PERU 2010

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Another quicky travel post as I am currently in Seattle. (HERRO from the chilly Northwest!) It has been extremely tricky to squeeze in blogging this past week - entertaining guests, finishing up edits for the last photoshoot, last-minute packing ... then suddenly I find myself in Seattle! Like whoa, what just happened?? Could've sworn September just started and that I had all this time before the trip to catch up on the freelancing! Zang, Time, you def don't play nice! Makes me wonder how some of you die-hard bloggers do it. Keeping this blogging thing consistent. I still don't know how I did it back in college! Cranking out 4-5 posts a week. Now it's barely one.

More on the conundrum of Time - can you believe this Peru trip was 3 years ago? Def one of a handful of special trips that are very near and dear to my heart. And I tell you why. One, I'm revisiting one of my favorite countries in the world that has left an indelible mark with me back in 2008. Two, I brought my love with me this second time around to share in those humbling experiences I've gained during the first visit. Something I've been dying to do with V, because, well, I've only been raving and reminiscing about Peru like all the time. As expected, for the most part, Peru trip version 2010 ended up being one huge walk down memory lane, retracing my steps all over Cusco and pointing out the mountains where I had volunteered and unearthing the hidden lounges where me and my fellow residencia mates once kicked it. Yup. Got hit pretty hard with the nostalgia stick there. *shaking fists at Time*

Though new memories were also made which I will undoubtedly treasure for years to come. Like climbing to the top of Machu Picchu during the wee hours of the morn and getting my passport all stamped up with the Machu Picchu logo. Score. The next thing I did? Called my sister out of sheer curiosity. That's right! I made a phone call. Will the call go through that high above sea level??? Holy cow it did! But after a few rings it went straight to her voicemail. Boo. So I left a nice little message and went on my merry way with Vince, exploring the ancient grounds and hiking along unbeaten paths and chasing down llamas. We even squeezed in a hidden snack session with the food we've squirreled away from the hostel. Something we're not suppose to do, but hey, who can't resist snacking among the clouds, looking down at the expansive wonderments of Machu Picchu? This is a once (twice?) in a lifetime opportunity after all!

Clearly I have no idea what 'quick' means. I'm on a freakin' trip for cryin' out loud. Writing about another trip! That ain't right. Time to wrap it up. I got places to go, people to see, food to eat in this fine city of Seattle!

besos ... jin.

PERU 2008

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Volunteering in Cusco, Peru was a good idea. =) Even though it was 5 years ago, I still remember every little detail: living in a residencia with 20 travelers from all over the world, hiking a mile up a mountain every morning to volunteer, teaching 20 rowdy 5 year olds, trekking a mile in the dusty roads of Cusco at night for Spanish classes, witnessing a bajillion glittery stars paint the heavens at 3 miles above sea level, roughing it out for 3 days in Lake Titicaca, busting out the camping skills, dining on questionable cookery, learning Quechuan the hard way.

I'd do it all over again. A small luggage and an open-mind. It's an extremely simple lifestyle. 

And like any memorable trip, it's the colorful chats with fellow wanderlusters that are the best. Random convos in the residencia gathering area, long talks on 7hr bus rides, tete-a-tetes at the local stomping grounds. These are what separates travelers from tourists, no? They certainly are a different breed. For instance, V's mom gave me a Marc Jacobs tote with a funky design on it. I'm not much into designer bags, but this particular one had an unassuming exterior. It didn't look like a status bag. Plus, it was big enough to throw in travel essentials, so it became my carry-on to South America. The tote certainly caught everyone's attention and when informed that it's a Marc Jacobs - nobody knew what I was talking about. Nobody. You mean to tell me 20 people from all over the world didn't know ... Marc Jacobs? Hah! My kind of people. I love you guys!

Anyways, for more pictorial spread and full 'llama drama' recap, pop on over to my old Xanga account. (Don't lie - you know you had one back in the day!)

besos ... jin.