A place to share the things that inspire us.

Who lives, sees much. Who travels, sees more.

by guest blogger, Kezia Huseman

What happens when you live in a place for a long time is that you get used to everything.  For me in Cusco, for example, the lack of traffic regulations doesn’t seem that dangerous, the cold doesn’t feel that cold, and being the only light-haired maiden in a crowd is part of daily life.  It isn’t until someone comes and visits you that you notice the anomalies, and the splendor, of where you are.


The Sacred Valley on the way to Machu Picchu.

Just recently, three of my most favorite people came and visited me in Peru.  Who were they, you ask?  None other than fellow blood-Tonganoxians—my younger brothers, commonly referred to as The Brothers.  For two and a half weeks, we vacationed to Puno and Lake Titicaca, hiked all the way to Machu Picchu, and explored in and around the city of Cusco.


At Lake Titicaca. From left to right: Gad, Zeb, Kezia, Asher.

Prior to their arrival, we talked frequently about what they should pack.  Because of the high altitude, the temperature gradient during the day is quite large.  I instructed The Brothers to pack lots of layers and a light jacket for nighttime.  When they arrived however, I was told, “Why did you tell us to bring a light jacket?  It’s COLD!”  I know it’s cold, but I guess I’m just used to sweating during the day in the sun and then shivering in my unheated apartment at night.


The brothers with Cusco and the Andes in the background.

There were several “Peruvianisms” like that which The Brothers pointed out.  For example, squeezing as many people into a public bus (small van) as possible, having a flat rate for all taxi rides, eating delicious popsicles on the street for the equivalent of 10 US cents, using coins for most purchases, and boiling water before drinking it.


The brothers eating churros.

The oddities of Peru may seem strange at first, but they are what make it special and intriguing and exciting to visit.  I suppose I could have warned The Brothers about a few things a bit more than I did, but I’m glad I didn’t.  Discovering for yourself what makes a place distinct and exceptional is the fun of traveling.


Zeb ziplining upside down in the Urubamba River valley.

While being accustomed to Cusco inhibited me from sharing all the oddities with The Brothers prior to their arrival, being a local also had its advantages during their stay.  I know the best eateries, the cheapest/quickest routes, the people to know, the non-tourist shops, and the hidden treasures—the things even the guide books forget.


A poinsettia plant in full bloom along the Inca Trail.

I’d be more than happy to share all the secret places of Cusco, but this blog simply isn’t long enough.  But you know…better yet…come visit!  Why should I tell you everything when you can see it all for yourself?


Railroad tracks on the three hour journey to Machu Picchu.

“To travel is to live.”   –Hans Christian Anderson


A Peruvian woman carrying her child in the traditional way, on her back in a blanket (manta).

Peruvianism: a norm of Peru which appears strange/interesting/surprising to most foreigners at first; they are not negative, but rather different.

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One Response to Who lives, sees much. Who travels, sees more.

  1. ullahsandra@gnaill.com' Sandra Ullah says:

    I traveled to Peru in 2000 to hike the Inca Trail. We had porters and guides and it was still hard (our first real hike ever). I remember the Urambamba river, how wild it was… and in Cuzco, I remember being introduced to “cuy” replete with tail and paws when it came to the table. In the mountains, I suffered my second bout of altitude sickness and had my headaches and knee aches relieved by large amounts of mate tea and cocoa leaf compresses applied to my knee. Our guide in the mountains regaled us with haunting flute while traveling the mountain while our Cuzco guide led us around the streets of Peru which at that time were riddled with paramilitary police on every corner and in the mountains, they said there were bandits–we never saw any–but we did see amazingly beautiful vistas in the Andes. I have traveled to many places in the world but for some reason, the Andes, though beautiful is the only place I have stayed for about 2 weeks and upon returning , wanted just a simple hamburger (which I rarely eat stateside) and made me glad to be back in the US–I even kissed the ground when we landed in Miami. Odd but true. regrets? That I did not buy the tourmaline and 22K ring I saw at the airport. for everything else, it was a wonderful yet arduous trip.

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