I returned home from a two-week vacation to Peru recently. The tour turned out to be quite an enjoyable time but life changing too. I relaxed and gained a new outlook on life.
Pre-Peru Julia lived her life longing for the time when she was able to crash into bed at the end of the day.
Post-Peru Julia lives her life taking in all she can throughout the day until she is able to happily tuck herself in bed at night.
This may make me sound like a depressed person (of which occasionally is the case), but that is not the point; the point is that something changed in me in Peru.
Here's how it happened: The first day of the tour we were in the Amazon jungle and I was tired. All I could think about was hitting the sack at the end of the day. In my mind I scolded myself saying: "Julia, you are in Peru only once in your life! Enjoy it! Every minute of it!" The rest of the tour, I lived deeply every experience from nighttime caiman spotting in the jungle, to scaling the endless steps of Huayna Picchu, to enjoying countless Incan ruins, to visiting native communities on the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca, to strolling along the streets of Cusco.
I pulled so much strength and resolve from this tour and, surprisingly, without even knowing it. It was about a week after I arrived home that the realization of this delightful paradigm shift had occurred and I am happy for it.
The thing is I have to work hard on keeping this resolve. There have been a few times since returning home that I have found myself sliding back into my old stress bucket ways, and I have to take a few deep breaths and exhale a healthy "Don't sweat it."
Life should be beautiful and enjoyable, not a routine of longing to go back to bed all the time.
Have you had a similar experience? Are you hoping to have this kind of a change occur in your life? I just hope you don't have to travel across the world to figure it out.
And for those who want to see some pics, here you go:
Relaxing in the Amazon jungle at my bungalow.
Julia's gone native.
I made friends with some alpacas.
Cristo Blanco high in the hills of Cusco.
My alpaca friend I named Frazzila May.
Julia at Machu Picchu! This place is wondrous and magical.
Uros floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca near Puno, Peru.
Eating alpaca. It was beyond delicious.
Eating guinea pig, a Peruvian delicacy.
In front of what is considered Peru's white house in Lima.