Welcome to Peru. And the start of a new identity crisis.
I want to move to New York. Or Portland. Or Austin. Or Seattle.
I thought about that as I sat under a sculpture of two giant lovers embraced in a kiss in Parque del Amor, “Love Park,” in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru.
At least, I managed to think about it for about two minutes before a man asked me to take his picture and then started talking to me.
And then I couldn’t get rid of him no matter how many times I tried. I’d say, “I’d like to walk alone for a bit,” and he’d say, “OK, I’ll come with you.” Or, “I just want to sit here by myself for a while,” and he’d sit there too.
And then I ended up doing his English homework for him.
And then he tried to kiss me.
As things go.
After that, I retreated back to my hostel.
It was my first day out of the country after seven months home in Chicago. It was my first day in Lima. My first day in Peru. I went to bed that night, in a room with seven strangers, thinking that maybe I was actually done with long-term travel. Maybe my heart wasn’t in it anymore. But then I woke up, as I often do, wanting to wake up every morning in a different city, in a different room, amongst seven new strangers.
Let’s just say: I don’t know what I want anymore.
Or, more accurately: I don’t know what I want.
New York got me thinking of change. Maybe I could move somewhere new and unpack all those boxes I’m storing and it would still be an adventure, but with more furniture purchases involved. (Seriously, I’m probably the only person traveling the world who dreams of what couch she’s going to buy someday.)
But then I’d be tied down, with no money to travel. Probably no money to even enjoy where I was.
And there are so many places I still want to see.
And then it would just be harder to ever pick up and leave again when I inevitably decide that that’s what I want to do.
Then there’s this little fact that soon I will have no money and what I want won’t matter anymore anyways unless I can get more freelance work but I am not one of those hustlers who can find work all the time so I will have to move back and get a real job again somewhere. Somewhere.
I’ll figure it all out, I suppose. That is, after all, why I came to Peru. I figured I’d take it slow, spend three months in the country, settle somewhere, possibly Cusco, for a month or two, get shit done, and figure things out.
So welcome to Peru, and welcome to my new identity crisis. Both of which I’ll be in over the next three months.