Before my husband and I got married, and before he started his PhD, he spent 9 months in Peru. It also happened to be my first year teaching. Those 9 months were so hard, but also just exactly what both of us needed.
Plus, he sent me Peruvian Lilies for Valentines Day that year, so ya know, priorities.
Anyway, the end of his trip corresponded with my Spring Break. And, we decided that I would venture to Peru that week and see why he loved it so much. Initially, I was trying to convince a friend to fly out with me. I was 23, under five feet tall, barely spoke high school Spanish, and had only ever traveled alone between Colorado and Kansas.
Not exactly an adventurer to say the least.
But then, my mom’s best friend came over for dinner. I was telling her all of my grand plans and looking through flights, explaining why I wanted my friend to come. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “No. You have to go alone. Once you travel internationally alone, you’ll know you can do anything.” She was adamant, and convincing.
So I booked the flight, push down my anxiety, and headed to Lima alone. Very, very alone.
The flight landed at 1 AM in Lima. I had to get my Visa, make it through customs and find my way to the next flight, alone. And I did. I spoke very pathetic Spanish, walked out into the city in the middle of the night, blew off yelling taxing drivers and went back inside to my gate. It was amazing, because I could do it alone. Very, very alone.
I seriously fooled everyone, including myself, into believing I was a capable world traveler. And my mom’s friend was right, I can do anything.