Friday, October 12, 2012

Atypically on Machu Picchu

My life is here now, in this hostel in this city, or on this bus, staring out this window.

This past weekend, my life brought me to a place that has been drawing me to South America for years... the magical mountains and ruins of Machu Picchu. My experience at Machu Picchu was more enlightening and less touristic than I might have previously expected, though.

Hiking up a mountain without words, with wind, and breath, and panoramic views of the valleys below leads the mind to places not easily reached when among the throws of daily living. I began contemplating my place in the world, the things I have done, the things I want, and the things I need in my life, as well as the people in it.

I've now ended a relationship with the man who has been closest to me for the last nine months. Sometimes, the road makes life so viceral, and so immediate, that holding on to a love from home becomes too difficult, too trying.

When sitting above the ruins of Machu Picchu, looking down over the mountains below, we were greeted with a beautiful sight. The ruins were visible to us, and within a moment would be hidden behind a layer of clouds blown in. In another moment, the clouds would lift, and the ruins would be visible again. Am I not like the ruins, and the people in my life not like the clouds, passing through? Some clouds linger and stay in our view, while others move past to greet the next mountain tops.

Physically exhausted, and philosophically dazed, I leave Peru in three days. I hope to enter Bolivia with a renewed sense of purpose and determination, knowing that I have followed my intuition.

Even though travel is often sold as an escape from real life, it can also offer a startling perspective on your own life, which is invisible to you when you're in the middle of living it.

For this new perspective on my own reality, travel, I thank you.


  1. wow...beautiful photo and inspiring post! It's interesting to think about how we each find perspective in the middle of living life. I'm going to think about that one : )

  2. @brenna - thank you so much for reading and commenting. i hope you´re doing really well :)

  3. I loved that post.
    I actually never really can think more clearly about my life, myself and what I really want to achieve than when I'm on a travel.
    Maybe because I feel more at peace, more in harmony with things, people around me. Life sometimes is too busy, or just not allowing you to connect with yourself as you would do on a trip. Well at least for me!
    I hope you'll have a great time in Bolivia.

  4. I'm so excited to have found your blog Kerri. I look forward to reading all your previous entries.

    You're pretty much living my dream. Backpacking through South and Central America is the one thing that occupies my mind constantly.

    One day, hopefully in the next year or so, it'll become a reality. Ideally I'd love to couple it with volunteering in any capacity whether it be teaching kids English to helping build a house.

    For the moment though, I'll enjoy your entertaining blog entries and sit in awe of the photos you post along with them.

    Blogging my travels is something I aim to do as well. Keep it up, I'll remain an avid reader from now on!

  5. @Antastesia - thank you so much for your comment. travel does make life more real in some ways. i am really enjoying Bolivia so far :)

  6. @Sean - thank you! i am happy you enjoyed this post. and yes, south america had been a dream for me as well. despite already having been on the road for 3 months now, sometimes i have to pinch myself. people are more amazing than you expect, and the landscapes more beautiful than you imagine. i hope to read your blog on your travels here whenever you get here!

  7. What a beautiful reflection. I'm very jealous of your adventures. :) Machu Picchu's high on the list of places I want to see too - Though I'm a very slow walker so kind of dread the hike there.


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