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.