Why I’m Not Excited About Visiting Machu Picchu (but Still Can’t Wait to Go)

I’ve already been to Machu Picchu two times (2005 and 2009). Over the years I’ve always tried to be a traveler instead of tourist simply checking off boxes to say that I’ve been somewhere. Despite that, Machu Picchu is the one place I’ve been everyone should see no matter the motivation. I went in 2005 […]

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What a Difference Having Residency Makes!

Last week, after nearly nine months living in Peru, I finally received my carnet de extranjera (residency card or “green card”) and I can guarantee it will make a big difference in benefits going forward. My application was approved by Peruvian Immigration officials a month ago, but it took awhile to receive the actual card […]

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My First View of Gold Mining in the Rainforest

Last Wednesday I flew to Puerto Maldonado on the Rio Madre de Dios and caught my first glimpse of the devastation caused by gold mining in the rainforest. While it was my third trip to Puerto Maldonado, it was my first time to sit next to the window looking out across the Madre de Dios […]

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Three Days’ Hiking in the Sacred Valley

In the past three days I’ve gotten out and taken advantage of the unusually beautiful weather that has filled the skies over Peru’s Sacred Valley with gorgeous sunshine to done a different hike each day. Normally I wouldn’t push myself to do three days in a row of 8-10 miles (at very high altitude!), but […]

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Hiking an Ancient Trail Above Yucay

It seems that every time I go out to explore somewhere new I am amazed by something even more fantastic than the last time. Sometimes it’s just hyperbole, but yesterday time I headed east out of the small town of Yucay in search of a remote Andean settlement and was not disappointed with a truly […]

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The Top Places I Plan to Visit in South America

As the day gets closer and closer when I am living in South America permanently, I think a lot about the logistics of the move, but I’m also starting to think about all the places I want to visit. For me, visiting a place just to check it off my bucket list is not what […]

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Moving to South America: Choosing Where to Live

I’ve changed my mind several times on where to live I’d like to live if I move to South America. My original plan has always been to move to Iquitos, Peru where I am most comfortable in a city I know well and have the most friends, but increased violent crime against foreigners (who stand […]

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Sudden Instability in Peru is a Concern

What kind of situation am I heading into in a few days? Right now Peru, a country noted for it’s political instability, is in a highly volatile situation with the current President, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (commonly referred to as PPK in Peru), facing the possibility of impeachment as early as today only 10 days after reports […]

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