Monday, May 27, 2013

The Comparison

I do, really, try to not compare the places I've been. How could one compare the intricate tile work in Morocco to the lush vastness of the Serengeti to the bright barrenness of Tibet? You can't. I inwardly cringe when people ask me to name my favorite place. It is, hands down, my least favorite question...well, maybe right next to Why are you still single? but that is a topic for another time!

Yet, I can't help but find myself violating my own rule and comparing Peru and Ecuador to my other travels. I'm not really sure why, but the thoughts keep popping up in my mind. This place reminds me of the Todra Gorge, this place of northern Vietnam, etc...

I don't want you to think for a single solitary second that I'm not enjoying my time here, I am, immensely. Perhaps it's because I have been planning this journey for the longest compared to my other travels. I started planning my Inca journey almost as soon as I returned home in 2011. There have been many moments where I would think you just need to make it to April and then you'll be in Peru, to get me through a long work day.

I feel as though I spent most of my time in Peru in disbelief, that I was actually there, in Peru. At the Inca trail, in the Colca Canyon, hanging out at the beach. I felt like, partially, I was checking things off my to-do list. An amazing to-do list to be sure and one that I happily completed!

Peru was amazing, but more planned. It felt less organic...does this make I making any sense at all???

Strangely, in Ecuador I am having none of these feelings. Perhaps it's because I didn't really plan out Ecuador, at all really. I knew, vaguely, that I wanted to go to the Amazon, but that was as far as I got. Every time I sat down to do trip research for Ecuador I would inevitably get distracted by shiny objects and it just never really happened.

Also, it's taken me till almost Ecuador to really get in the traveling mode fully. It is one of many reasons why I love traveling for longer periods of time. When you travel for 2-3 weeks you are very focused on accomplishing a list of must-do's and must-see's. Which is understandable because you have so much see and only a limited amount of time. The joy of longer travel is you can go slower, take your time, get distracted by shiny things. I find, it allows me to fully flex my traveling muscle.

Ecuador has been an amazing addition to the original journey I planned. It's been an intriguing place, which I fully plan on returning to to further explore. Now, sadly, it is time to head home, 5 weeks went by much much too fast!!!


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