Andes to Amazon, Peru 2021
My name is Molly and I’m a Junior in High School from North Central Vermont. I enjoy lacrosse, field hockey, and hanging out with my friends.
When I got off the plane in Peru, I truly had no idea what I was in for. I barely read the itinerary and didn’t know the people on my trip. I knew the trip would be fun overall, but I didn’t think that I would be impacted so strongly by a two-week program in Peru.
On the first real day of being in Peru, we stayed in the town of Ollantaytambo. As we hiked up to a campsite we would be staying at for two nights, I knew this was going to be a great trip.
Yes, of course, the views were incredible but the best part was being able to talk to people without social media and iPhones being a conflict. This was just the beginning of being unplugged, and I didn’t know how freeing it was going to be.
It felt so amazing not being weighed down by the number of Snapchat notifications or Instagram followers I had. I got to learn about things other people had done like songwriting, rock climbing, and playing lacrosse.
As we kept getting to know each other, adventuring Peru together made it so much better. We rock-climbed up the side of a mountain and ziplined down, we visited Machu Picchu, we hiked the Ausangate trek 15,000 feet in the air, and stayed at an Amazon animal conservation center.
The food in Peru was no disappointment. Mostly it was a combination of rice and a protein but occasionally we had pizza, noodles, and summer squash. Every single meal was delicious.
My favorite part was probably adventuring through the town of Machu Picchu looking at all of the shops with bags, jewelry, and mugs. While I could go on and on about every amazing thing I did, just being unplugged from technology and my life at home felt incredible.
I didn’t need to focus on anything other than being in the moment and I think that is what impacted me the most. I hadn’t remembered a day before Peru that I didn’t check social media constantly.
But since I’ve been on the trip, I’ve tried to limit my time on my phone and tried to just live in the moment. It’s made me appreciate a lot more about life at home and how fortunate I am to have such loving friends and family.