Peru: Culture & Lifestyle

My purpose for wanting to start this blog was to motivate not only myself and expand the boundaries of my mind, but is most importantly to inspire and motivate my readers.  As a kid growing up I was fortunate enough to have traveled around the world with my family.  When I was 20 years old I had an unfortunate situation happen in my life and decided to move to Rome.  This was the first time I had gone anywhere that far without my family, it was a test and a challenge worth taking.  My point on going was to find my faith on a religious pilgrimage.  When returning home, I had not found my faith, but I had found myself.  I had grown up into the woman that I am now and have yet to look back at the life I once had.  Years later after Rome, I had the chance to move to Paris, and that truly was the greatest experience of my entire life.  Both Rome and Paris had modeled me into the woman and artist I am now.  I have experience life, I have explored new cultures, and executed challenges such as language barriers, and most importantly, I lived.  I created this blog to not only share my experiences, but in hopes that it will motivate and inspire you to try new things and step out of your comfort zone.  Who knows, maybe you'll have a similar experience as I had and fall in love with yourself and the world around us.  

I've spent days, sitting in front of my computer with my hands on my keyboard, but haven't been able to find the right words to describe this trip.  The first thing that comes to my mind is holy crap!  Peru was perfect, it was just what I had expected and more; so much more.  Honestly, these words and photos will do no justice to this beautiful county.  This culture and landscape is so colorfully vibrant and I wish I had spent more days exploring other cities.  There is not one thing I can say that I loved more than the other, each experience was so unique and eye opening.  All I have to say, is if you ever have the chance to visit Peru, YOU MUST! 

The air in Peru was delicious.  I laughed when writing that sentence, but really it was a different kind of air.  In the bigger cities it wasn't so fresh considering everyone used diesel fuel, but when I walked outside of the hotel or had the drive stop in the middle of nowhere or even high up on Machu Picchu, I could breathe.  Shockingly when considering the high altitude! I've always been the girl to miss out on snow trips due to altitude sickness, but not once did i feel faint or out of breath.  The locals recommended having two glasses of coca tea, that could have been why I didn't notice a change.  Even flying into 12,000+ feet above sea level and driving my way back down the mountain towards my hotel could have tricked my mind into thinking I wasn't so high after all.  Fortunately while driving down, I had my face glued to the window dying over all the colors.  I could have easily pulled up a charge and just watched the sun fall over the mountains every day for the rest of my life.  

As a culture, tradition is very important to to the Peruvians, especially the women.  Around every town, I would see the men in every day clothes, but the women were dresses in traditional garments with their little hats with their hair in two braids and colorful pleated skirts and sweaters.  It really was adorable to see these women stay true to their traditions with their clothing. I have yet to see this out of every country or continet I have visited.  I've seen people wear traditional garments for events or performances, but never as everyday clothes.  Mexico would probably be the closets culture to having similarities, but no one in Europe nor Thailand would wear something of the sort.  The craziest thing I notice was how much weight these women could carry on their backs.  Not only would they strap a child with nothing more than a quilted blanket, but they would carry tapestries and other products they hope to sell.  Here I am this weak little American girl, in awe over these strong beautiful Peruvian women.  

Have you ever heard of corn beer before? Yea, me either until I went to Peru.  At first it sounded like it would be disgusting, but then I realized everything in America has disgusting corn starch and some sort of unhealthy preservative.  This beer was fresh and homemade, a little more enticing to try rather than purchasing at a supermarket.  When driving on the roads you would see a red plastic bag or yellow plastic bag, wrapped around a poll standing high outside of these homes or restaurants.  This was a common sign saying that they sold corn beer and with both red and yellow it meant beer and food were served there.  You would see them EVERYWHERE!  I had my tour guide take me to his favorite place and this adorable woman welcomed us into her home with a big smile.  It was perfectly organized, smelt like eucalyptus with black ceilings from all the smoke.  This women didn't expect us to pay nothing more than just a tip as a thank you. The beer was surprisingly delicious, especially the pink strawberry beer.  Don't expect to get wasted off of one cup, it has little to no alcohol content.  You'll be peeing a lot before you ever get a little buzz.  So if ever you find yourself in Peru, be sure to find a red plastic bag somewhere and try Peruvian corn beer, you won't be disappointed.  

Tambo del Inka in Urubamba, Peru.  Thats where you should stay, no questions asked.  Its central to a majority of Inka ruin sites, has a train station on their property, and their accommodations are unbelievable.  For those of you who know me, know that I have been on a life changing health diet where I cannot eat dairy, gluten, coffee, chocolate, beef, etc etc etc.  Im always worried about traveling and restaurants being able to accomidate my dietary needs.  I should admit that not only did this hotel have an entire gluten free section, but every restaurant I had gone to away from the hotel had a section as well.  I was amazed to know how serious Peruvians were about Celiac disease (I don't have this disease, but my diet is similar to someone who has been diagnosed).  This hotel had the best gluten free selection I have ever seen, from a breakfast buffet to packing me a gluten free lunch for my excursions.   Aside from the amazing food, the indoor/ outdoor pool was something I had never seen before.  I almost stayed at a hotel on Machu Picchu, but I'm thankful I stayed at the Tambo del Inka mostly because I was able to travel around and see more sites in a reasonable amount of time.  (Be sure to check out my next blog feature each location I was able to visit).  

Right now this beautiful country needs our help.  They are suffering from horrible mudslides and flooding.  These families are watching their homes being washed away by mother nature and already have little to nothing to begin with.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, take a little time out of your day and a few dollars out of your bank accounts to help fund their families.  A little goes a really long way.  These 4 nonprofits are there now helping get money, clean water, food and clothes to these families in need.  

Please go to this website and save a life!!!! :