Tag Archives: Peru

The Five Books I Brought to Peru

books

My well seasoned traveling friends warned me not to take too many books down to Peru. They said that I’d be too busy exploring and immersing myself in the local culture that I’d never have time to read.

Well, going without good books for a month for me is like cutting out coffee for a month. (It’s not a pretty scene folks)

Here are the five books I brought down to Peru with me. This short list is a combination of audiobooks, kindle and and hard copy versions. ( Tip: audiobooks keep you entertained on long plane/train/bus rides)

1) On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I watched the trailer for the movie that is coming out soon and I was intrigued. This book is a fantastic story about a young man traveling through the United States in the 40s. I finished half the book between leaving the airport and arriving in Lima.

2) The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

I’ve talked about this book before. I figured I needed a refresher, so what better way to spend a few free hours each week studying how to unleash my inner creative. Cameron’s classic book is a 12 week course in exploring your inner creative. Packed with useful exercises and thought provoking questions, this book is perfect for a bit of self exploration.

3)The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin

I haven’t started this book yet but I was eager to pick it up before leaving because of the reviews. And also because I think Seth Godin is pretty awesome. I’ll add a book review later once I finish reading it.

4) Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

I’ve read plenty of books about how to improve your memory. What I like about Moonwalking with Einstein is the plethora of interesting stories and historical references that Foer makes. Packed full of great tips and ideas, this book was my go to for trying to quickly learn Spanish both before and during my trip.

5) ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

I figured I’d have a bit of free time in between sight seeing and enjoying the local cuisine. What better way to spend my idle hours than a little professional development? I’m about half way through Problogger and I’m dying to implement some of the ideas and tips that this book offers. I’ve learned a lot already and I’m definitely going to be giving the blog a little TLC when I return.

And finally, there is a book 6! Consider it a bonus. Book 6 makes the other 5 books even more useful and interesting.

6) A Moleskine Journal

I’ve written about the effectiveness of journaling many times and I really can’t emphasize how important it is. Especially when your traveling. Each day I’ve captured amazing ideas, thoughts and reflections on my time down here. Taking the time to write while you travel is an essential part of your experience.

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First Impressions of Peru

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I’ve been in Peru for a few days now so i’ve had a chance to adjust to the culture shock and acclimatize to the altitude in the mountains.

In my first day in Peru, I wrote down some first impressions I had about traveling to a new country and checking out the city of Lima.

Here is a short list of thoughts I jotted down on my iPhone while I was in a cab heading to Arequipa:

1) Traffic is crazy all the time

2) Driving into oncoming traffic is a common driving tactic

3) Ceviche is amazing and possibly my new favorite food. In coastal cities like Lima, the seafood is incredibly fresh.

4) Scotia bank is everywhere. Apparently it’s the third largest bank in Peru.

5) People here work incredibly hard. Everywhere you look, people are doing manual labour, running businesses or doing insane feats like pushing a car down the street with no help.

6) Big brands really do exist everywhere.

7) Google Maps is amazing. I found google maps cars mapping out the city everywhere.

8) Learning some of the language is really important. Not just for safety but also to engage with the locals. Walking into restaurants, I was embarrassed that I couldn’t understand what people were saying to me.

9) As my good friend Ana says, travelling is kind of like being on a roller coaster. You just have to go with the flow and take the good with the bad.

10) Antibacterial Wipes or wet ones are a god send. Especially when on planes or if its been ages since you’ve seen running water.

And finally, here is a thought after being in the mountains for a few days:

11) Altitude sickness really will kick your butt. I thought I would be mildly affected but it ended up hitting me hard. There is nothing more humbling then getting winded after walking one city block. A peek into old age I suppose.

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