It’s a done deal. After talking about taking a once in a lifetime trip with mom for what seemed like years, we bought our plane tickets and booked our vacation to Peru for two weeks next May.
We’ve been talking about this trip since she took by dear brother to the Galapagos three years ago. My mom has felt sufficiently guilty for leaving me behind during that boondoggle to remind me on a regular basis about the need for the two of us to go away together before she becomes too old and frail to do it (she’s in better physical shape than me, mind you).
“You only live once,” she often admonishes me. Well, never one to turn down a free vacation, especially one to a place I’d likely never otherwise visit, we first contemplated a voyage to southeast Asia. But it’s far and would require more time. And I hemmed and hawed about committing to dates and itineraries, because I always found excuses to put off a decision.
So we researched. And researched. And researched some more. And finally settled on Peru. And then we researched even more. How many possible tour companies can there be? Hundreds. And most of their itineraries are so similar to each other that I started to wonder if there is really one tour company puppet master. I have decided that there is.
We’re going to be traveling with Odysseys Unlimited. They run trips for Smithsonian and university alumni travel and learn programs. And the exciting part – other than visiting one of the most intriguing man-made wonders of the world and the highest lake in the world, and spending several days in the Amazon rainforest? It’s that I will most definitely be the youngest person in the group. I haven’t been the youngest in any group in a very long time.
I now need to spend the next several months conditioning my body for the altitude. I will be mightily disappointed if all the retirees fare better than me in the Andes. Peru, here we come!