In a few short days, I will be leaving the girls and my husband to their own devices while I go with my mom to Peru.
On Monday, I am abandoning my kids and their dad for two weeks while I explore Lima and the Sacred Valley, try to avoid altitude sickness in Cusco and Puno, commune with the wildlife (mosquitoes excepted) in the Amazon, coax the answers to all of my spiritual questions out of the ruins of Machu Picchu and attempt not to laugh while saying “Lake Titicaca” out loud.
I cannot wait. The value proposition was simple. Either decline the opportunity out of guilt and anxiety about leaving the family for two weeks. Or embrace the chance of a lifetime to be unencumbered by mom obligations for two whole weeks. Two whole weeks! Yes, I’m giddy. Needless to say, the decision was an easy one.
It also helped that I have a mom who’s in better shape than I am. She expressed a desire to take a special trip with me before she’s too old to travel (trust me, that won’t be for years if not decades from now). And if that meant receiving a heavily subsidized trip (thanks, Mom) to such an exquisite place, what kind of daughter would I be to turn it down?
We are traveling with Odysseys Unlimited, a tour operator specializing in small group travel. I am willing to bet I will be the youngest person in the group, which I don’t mind. I don’t remember being the youngest person in any group in a very long time. Now, being the youngest doesn’t mean I will be leaving the rest of the folks in the dust. As I mentioned, my mom is arguably in better shape than I am. And there will likely be others like her. But when you’re 44 years old, if the next youngest person ends up being a decade older, you feel pretty damn good.
Despite eagerly anticipating this adventure, I do wonder how the little monsters will fare while I’m gone. I imagine they will get away with all sorts of crap since my poor husband will be running around like a crazy person to ensure minimal disruption to their lives. I tried to convince him that the real reason for my trip was to scope out the country as a potential vacation destination for all of us. He told me I was full of shit, which was an accurate observation. He’s just a little bit jealous.
* “Perú, Aquí Vengo” is how the computer translated “Peru, Here I Come.” I have no idea if that’s correct, but it sounded good to me.