Most people’s first international trip is to Europe, but mine was to Peru
One big reason I chose Peru for my first international trip was because at the time my friend was living there teaching English to a Peruvian family and living with her Peruvian boyfriend. How exotic sounding, right? To have friends that have enough balls to leave all they know and live in an unknown country is very inspiring! Especially with us growing up in the Midwest. High five Carly!
I was going through a rough time in my life and needed an escape. Peru was an easy choice because I could spend some time with a girlfriend and also distract myself by exploring a new country and take a break from the hardships that were happening in real life back home. I was fortunate enough to convince another friend, Paige, to join me in this adventure to Peru.
We arrived in Lima and ended up being spoiled by locals showing us around this very thriving and tasty city. I would visit Lima again any time because the food and drinks are unlike anything I've ever had. The ceviche is so fresh and I never imagined drinking a cocktail with an egg white before (aka Pisco Sour).
After filling our bellies, we headed to Cusco to start our trek to the magnificent Machu Picchu. Cusco is such a cute mountain town. At the time, Marriott had just opened a new JW and I had luckily had points to use. We had a pretty cushy place to rest our heads.
Tip – drink the cocoa tea! It will definitely help you acclimate to the elevation change of 11,000 feet. From Cusco we took a bus ride to just outside Aguas Calientes. Then we took a day hike into Aguas Calientes, which is a jump-off point to Machu Picchu. Once we arrived in Aguas Calientes, we grabbed a quick bite and rested up. The following day we rose early to head up to Machu Picchu and hike up Huayna Picchu (that extra peak you see in all the pictures). The crowds get busier throughout the day, so the earlier you go, the better.
After exploring Machu Picchu, we headed back to Aguas Calientes to do some souvioner shopping and grab a bite to eat before going to sleep. The next day we headed back to Lima to start our departure back to the states. One thing I regretted in college was not visiting a friend in New Zealand when she was doing an internship. Since then, I have made it a goal to visit any friend who moves outside of the United States. So far, I have accomplished that with Peru and Germany.