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New Horizons

Big change in lifestyle coming up for me. On September 14th I’m getting on a plane to Peru, and I don’t know when I’m coming back.

A crew of four of us will be spending two weeks in an apartment in Lima, seeing the city and practicing Spanish. From there, I’ll head south with two friends for a two-week stay on a farm in Arequipa on Peru’s mountainous southern coast, and then onwards to Cuzco, where we will depart for a four-day hike through mountains and cloud forests on roads Incas built before the Spanish Conquest.

After that the itinerary becomes vague, but it will probably involve pushing south toward Lake Titicaca, La Paz, the Bolivian salt flats, and perhaps as far as Chile or Argentina. We’ll likely do more farming, and we’ll be on the lookout for other chances to make ourselves useful—ideally in exchange for food and housing.

How? I’m paying my way with money saved over two years working in Washington, DC, and also some generous gifts from family after I graduated college. The farming—along with some freelance writing and perhaps English tutoring—will help stretch my cash.

A lot of people have ribbed me for how closely this trip resembles The Motorcycle Diaries, so I’ll just come out and say it: The Motorcycle Diaries is a big source of inspiration for me. I don’t speak for the group, but I picture what we’re doing as part Motorcycle Diaries, part On The Road, part You Shall Know Our Velocity! and part something uniquely ours.

Of course, a lot of what we seek is just fun and adventure. But this is also about seeing, talking, learning, absorbing, reflecting, and maybe maybe maybe gaining some sort of deeper understanding of this world and our place in it.

Taking to heart the maxim about letting the world change you, I’ll try to keep in mind that my country is on the top end of a lot of economic inequality, environmental irresponsibility, and nasty foreign policy toward the region of the world where we’re traveling. As someone lucky enough to have the means, I figure it’s an opportunity and maybe even an obligation to see some of it firsthand.

I’ll be gone least a few months, and possibly much longer. I will be writing and taking pictures along the way though, so check back on this site to follow along.

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