazy driver, cheated by the guy at the market or fall off a mountain. That’s the part that seems to get lost on people.

It has been 3 full months since I’ve gotten back. Still, I find my mind wondering off to those days. As much as I love traveling and doing spontaneous things, I always take a while to adjust to change. Returning to America after Peru, definitely a change. It feels the way it did when I returned to the mainland after 2 years in Hawai’i. Though my stay in Peru was exactly 8 weeks, it was a whole lifetime. I went through things that touched and changed me so deeply that I have a hard time living life exactly the way I always had before I even left.

Anyway, I’m done with this random rant that has no real purpose. Next summer, I have a couple of trips that I do look forward to… the Dominican Republic, Alaska, Texas… but I know it’s not the same… and I know it will be a long time before I have an experience like that again.

Just a quick peek at the Pisac Ruins from the highest point…