Tag Archives: Travel

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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Finding the Perfect Weekend Duffel Bag

I travel quite a bit on short weekend trips.I was finding that the bag that I was using wasn’t working so I decided to shop around for a new overnight bag.

Here are my three picks:

Herschel Novel Duffel

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The Herschel Novel Duffel is a very stylish bag that gives you a retro look with some cool features.

Pros

– Shoe compartment

– Size (Large enough bag to pack a lot of stuff in)

– Light weight

– Nice leather accents

– Stylish and cool

Cons

– The canvas material seemed a little flimsy

– The plastic buckles seemed poorly constructed

– Some of the inner linings are unusual designs

– The shoe compartment was nice but a little small for large shoes

Lululemon Training Duffel

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The Lululemon Duffel is a durable urban bag that can be used for the gym or a weekend away.

Pros

– Lot’s of features including a strap for a yoga mat

– Large shoe/wet stuff compartment

– High quality material

– The bag keeps its shape once its zipped up

Cons

– Expensive at $108

– Not as stylish as other bags

– Not as much space available once you have a pair of shoes in the shoe compartment

MEC Duffel Bag

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The MEC Duffel is a well constructed bag that is highly durable and basic in its look and feel.

Pros

– Inexpensive

– Lot’s of size options

– Lot’s of colors to choose from

– Waterproof

– Durable

Cons

– It’s a pretty basic bag so you won’t get any points for style

– No special compartments for small items

– The shoulder strap can be uncomfortable with heavy weight

I decided in the end to go with the Lululemon Training Duffel because of the durability and quality of the fabric. I’ve been using it regularly for the past few months and i’ve been extremely happy with it.