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It begins

March 24, 2010

For a long time now, this Peru trip has seemed like some distant thing that would happen sometime in the future, but now I´m here, writing this blog on the balcony on a hotel in Cusco. 

It hasn´t been an easy transaction from that homely field in Bransford. On Tuesday, I said goodbye to my fellow campers who, over the last few weeks have become like a family to me. The night before, we´d had a literally magical feast in which I played music on my flute and we had singing and dancing and wine.

As I left, I found myself questioning why I was going. The longest I´d been abroad away from my family was a week at the end of last year in Barcelona. But now, I´m going further away from home than I´ve ever been for 6 weeks! But I feel that it´s time I launched myself into the worlde. I´m at the age where I should be making my own way in the world and getting distance from my protective family cocoon. After wanting to escape for a while now, parting with them at Heathrow proved incredibly difficult. I kept turning and waving, but in the end, I had to force myself through that gate. I sympathise with anyone else starting travelling alone for the first time.

When you´re in a strange foreign land, it´s always a comfort to connect yourself with home (although not too much otherwise you´ll never get anything done). Even just noticing the grass and straw from Green And Away mixed in with my luggage was enough to put a smile on my face after my long day of travelling from Heathrow to Miami and then to Lima. A degree of confidence is also good. This doesn´t mean showing off. Silent self-confidence is good for establishing yourself as someone who knows what they´re doing. Think of all the great things you´ve done that have made you feel on top of the world. I think back to the feast at camp, where I was surrounded by great people having the time of our lives and that makes me feel more than just a boy stuck away from home. Also, when it comes to preparation, I don´t think you can prepar yourself enough. I was lucky in that my father kept persistently pushing me to sort myself out. I didn´t really appreciate all that he did until I was actually out here.

But now that I´ve been here in Cusco for three days, the place is starting to grow on me. When I first went walking in the streets at first, everything seemed strange and unnatural. I didn´t much want to be out in this strange place with its narrow streets and irate drivers. When I did go out to get lunch, I went to this Irish bar! But now the place is growing on me. Now when I see the shops, I´m thinking about what to buy and what my friends and family might like. In fact, I´ve just gotten myself one of those classic Peruvian hats! Yesterday, I had a massage to calm myself down. It worked a treat and I got chatting for a while with the girls who work there as they smiled at my attempts to speak Spanish. I´m staying in a hostel called ´Home-Sweet-Home´where I´m really being looked after. Despite the tiring walk up from the city!

There are quite a few sellers on the street but I´ve got some experiance with dealing with them from the Gambia. I´m just getting used to saying ´No Gracias´. Apparently you have that printed on a t-shirt for you. I´m still adapting to the time difference, since Peru is 6 hours behind the UK. Also, the fact that it´s so much colder when the sun goes down in the evening doesn´t help. So far, I haven´t been able to stay up past 8 in the evening, which has been annoying since the message grils said I should go with them to see the night-clubs.

This has been a rambling blog partly because it was written over a few days and partly because I keep having mood changes. So, if you feel confused imagine how I feel! The main thing about starting travelling is to persist and have faith. It´s completely natural to feel lost and confused for a fair while and it can seem like you´ve made a big mistake, but the bad times will pass. I´m beggining to see that the exciting thing is that so many different and unexpected things could happen from here on now that I´m finding my feet. In my next blog, I´ll tell you about Madventurer as I´ll be meeting them soon.

Ciao!

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From → Peru 2008

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