Traveling: Planning a Trip to Peru

My blog is a food blog.  I know this, you know this, we all know this, but it’s also a little bit about me.  And you want to know something about me?

I love to travel.

To me, traveling is more than just a set of experiences.  It’s an enormous privilege that I’ve been lucky to have a large part of my life.  Starting with going to Guatemala every summer as a kid, then having my parents tote me around with them on various trips (Brazil, Europe, Caribbean), then learning to go places on my own (like Argentina and India).  Even just since I’ve had this blog, you’ve followed me to:

Mexico:

  • I went to Chiapas for a week to work on a project while in Grad School.  I didn’t tell my parents I was going, because I thought they’d freak out.  That’s one of my biggest regrets.  Not the trip, but the not telling my parents part.

Rome:

  • I went to Rome from January til June of 2011.
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    I worked at a UN Agency and ate too much pasta and Nutella.  There were also a few side trips, like Amalfi
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    Tuscany
    windey road

China:

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Last year I took a 2 week trip to China, and it was pretty awesome.

This time, I’ve got the travel bug again.

Two weeks ago, I bought a plane ticket to Peru.  Last week, I booked a 4-day trip on the Inca Trail.

So this time, instead of just giving you a lighting recap like I did with China.  I’d like to document the trip planning experience for myself to remember and for the world to know.

I think a lot of people have this idea that traveling is too scary, or too expensive, but honestly with some saving strategies, I think anyone can take a fun trip.  I’m not Mr. Money Bags.  If I can take a trip, you probably can too.  It just takes some planning.  So ready for some tips?

Where was your last destination?  Where are you going next?

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Vacation: The China Recap

I’ve been MIA the past few days.  Sorry.  I got back from China a day late (flight canceled), meaning we got in the day before Thanksgiving.  Then of course my stomach decided to explode an hour after landing and I got horribly sick for 3 days.  I’ll spare you the details on that one.

Instead let’s concentrate on happier times: a nearly two week trip to China.  I’ll give you the lightning recap then get back to the recipes as soon as possible.

The trip started in Shanghai with the tastiest dumplings I’ve ever had in my life filled with soup and pork.

Delicious.  Then we headed to Guilin, where we saw tons of natural beauty

Climbed lots of hills and mountains

and ate delicious things, like meat on a stick and rice noodles.

After some days in Guilin, we headed to Xi’an (the old capital and end of the Silk Road).  We ate tasty crepe/egg things on the street (that they give you in a plastic bag to eat).

Rode bikes on the city wall (you have no idea how big a feat this is for me.  I hate bicycles.)

Saw Pagodas

And the Terracotta Warriors.  Pretty Amazing.

After Xi’an, we headed to Beijing.

Beijing was cold.

We’re smiling not just because we’re happy to be in Tian’an men Square, but it was freezing.  Then we saw the usual sites, like The Forbidden City

and The Great Wall of China (which was wayyyy bigger and longer and steeper than I expected)

After Beijing, we headed back to Shanghai to see some sites and catch a plane back to the Los Angeles.  Shanghai was a huge city.  I didn’t expect it to be so big and NYC-like, even though there were traditional Chinese things, like the Yuyuan Garden:

After a flight cancellation and an arrival a day late, we made it back.  I think we were both exhausted from the trip.  We packed a lot into 12 days.

Here are a few things we found

Weirdest things about China: People asking to take pictures with us.

Tastiest thing about China:  Dumplings (see first pic)

Skill Learned: maybe 2 words of Mandarin but we got really good at taking pics of ourselves

That’s it for the recap.  Obviously we saw tons of things in the 12 days were there, and I have more pictures but these are just some of the highlights.  You can see some on Instagram (check out my online page in case you don’t follow me on Instagram)… like Pies from McDonald’s!  Check it out!

Overall, we had a great trip.  My post-vacation-illness was totally worth it.

What was your last vacation?  Tell me about it!