There remain a mere twenty-one days before I make my way south for a semester in Cusco, Perú. The countdown has begun. However, the magnitude of the journey on which I am about to embark has yet to sink in. The anxiety that accompanies the anticipation of parting with familiarity is easy to shrug off as I busy myself with preparation. I know that the weight of the transition will not fully register until I’m finally left with just my bags and my thoughts as I wait for my departing flight in the Nashville International Airport. Nevertheless, I feel confident in my ability to adapt to the uneasiness that comes with diving into a new language and culture. Everyone has their own unique methods in readying themselves for travel, so I thought I’d start this blog out by sharing my top 4 essentials in preparing for a semester abroad. Read more
Posts from the ‘Peru’ Category
In 14 days, I will be leaving Colorado for 6 months to study and travel in Peru. So many questions run through my head as I try to prepare. What should I be doing right now? How should I be feeling? What should I pack? Why am I doing this again? As I was trying to get to sleep last night, I thought, “I am going to be waking up in a new country, full of mysterious people, a different language and culture.”
Even though I have traveled extensively, I still feel a mix of emotions as I think about leaving home again. Somehow I manage to keep myself together by planning and focusing on the following things: Read more
My final trip with ISA was to the rainforest and the Amazon River. While this place was breathtaking and finding words to describe my experience has been tricky, it was also sad because it signified the end of my time in Lima and my time with ISA. Read more
Lima is a very unique city, and my daily experiences here are very different from my life back in the U.S. From the bus system to the school system, everything presents itself as a new adventure. I have been living in Lima for nearly three and a half months so far, and I have noticed my fair share of differences from my life back in the U.S. Read more
Fast food: a simple word that is mainstream worldwide, but what do we really know and understand about fast food in different cultures? Do they have the same old McDonald’s Big Mac, Taco Bell’s Doritos Loco Taco or Subway’s 5 dollar footlong? In the U.S. fast food could be as simple as grabbing a gas station breakfast burrito or one of the slices of breakfast pizza from the college convenient store before rushing off to class. But what is other countries’ idea of fast food? I do know one thing from all my travels; fast food in different countries changes and the restaurant’s atmosphere and environment change as well. Read more
“When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Well, I wouldn’t claim myself to be in a slump currently. I just got back from a week-long beach vacation. “It was truly needed because I live a tough life,” said no study abroad student ever. But really, if you think about it, we do experience some tough challenges once you get past the glitz and glam of studying abroad. We have willingly said goodbye to our friends and family back home, the comforts of being home and our routines. It is a lot to deal with, especially when you face cultural differences on a daily basis, and sometimes I start to feel homesick. Read more
Well for those who don’t know they play this song in the movie Armageddon and for those who haven’t seen that movie before…you are miss out and I would watch it ASAP if I were you. It is all about how they send some oil drillers up to an asteroid that is heading towards Earth in hopes of stopping it in time. Leading up to my departure for Peru all I could think about was the lyric “I’m leaving on a jet plane and I don’t know when I’ll be back again…” Read more
I walk along the backstreets of Cusco, and I find half-finished houses that are being occupied by full families, culture that isn’t for sale, and people who are nice to me because I am another person and not because they hope I will give them money. My housemate and I hike up nearby mountains that loom over our neighborhood, itching for adventure and the peace that can only be found on a mountaintop. We play in Incan ruins and take naps in a hammock overlooking suburban Cusco. We buy water in jugs bigger than our torsos and sleep way more than we’re used to because being two miles up in the air isn’t a joke, after all.
Peru has a wealth of history, giving it many “must-see” sights for tourism, the most obvious being Machu Picchu and the other Incan ruins in the area (including: Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, Moray and so many more). From our ventures with ISA, I now know that Huayna Picchu is a must-see of the Machu Picchu ruins. There are those who may think that some of the ruins are overrated and may feel that it is unnecessary to see them all, but for me, it is well worth it to visit each and every one. Another must see of Peru, though not in Cusco, is Lake Titicaca in Puno. I was personally able to stay there for a weekend, and every moment was well worth it. Read more
Whether we knew it or not, us ISA students picked the right time to visit Cusco! June– it’s the most festive time of the year for local Cusqueneans. Streets are seemingly always closed for some sort of dance, religious procession or special celebration unique to Cusco. Our teachers have been trying to explain to us the significance of these celebrations and we’ve soaked in some of this information.
We’ve also been lucky to be here in Cusco, or more generally Peru, because we’ve gotten to watch the Peru Men’s National Soccer Team play two World Cup qualifying games on television amongst locals. Each time we gathered at the Plaza de Armas and picked out a bar to watch the game. Read more