Leaving for Peru

Leaving for Peru

Writer: Jessica

Usually I’m a pro at packing quickly.  All of the weekend trips to the lake as a kid prepared me well and Diego doesn’t much fuss about what clothes or things he wants to bring. However, there is something uniquely different about preparing to live out of the amount of luggage allowed for carry-on for three months. Perhaps it might have been easier if we were staying in the tropics, or in cold countries…but we’re not. Our journey will have us experience all four seasons of the year.  Winter and early spring in the Northern Hemisphere and summer and early autumn in the Southern.  Each item of clothing has to be seriously considered: can I live without this? The same for each piece of technology.

We gave up noise-cancelling headphones.  We’ll settle for what the airline provides.  I gave up my Kindle; I’ll settle for the App on my phone.  No truly fancy places allowed: we only have hiking boots and sandals each.  I spent time researching on travel blogs to find out what worked for others doing a similar crazy trip.  In the end, we covered the bed in our guest room as a staging area. (See photo).  And packed all of it into one large and one small backpack each.  Thank you compression bags!

And so, we prepared. And finally came the day. February 1st. The day of departure. I’ve surprised myself by how not excited for this trip I’ve been in the final weeks.  All of the anxiety about leaving for the trip.  Change is hard—and this will definitely change us as people. The sadness of taking my dog off to family.  I know she’ll be spoiled rotten, and I thank my family and Greg greatly for helping out, but Diego and I are still sad to leave her.  Waking up on the 1st was surreal. The 1st day of a new month… and our new lives out of our backpacks.

Diego finished up some very important tasks at work. I finished up some very important housework. And then…it was time to drive the rental care to SFO airport. Traffic to San Francisco wasn’t bad, thankfully, though it still annoyed Diego. Drop the rental car off. Find Copa airlines and check-in. For some reason, the computer wouldn’t let us do it online the night prior.  TSA pre-check was a breeze (I never want to fly without it!) as we didn’t wait in line at all.  Straight to the security agent, and then there was no line at the conveyor for the x-ray!

Thanks to airmiles we’ve saved up, and some perks of our credit cards, we’re flying in the lap of luxury…Okay, fine, some friends doing something similar soon are flying First Class. We’re not THAT luxurious. But, for the first time in our lives we’re enjoying airport lounges. We didn’t have long in one before our flight boarded, but it was enough time to grab a bite to eat (free!) and relax in a much quieter, and more comfortable, surrounding. And then, we were boarded.  Diego had flown business once before, on a fairly short flight as he’d been upgraded.  I had never flown business before, but let me tell you: I never want an intercontinental flight without it again!

Even with business class seats, it was a long day of travel.  We left SFO at 7:50 pm on February 1st.  After a 7-hour flight, we landed in Panama City for a layover, then a flight to Lima.  After another layover we arrived in Cusco, the closest major city to Machu Picchu.  Along the way we checked out more lounges, but the best lounge and seat were on our first leg of the journey.

On Sunday, while you turn on the Superbowl, we’ll be heading back down the mountain from our morning exploration and hike up the mountain at Machu Picchu. Tune in shortly thereafter for some photos and another update about the rest of our adventures in Peru!

4 Replies to “Leaving for Peru”

  1. Hello from FM2 NSG SSD Lab 8am daily meeting. Missing our fourth wheel. Hope you guys are having a good time.

  2. Neil wishes you well and asks that you have a beer or wine or “whatever you can get in Peru” for us ;)) and I can only add “changes us as people” – you’re right!, you get more kudo points each post, so happy for you! :)))

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