I had hoped to upload another post before now, but last week I cried too many tears to put down anything that made much sense. As I was passing through the halfway point of the trip, my emotions were high and my motivation to keep moving forward was very low. I was sick of living out of a backpack, tired of missing my boyfriend, family, and friends, miserable from the cold weather, and very much ready to just head home.
Heavy and plentiful were my emotions, and heavy and plentiful they’ll continue to be. What made last week especially difficult, however, was my realization that I would have to cancel my trek to Machu Picchu. For too long I had been ignoring the stubborn pain in my foot that became increasingly aggravated after all of my walking to, from, around, and within all of the places I’ve visited this last month and a half.
Typically, I’m good to push through the pain, but in Santiago, after returning from Valparaíso, I finally admitted to myself that this time it wasn’t going to be worth it. Maybe I could have survived day one, but I knew that twenty-six miles through the mountains with three nights of camping would have been absolutely miserable and, in fact, a dumb decision for both my health and sanity.
Through tear-filled phone calls to my boyfriend and mother, I decided that I needed to change my plans. While I still get to see Machu Picchu by train, I’ll no longer be four days out on the Inca Trail. Rather, I’ll have a few extra days in Cusco to hang out and explore. Not all is lost, for sure. But, as you could imagine, it was hard to come to terms with the cancellation of what I had considered to be the pinnacle of this trip. I needed several good crying sessions and lots of consolation from loved ones to get over the upset (and potential loss of a heckaton of money).
In Lima now, I’m doing much much better. It’s warmer. I’ve enjoyed my hostel and the people I’ve met here. Tomorrow I leave for Cusco and am very excited for what the city has to offer. In the meantime, I’m doing my best to take it easy on my foot (which, admittedly, is quite hard when walking around makes up a good portion of any tourist’s day) and enjoy the last month of the adventure.
Good or bad, there is a part of me counting down the days until I return home. At the same time, there’s another part working really hard to soak in the joys of traveling and living in different countries. I am very thankful for all of the ups and downs and, as always, am continuing to push foward.