South America, home to many beautiful countries that are home to exotic people and places, where Oriana and I’s adventurous spirits will soon dwell upon, because we just bought two one way tickets to Peru!
Why choose Peru?
When people think about sights to see and things to do in Peru, Machu Pichu is a popular destination that comes to mind. However, there are many other factors that come into play with choosing Peru to travel to for a long term visit. The Peruvian government has a lenient system for my girlfriend and I to live there temporarily and for us to work there. Another nice benefit is the US currency. The American dollar goes a long way in their economy which is great for the both of us. I am especially looking forward to spending a few soles ($1-$2) on a couple kilos of wild rice, fresh cut chicken, fresh vegetables.
Another aspect to look into is the safety of the country. The country is relatively safe to live in. Of course Lima is a big city with the normality of crime that comes along with big cities such as Chicago or New York City. However, with research of the mannerisms of people, cultural norms, and of course common sense, it should not be incredibly difficult to avoid these conflicts.
Thieves and pickpockets are common in Lima for tourists. As much as I want to look like a local living in Lima, I will be a target as a gringo with money and valuables. I hopefully will be prepared for these encounters from the research I have been doing, plus the common sense of not trusting everyone on the street. Oriana also has been low-key turning me into a caraqueño (a man from Caracas, Venezuela). She is teaching me how to be alert, what kind of behaviors to go by, and what to do in certain situations. Gracias mi negra.
When are we leaving
Finding the cheapest deals to fly to Lima, Peru was our priority. So we have been watching deals constantly for any date with low prices. We found two one way tickets for a total of $426, but we unfortunately missed the opportunity. Prices were slowly increasing, so we took advantage of two tickets a week or two later for an extra $100. The two tickets we ended up purchasing are for the end of January of 2018! Before we go, we will definitely be spending plenty of time with family and friends with a party or two! On the bottom of my blog, there is a countdown for our departure.
Preparation before departure
There is so much to get done before now and our departure. Here is a list in which some are already figured out:
- Get my credit card
- Get a beneficial traveling credit card without any foreign fees
- Find a job (free lance online and one out and about the city)
- Purchase a more compatible travel laptop
- Figure out some kind of travel insurance
- Schedule a few dentist appointments
- Finish Vaccinations (Malaria, Typhoid, Yellow Fever)
- Figuring out my insurance for the medical appointments
- Purchase better shoes/boots
- Unlocking cellphones for us to use
- Find a place to live
1-2. Most of these points I have been slowly working on this list day by day. For example I just applied for my first credit card yesterday (oops I am 23). I figured I should probably build some credit, so I can get a beneficial credit card with some night travel benefits. I guess it is better late than never!
3-4. When it comes to jobs, Oriana has been helping me make Spanish profiles in the environmental field with my title (how sweet of her). I am also scheduling an interview with an online English tutor for Chinese students after I purchase a new compatible traveling laptop which is also on the preparation list. This would be great working from my laptop from almost anywhere.
5-8. These points are incredibly important to me that I complete ASAP. I have been slowly knocking out appointments to get vaccines such as Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Malaria, and Hepatitis A. I am going to Madison December 20th for my Yellow Fever vaccine. Now the tricky part is figuring out if my insurance covers these, or if I will bite the bullet myself and pay out of pocket (I would rather be healthy, but ouch). Either way, these are a necessity for me to live abroad.
9. I absolutely need to purchase new shoes/boots for casual use, work use, and of course hiking use. The trick is to find a shoe/boot that fits all the above? I do not know if it exists, but that is the goal! My teal Nike shoes are the WORST. They have no padding, they are deteriorating, and they are a manufacturing defect, so they were incredibly cheap! Time to upgrade, this is a must! I bought them in Washington D.C. when my old shoes had two gaping holes taking in water in the streets of Old Town in Alexandria. Best $15 I have ever spent, but in the same breath, the worst when it comes to long lasting shoes.
10-12. These are already completed for my tasks for Peru. Oriana and I have two unlocked phones so we can use them internationally, which is going to be a new experience for me. We will need to figure out how this whole process works. As for housing, luckily Oriana has a cousin who is a resident living in Peru who is welcoming us with open arms to stay at his place. We are so grateful for his generosity! He is located in a district of Lima about 20 minutes from Miraflores, which is full of tourism and other gringos. An exciting experience is that we will be sleeping on the floor with sleeping bags for the duration of the stay, or for a long time. This will be a great experience to go through in my honest opinion! Lastly of course we need to pack!
This list seems overwhelming at times, but by chipping these tasks away little by little it will all get done! It always does. The biggest priority right now is getting my vaccines and medical appointments in order and making sure they are paid off with or without insurance. Lastly, the major priority is working my soon-to-be-traveling-tail off and putting money away for the adventure!
- Language Barrier
- Getting accustomed to being by myself in a city
- The city in general (I am a country boy)
- Figuring out how to do money transactions efficiently
- Finding a job-Oriana tells me this will not be a problem
- Getting sick
- Drinking water
- Getting Lost
- HAVING TOO MUCH FUN
Blogs to come
I plan to write more about the district we will be living in Lima. I also would like to create a comparison of before and after expectations of the city of Lima and the country overall. In addition I will be writing more about the feelings I am experiencing up to the flight of departure and will document the journey itself to Peru!
Until the next post, glad to share the news with all of you! Any comments questions or suggestions are always appreciated!