We all have a rocket summer. One that comes back to haunt us through nostalgia every year when April and May start warming into June and July. It comes back to us through warm evening breezes, through the lengthening of the days, through dips in the pool or pointed toes into the ocean.
While this was not necessarily my “rocket summer,” it was a great one to be remembered. Labor Day is quickly approaching, so lest I forget, I wanted to look back on summer 2010.
It all started in May, when I accepted a position with IBM. A welcome career change, I started a) working from home, b) doing marketing as opposed to PR, and c) noticing a very much appreciated bump in my paychecks. Three months in, I can say confidently say that I am LOVING it and am so happy the opportunity fell into my lap.
Just a couple of weeks in to the new job, Stephen and I jetted off to South America. It was a near miss, however, as our airline, Spirit Air, went on strike the day we were due to depart. After hours and hours of phone calls with the airline and burning through cell phone minutes like there was no tomorrow (or at least no trip tomorrow if we did not get other flights), we were on our way to Peru. It was truly the most amazing trip. We spent our first couple of days in Lima at Hotel Runcu, where we made friends with the chef and spent our last night in the city up on the rooftop till the wee hours of the morning drinking beers and talking about life. Just a few hours later we were off to Cuzco–the gateway to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. We were a bit groggy the first day getting adjusted to the altitude (11,200 ft). We explored the historic cathedral, walked cobblestone streets, and had an unbelievable dinner at Fallen Angel–the No. 1 coolest and most memorable restaurant I’ve ever been to. After two more days, we finally embarked on the highlight of our journey–trekking the Inca Trail. We spent three and a half excruciating days hiking near vertical mountains and descending straight-down valleys. We hiked with fellow trekkers from Canada, Hong Kong, Melbourne, London, and Dublin. We did not shower for four days. We tiptoed through two-foot-wide paths on cliffsides. We peed in the woods. We saw the most incredible vistas I’ve ever seen. We saw orchids that people steal and sell for $5,000 a piece. We wore headlamps. We stopped to take it all in. We counted each day of survival a victory.
Nothing compared to the wonder of seeing it from afar when we finally, with weary legs and lungs, reached our destination.
There is something special about being amongst the ancient. I say this as a novice traveler. I experienced an incredible feeling of being part of something bigger than myself. When I thought about the people who toiled to build Machu Picchu, this ancient city hidden in a bowl of mountains, how long ago they accomplished such a feat, and what it must have been like for them to live there–I felt so connected to humankind. This place had linked me with people who lived hundreds of years before me, and there I was amid their masterpiece–touching it, napping on it, taking pictures of it, storing it in my mind’s eye. It almost felt like we were infringing on something sacred when I thought about the miles we had walked to get there, just like any contemporary person would have had to do–it was obvious they didn’t want anyone to find the place.
Needless to say, our last couple of days back in the big city of Lima were a bit of a step down from the high we had just been on during the trek. But we encountered some incredible people and had some unbelievable food. And reluctantly, we came home.
The rest of the summer has been spent with close friends and family, and searching for an apartment. Which brings me to my next item in the history of the summer of 2010:
We are MOVING! To a beautiful place. On or around September 1. Come visit us.
So as summer begins to transition to fall, I look forward to the following:
- Moving to a place that will finally and really feel like home.
- Getting a dog.
- Getting braces (yes, it’s happening).
- Drinking great wine and eating stew.
- Continuing our workout regimen (yes, you read that right).
- Planning our next adventure.
“so we should go and see the sun and look around” -the rocket summer