Traveling alerts our eyes to the wonder of every day tasks and events around us. Even though every country has it’s own regional differences, when you walk down a street in America, you are walking down a street in America. Often our eyes become lazy to what’s in front of us. When one walks down a street in a new country our senses pick up on everything. All of a sudden the sidewalk pavement doesn’t look like the same sidewalk pavement we walk on every visit to the grocery store in our home country. We might notice a slight texture difference. Maybe it’s a little more slippery than what we’re used to back home. Maybe the grey is slightly darker. But we notice the pavement. Plain old boring pavement. That’s the power of travel – the ability to make pavement exciting.
In the city of Puno, cars and buses drive on the road just like in America, but somehow the pavement looks a little different.
Through this post, here is a brief glimpse into every day life in Peru.
Cars, trucks and buses of all types drove down the street as kids rode their bikes.
Pigs crossing the street was an every day occurrence for locals.
Everyone carried on as tourists walked up the hill to the market while dogs crapped.
This dog seemed quite pleased to showcase his masters artistry. This stall owner and perhaps this dog are probably here nearly every day of the year.
Phone lines are upgraded and repaired. Say what you will looking at this photo, but don’t judge too quickly. Where my parents live in rural Western New York State, they cannot get high speed internet. Yup – living in the United States as I write this to you now, it is literally impossible for them to get high speed internet through their phone lines. There is also no cell service at their house. On a good day, they can drive up the hill and maybe get a bar. Even if this work crew didn’t have a big fancy truck, they figured out a way to fix the lines and we had high speed internet all over Cusco.
City squares and parks got decorated for holidays and festivities.
People prepared ready for big parties – I can only imagine that this fooseball tournament got pretty crazy.
We visited ancient sites learning that the Inca’s put these holes in the rocks as hand holds to pull themselves up into these shelters. By leaving what was originally a giant step, it would have made it easier to barricade the entrance and block off the door should someone try to attack.
Just as communities came together for celebrations, they also came together for funerals.
The meat market gots decorated for Christmas.
Donkey’s hee-haw. This donkey was so funny. He was a very nice, well looked after donkey at the bottom of Colca Canyon. When walking by he was so alert and looking around we stopped to photograph him. As I was snapping pics he kept hee hawing and carrying on. I felt bad we didn’t have a treat to reward him with.
Beautiful sunsets pass by locals such as this one at the top of Colca Canyon.
Cakes in window shops! Cakes in window shops!
Oh my goodness, best, worst thing ever. I wanted to eat them all. But couldn’t possibly, or could I? Well, either way, I don’t know how anyone could walk by this window and not think of these cakes as art.
One thing traveling all over the world has shown is the presence of multi-national corporations in even far flung destinations.
In a lot of areas we visited, municipalities simply didn’t have a strong public works cleaning department. Chris and I talked about this often and at length – especially after seeing a dead dog in this river bed. What would America look like if we didn’t use our tax dollars to fund public trash services. How many headlines do we read about groups like the Nature Conservancy organizing a volunteer clean up day and collecting tonnes of garbage from a river? The world over, first, second and third, trash is a problem.
Getting ice cream in the hot climate was a regular occurance. Theses sellers would peddle around these little bike-ice cream carts and everyone peers in and picks out what they would like. Chris was in the back-left using his height to his advantage to gaze into the ice box full of goodness.
If there is one thing Peruvians love, it was going to their parks. The sight of this nice, green grass here was a rare occurance. Often times grass fields were down to the dirt because so many people love to recreate in these open spaces.
There was always someone selling something.
I had to get blue cotton candy to match my blue shirt and try it out. It tasted like cotton candy.
It was through that ordinary act of trying blue cotton candy that I realized the moment had become bigger than eating sugar in an airy form on a stick. It became a chance to feel like I was doing what the locals were doing. Because at the end of the day, we all want to feel like a local. Being a local brings the comfort of feeling like we’re not in some far off land where everything is scary and everyone is different than ourselves.It reminds us that we are all much more a like than we are different. Whether we are in our own back yard with family and friends or thousands of miles away, I believe we are all seeking that feeling of being accepted. I think it’s easy to glorify travel for the sake of one big adventure, yet it’s the quiet moments of every day life that unite us and remind us we are all human.
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If you go:
Book a ticket to Peru and just go.