A girl was born in Cusco…
My father, an engineer from Cusco who used to travel a lot around the region, exploring from hidden communities in the mountains to those hidden in the jungle. My mother, an economist from Ayaviri, she used to travel often to visit family in Puno and Arequipa.
On weekends I traveled with my father, and on holidays with my mother. We traveled by train, car and some times by plane. Road-trips were my favorite, long hours watching out of the window, stopping to buy bread, fruit or to have lunch in one of those restaurants with the menu written in a colorful chalk board.
Weekends meant time to explore a little community in the mountains! When it was too late to return home we had to sleep in the car and share the table with locals. I still remember the best hot milk and cocoa I had in my life, maybe it was the firewood that gave it a special flavor, or rather the genuine generosity with which it was offered to us in a cold winter morning. Sometimes we went to the jungle, during rainy season the landslides stopped us for hours on the road, I used to spend that time chasing butterflies, all shapes and colors.
Holidays meant longer trips with mum, we used to go to Puno for the Candelaria festivity, it was time spent with my cousins to play, fight, bike, fight, repeat!. Sometimes we traveled to Arequipa, which for me meant eating a lot! from queso helado, shrimps & picarones.
I was 4 or 5 when I learned my first travel lesson: “Never lose sight of your belongings when withdrawing money from the ATM”. My father and I were at a bank office in Arequipa, I went to play around while he was queuing , after a few minutes I realized there was no one at the queue…my dad had left without me! He only realized I was missing when my furious mother asked him where I was… Luckily I was still there when they came back for me!
All these memories make it clear to me, we have vast and rich cultural diversity in Perú: the customs, food, landscape, clothing, accents, even the way we celebrate are different depending on where in the country we come from. Thanks to my parents I grew up comfortable adapting to each place as I traveled with them.
Time went by and those trips were less frequent, as a teenager I wanted to spend more time with friends during the holidays or weekends, my world was no longer surrounded by travelers. Who would have thought that could be possible living in a city full of travelers from all over the world.
I started to work behind a computer as an accountant, which, luckily didn’t last long! I advanced my career beyond the numbers, and in that process I made a trip that changed life as I knew it back then. One night of September eight years ago I was on a plane landing at night in London…that moment I learnt what love at first sight feels like.
This story has just began, keep traveling with me in my next post!