Sometimes people ask me, “How do you have friends all over the globe?” To me that’s an easy enough question. Allow me a moment of vanity: I attract people like me. I admire worldly, global people to whom “thinking outside the box” is a way of life. I gravitate towards those that are passionate about their lives and lead ones full of love, laughter, tears, energy. Which brings me to my latest ‘Nomad. I met Courtney a few years ago as a work connection. Both having a propensity for foreign men, Antonio Banderas, and life on an airplane, we ended up working together and I knew we’d be great friends. I always look forward to hearing from / catching up with Courtney. As I read her Instagram / Facebook captions, there is always a “Ooo, what is she up to?” Brilliant, Courtney is perpetually working on an amazing project, but there’s something else that has always captivated me about this beautiful California blonde. A few years ago, Courtney made that life-changing decision to become an ex-pat. For love, she moved to Lima, Peru, home of her now husband whom she met in business school. As is the case with every awesome thing she does, Courtney seemed to take this monumental move in stride, like it was just the obvious next step. When it was time for her wedding in Peru, there was no doubt in my mind that I would make it and I’m so happy I did.
You walked into Court and Dani’s wedding ceremony and it was simply magical. It was like this rustic chic fairy tale. I’ve never seen anything like it. And to top it all off, it was fun. Great food, dancing, drinking, my face hurt from laughing so much by the end of the night. Court and her husband are living the life going after their dreams in Lima. Seriously, they are couple vacation #goals and from their pisco Huamaní, to Courtney’s start up, Cabify (car service), I’m pretty sure the next time you’re in Lima, at least 50% of your fun will be courtesy of this duo. I’m excited to share the latest ‘Nomad with you.
‘N: Where are you from? / Where did you grow up?
Courtney: Orange County, California. Grew up on the beach ☺️
‘N: Where do you live now?
Courtney: Lima, Peru
‘N: What are 3 words that come to mind to describe your life as an expat?
Courtney: Open-minded, Adventurous, Chameleon
‘N: What / if anything do you miss about life in the US?
Courtney: E-commerce, I basically lived online in NYC. Unfortunately, very few interent delivery options. Customer Services, the US market is so competitive that companies really set themselves apart by how they treat the customer. Here, not the case. Big companies win regardless of customer service. Reliability, sometimes things work and sometimes they dont without much heads up – roads, water, internet. Its always nice to go back to the US where everything works on time as expected.
‘N: You and your husband travel quite a bit, when you’re back in Lima, what’s your first stop?
Courtney: Ámaz for a Pisco Mule. Pisco is a Peruvian alcohol similar to Vodka or Gin. It’s largely not available outside of Peru (although exports are on the rise with the interest and growth of Peruvian food around the world). They make great Pisco Mules at Ámaz.
‘N: What is your favorite Peruvian dish?
Courtney: Pan con Pejerrey – I am not a big fried food fan, but I am in love with this sándwich. It is a flash fried fish sándwich served with a local versión of tartar sauce and a spicy onion and aji salsa. It can be likened to a Po-boy, but so much more delicious!
‘N: Something that you learned about Peru / Peruvians that you can only see/ understand / realize from living there.
Courtney: The Peruvian flag is white and red because when the early settlers first came here, they were inspired by the red and White flamingos they saw here. Paracas is full of them.
‘N: You’ve always had an amazing fashion sense (seriously guys, when looking through the photos to use, I thought, I should just do an album of Courtney’s best looks as a wedding GUEST!). Any favorite boutiques in Lima to get your fashion fix?
Courtney: Two Brands I love here: Escudo Peru – Started by a cool sister duo. A new age Barranco hipster Brand. Ayni – Started by a Danish woman and a Colombian woman. They
‘N: You travel a lot for work and pleasure, where is your favorite place in the world?
Courtney: Mykonos, Greece – We recently spent our honeymoon bopping around the islands of Greece and we just fell in love with Myknos. There are so many people from so many diferent countries there, and the landscapes are just breathtaking. We loved the food and all of the activities as well. And the shopping! Don´t get me started…
‘N: Congrats on your baby! What is one of the most exciting parts about raising a Peruvian / American / dual-citizen child?
Courtney: Baby is due July 9th (but we are hoping for a July 4th arrival). I think the most exciting part is the discovery process. In the States, I knew what name I wanted to name my kids, where I wanted to raise them, what schools I wanted to send them to. Here I don’t know anything! Take names for example, I was in love with the name Finn. But here I can’t name my child Finn as that means ¨the end¨. So I have discovered what I like to call the Peruvian equivalent to Finn: ¨Gael¨(prounounced Guy-el).
‘N: Finish this sentence. In a perfect world __________.
Courtney: I am eating ceviche, running my startup and living on a catamarán.
Thinking about a trip to Peru, follow Courtney on Instagram for some insider’s tips @cmccolgan. Here are some photos from that magical wedding amidst the pisco grape vineyards (get your pinterest button ready), Courtney’s life in Peru, her amazing wedding looks and her trips around the world!
Here are some additional iPhone shots of the bride and I during her welcome reception and me on her wedding day that I wanted to share with you!