And just like that, January is behind us!
I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start. This month has been a busy one with lots of travel planning and business plotting. It has been a bit of a challenge balancing work and travel in South America (the internet speeds are testing my patience!), but I’m excited about the direction 2016 is going in. This monthly update is a few days late, but hopefully you’ve been enjoying all the Peru content that’s been coming out instead.
Now let’s get on with some news and updates:
We are hiring!
Let’s start with the exciting news: we are hiring! That Backpacker has been growing at a steady rate and it’s gotten to the point where I need some people to come on board and join the team. I’ve had a few people helping me behind the scenes over the past few months, but I’m now ready to take on a select group of contributing writers who want to share exciting adventures and exotic destinations. Click here for a look at our current job openings.
Peru: Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Puno, Lake Titicaca
Bolivia: Copacabana, Isla del Sol
Meeting one of our YouTube subs
Sam and I were filming another food video in Lima when we got spotted by one of our YouTube subs who was having lunch at the same restaurant. It was really cool meeting someone who had watched our Peru videos before travelling to Lima. Made my day!
Spending time with family in Lima
The highlight of every visit to Lima is getting to spend time with family – going out for walks with family, going out for ceviche with family, and just hanging around on the couch with family. I was thankful to have a week to hang out with my relatives, and it was also cool having Sam’s parents there (we’ve been travelling with them for the past few weeks and we still have 2 exciting months ahead of us).
Walking part of the Inca Trail
I did the 2-day Inca Trail (which really only requires one full day of walking!) and while I didn’t put in the sweat and tears that the 4-day trekkers and 10-day trekkers do, it was still a really cool experience. It has given me the confidence to tackle some longer hikes in the future.
Doing a homestay on Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is one of those places I’ve been wanting to visit forever, so I was super excited when I learned that you can do a homestay on an island. We stayed with a local Quechua family of 4, shared meals in their kitchen, learned about their culture, and had a fun night out on the town.
Relaxing in the hippie lakeside town of Copacabana
Copacabana is a sleepy little town that sits on the shores of Lake Titicaca. There isn’t a whole lot to do there aside from lounging around and soaking in the views, so that’s exactly what we did. Sam and I ended up finding a cozy little cottage that felt a bit like a treehouse, and aside from the ridiculously slow internet, it was a good spot to catch up on some writing and video editing. (If you want to see what we’ve been up to lately, you can have a peek over on our YouTube channel.)
I guess not many people know that you can get a Machu Picchu stamp when you visit the site, because this photo got a whole lot of loving! I didn’t know you could get a passport stamp the first time I visited either, but I came prepared on this most recent visit.
What I read this month
Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
I only read one book this month but it was a good one. Since I knew I would be walking the Inca Trail, I wanted a book that would be entertaining yet teach me a thing or two about the Incas and the tales surrounding Machu Picchu. Adams’ Turn Right at Machu Picchu turned out to be the perfect read!
To sum it up, Adams has spent most of his life working behind the desk of travel magazines, and while he’s sent many writers on great adventures, he hasn’t gone on one himself. Being married to a Peruvian woman, he’s travelled to Lima many times before, but he’s never ventured any further. Then one day soon after turning 40 he decides he is going to walk the Inca Trail, but he’s not taking the easy route! He decides to recreate Hiram Bingham’s route with the help of an Aussie guide. He is woefully unprepared and the ensuing tale is laugh-out-loud funny.
In February my travels will be focusing on Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, so you can expect lots of content from there!