It truly has been a while since I have been here. So long, in fact, that my domain expired and I had to reset it in order to access my old posts (which, on a quick side, reminded me of how great my time in Thailand and Vietnam trips was). I definitely feel some regret about not having chronicled my previous travels as memories do indeed fade. That being said, I must make it a habit to do so from now on and hence, I’d like to announce my upcoming adventure!
This summer, I am heading off to South America to the countries of Peru and Bolivia. Given how I found myself scrambling for time when in Southeast Asia for two months, I’ve decided that limiting myself to two countries is probably the way to go. I was debating including Brazil, but given the world cup festivities, I think it will be a little too crazy and expensive. I know, I know. It would be a once in a lifetime experience to be in the host country during the world cup, but I just do not think it’s the right time. I figure all of South America will be alive during these months anyway.
My official dates of travel are April 30 – June 26, 2014. I’ll return just in time for my dad’s birthday on the 27th and about a month to prepare before I embark on another journey: law school. It has been a long time since any update but during about a year and a half following my return from Thailand, I was really trying to explore where I wanted to move professionally. While working at a food focused not-for-profit, I reaffirmed that I wanted a career where I could tangibly see that I was helping people in some way. For me, this was not transparent in finance. I began volunteering at Bay Legal – a legal aid clinic that assists domestic violence victims in family and immigration issues. Using the law to assist these victims just made everything immediately click for me so one step after another, I applied and now will be starting law school come August 2014.
Wonderful, little professional update for everyone, but now back to the exciting travel piece! I am looking forward to having some company during certain points of this trip already lined up. My father is joining for the first 10 days where we are trekking Machu Picchu and then going on an excursion to the Peruvian amazon and wildlife preserve in Puerto Maldonado. This is the first time my dad is traveling outside of US/Canada/India/Singapore so I am BEYOND excited to be traveling with him. Then, after about 3 weeks of solo travel, a friend of mine named Rishee, will be joining for 2 weeks for parts of Peru and Bolivia. We will be hiking around Arequipa, seeing the sites around Lake Titicaca and biking the “World’s Most Dangerous Road” in La Paz. Overlapping a few days with Rishee, a friend that I made at Bay Legal, Aisha, will also be joining me for about 2 weeks. She is joining for a majority portion of my time in Bolivia, so we will be touring the salt flats, a few cities and (the piece we are most looking forward to) the wine region with some relaxing mud baths.
As customary, the rest of the trip I will be traveling solo and meeting some great people along the way, I’m sure. After my dad leaves, I will travel through Peru solo for about 3 days before arriving in Lima where I will probably stay put for a few weeks. I had my wonderful friend Devi’s house in Thailand to use as home base during my journeys and I don’t know where I would have been without it. Being on the go constantly wears me down so I wanted to find somewhere I could stay put longer than a few days. I really wanted to volunteer with an organization during my time but my schedule was a little constrained and unpredictable for organizations that want about a month commitment. Instead, I’m going to do some immersion Spanish classes and hopefully a few small volunteer projects for those few weeks. During and after my time in Lima, I’ll make a few more stops around Peru before I head over to La Paz and tour Bolivia. I’ve included a map below to give you all a layout of the countries.
A soon-to-follow post will include a more detailed itinerary, which I will try to follow. We know how well that ended up last time (if you did not follow my blog before, just know that my itinerary was more like a guideline), but I think this time I’m better informed about how to plan for longer travel. I won’t be as ambitious with the amount of destinations, but will still make time to fit in as many off-the-tourist-trail destinations as I can.
Cheers all! I’ve missed you, and traveling!