Commence an entire twenty-four hours of traveling, and I’m finally headed back to my home in Chicago. Even though I’ve left so much of my soul here in Peru, this country doesn’t take anything that it doesn’t give right back. I’ve learned so much in such a short time and that makes me fully okay with returning to the states.
Not just Peru, but the entire experience of traveling abroad has given me an entirely new perspective on life. It has made me realize how many amenities that I take for granted. I sometimes complain about the half hour commute to school, but here – some kids have to walk 1-2 hours to travel to school, which makes them even more unmotivated to go. I would never imagine walking into a bathroom without a toilet seat, toilet paper, hand soap, and paper towel – but here, those things are luxuries. It makes me realize how many things I take for granted that I really should be more thankful for.
More than just a new perspective, I’m leaving here with so many friends. I now know so many great Peruvians and have a place to crash if and when I return. They’ve shown me the Peru that most tourists wouldn’t usually see, and also taught me more than I could ever learn from any textbook. But I’m also leaving with a new group of friends in Chicago too. All fourteen of the other students on this trip with me have become my friends after spending these two weeks together.
Even though it seems like I’ve packed so much life into fourteen days, for me – Peru has really just been the first step in a lifetime of travel.