"Confession Travel Writer"
By Sincere Perez
Whoever said that it was the journey and not the destination obviously never spent hours waiting in airports. On my way to intern in Peru, I caught a flight at six in the morning from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale. After, I had layaway for four hours waiting for my flight to Lima. And then I caught another flight to Cuzco. The trip took a little bit over ten hours, but I wasn’t done traveling yet. My final destination from the Cuzco airport to a small bed and breakfast in Urubamba took a two-hour car ride. My urge to fall asleep for the rest of the trip taught me that the destination makes the trip worth it. Not the journey.
As a major in Modern Language and Linguistics, World Languages, it was imperative for me to get experience in the teaching field. It was something that I looked forward to throughout my college experience; teaching English is what I wanted to do. However, throughout my time in Peru, I realized that I wanted to be a memoir travel writer. Peru is a mythical country and it was hard not to fall in love with it, to want to write about it.
As a native of Camden, New Jersey, I never thought that I’d be able to travel once, much less twice, in my life. People from Camden usually die an early death or end up in prison. If you were lucky enough to make it to old age, you couldn’t claim that you were a seasoned traveler too. Still, this fact didn’t stop me from dreaming of airports and foreign places. My trip to Peru spurred from an internship. I had gotten an email while I was house sitting for my brother. The email claimed that a company would match me with an internship that was based in Peru. I had gone to Italy that summer for a study abroad program. I had gotten a taste of travel and I was addicted to it. I followed through and got into contact with a company called Linguistic Horizons. Needless to say, I followed through and next thing I know I was in Peru.
The moment that I walked into the cozy bed and breakfast, I knew that my life was going to change. What I didn’t know was that my writing would also be changed forever. Writing takes courage and I knew that in Peru I would need a lot of it. The trip ended up testing my writing style and perseverance as a person and as a writer. But before I could learn any of that, I stood in shock of my room. It was nothing less than luxurious. I was the only man in my program so I was lucky enough to, get my own room and bathroom. My own room came with a king sized mattress. It was something that I quickly grew used to having. The moment that I dropped my body onto that bed, I fell into a coma-like state.
My internship in Peru was challenging. It was as if the air itself seemed to fight me. The lack of air made sleeping harder than it would have been in the States, but I was too tired to complain. The high altitude was extremely noticeable from the start. When I got off of the plane from Lima to Cuzco I almost passed out. The two weeks that I was there were occupied by happy memory after happy memory. I don’t know anyone who can say that they hiked Machu Picchu, or had to walk past at least three cascades in order to get to the place where my internship was located.
My entire experience affected my writing in ways that I never imagined possible. Traveling is something that I recommend for all writers. It helps expand the possible limitations of creativity by giving inspiration from every corner imaginable. It shows you sights that you never even considered existed. Every time you step on foreign grounds, you are definitely going to wonder how a place like that even exists. I know it took me to my last day to completely soak in the fact that I was in Peru. In life, everyone has a place that they want to go to. Everyone needs to do the very best they can to step out of their comfort zone and go the places their desires take them. I think this is the case for most writers. We have so many ideas to write about, a vast majority of them hidden behind the next adventure. As writers, it is our job to find inspiration wherever we can. Traveling helped me not only grow as a person but also as a writer. It broke down barriers that I didn’t know existed. Now that I know what I want in life, I have the travel bug and so does my writing.
Traveling helped me discover that my dream in life is to be a memoir travel writer and it can help people realize so much more about themselves. Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” It is safe to say that Twain was talking about all of us at one point or another in our lives. I’m lucky that he is no longer talking about me. Twenty years from now, I plan on being able to talk about my time spent traveling around the globe. Traveling is something that improved my writing and there is zero doubt that no matter who you are, it can improve yours as well.