I’ve loved sharing my trip to Peru on ‘NAPW and one of the reasons is that it brought me back to that love of traveling alone. As you can tell, I travel quite frequently, and I am a huge advocate of women travelling solo; my most life-changing trips have been solo. However, traveling so much for work and making friends around the globe, I find my truly solo trips a little bit further between than I’d like. Either I’m visiting friends in a place I know quite well already (but there are always new things to see!) like Sayulita or London, I’m on a press trip, or exploring new places with other travel-bug friends, or my favorite travel buddy, my mum.
That was how I felt about Peru, after almost two weeks of an amazing press trip in Colombia, I was ready for some alone time exploring a new city, new place. Yes, I was coming for my friend Courtney’s wedding, but besides a few wedding activities on two days, I was untethered, no obligations — in fact the one obligation I had, I cancelled! Of course, I met G on my first full day in Lima, but Paracas I was all slated to be flying solo. Maybe I’d try parasailing, sandsurfing?
I got into the town on a lazy afternoon mid-week after a 4 hour drive with Cabify. I walked through the town, dined on delicious fresh fish with my kindle as my companion. Paracas is a tiny port town, and the beach is so so but the sunsets are incredible.
The next day I rented a bike and explored the national reserve.
Kilometers of sands shaded purple and tan. A beautiful bird sanctuary. Biking for at least 1/2 hr before I saw another person. That’s what I found in the National Reserve. Not sure of the way to the beach, whipping winds and dunes that looked like mountains, I started off relaxed and in awe of all of the dunes and just space. A car drove by here and there, but no other bicyclist. I looked at my waning water bottle and the afternoon sun…. Was this a really stupid mission? But I did have service! I turned on Periscope for some companionship, hoping that my mom wouldn’t come on and see that I’m wandering in a desert in South America alone.
Finally I made it to a rest stop and small museum where two older Peruvian women seemed enamored by me and at the same time amused by my fool-hearty endeavor. Saying I was American and from New York it made more sense to them. Oh gosh, I’m that American. Patagonia fleece wearing, always trying to do something extreme. Maybe I looked frazzled. Maybe it was my wind-swept hair or sweat stains, but they simply smiled, offered me jello and a bottle of water (wouldn’t accept payment) and offered me a seat next to them. Gracias and refreshed I continued on my journey. The beach was waiting.