Before I get to Peru, let’s rewind back to Bristol. I told my parents that I’d be arriving on a Thursday when I actually showed up on Wednesday. With the help of my friend and sister, I was able to give my parents and uncle a priceless surprise.
It felt nice being home – no more creaky bunk beds, hostel showers, lugging around a food bag and backpack twice my size. The first couple of weeks were fine but being around people consistently was an adjustment for sure. It was lonely again at times but I took the time to see if I can go off on a few more trips before the end of the year. Since I couldn’t go to Peru and the continent of Africa as planned in June, an opportunity came up to attend a creative workshop and travel through Peru. I decided to give it a go although I was very nervous about it being a creative group experience and I had never done anything like it.
*FAST FORWARD TO PERU* – another impulse decision I don’t regret. Another group of strangers turned into friends but this time we shared a similar passion. Not only did we experience CRAZY things all around Peru, we learned from one another, made bigger dreams and walked away with valuable life lessons.
Hiking up to Machu Pichu is one of my Dad’s biggest dreams. I thought I’d be able to do this with him so it made me sad when I stopped and saw it with my own eyes. For the record, I did FaceTime him immediately (who knew there would be reception out there!). I know it’s not the same but having that virtual moment with him meant everything to me.
These final set of images turned out to be the best of all my travels. Not because it was a photography focused trip but because I felt alive and creative again. The highlight had to be Rainbow Mountain – here’s a part of a journal entry I wrote after hiking up the mountain:
We just came back from one hellava trip. Rainbow mountain – where you experience living but not being able to physically breathe and then get moved to tears by the mental, physical and emotional journey the place brings. Most of us pulled an all nighter since we’d be starting our trek at 2 am to catch the sunrise. Not only was it freezing, there was no sun because of the dense clouds filled with SNOW. It was magical regardless.
On the way down to the base, I found myself crying. Not a tear here and there – full on snotty, hyperventilating crying. This was it. My 8/9 month adventure around the world has officially come to an end. And I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. So many memories filled my mind and heart – the people I’ve met along the way, not having to worrying about my health or safety, the freedom I discovered in myself to be whoever I wanted to be and do whatever my heart desires. I may be going back to what I tried to escape but this time I’ve changed. I’ll be okay..
And that’s it folks, the last *international* destination of the big backpacking trip. Writing these logs brought me back on the crazy emotional rollercoaster. I sit here feeling the exact feelings I felt at the end of my trip in Peru. Sad because it was all over but happy because I finished it off with the best group of friends and my last rolls of film that travelled to all 15 countries with me. Hope you come back tomorrow for a special piece I’ve made in honor of the end of this series.