If you told me exactly one year ago that by 2016 I’d have been to four continents, I’d have said you were insane. But, here we are. In the last week of 2014, I found out I was going to South Africa. Soon after that, I learned that the journey out there would take me through Europe.
Of course, I live in North America. By some definitions, I’ve also been to Oceania, though Pacific islands aren’t really continents, just a convenient regional category.
So what’s the fourth? Is it Asia? Not yet. (But soon!)
Australia? My next antipodal adventure will have to wait.
Antarctica? It’s not even on my bucket list. Frozen ice, gusting snow, raging oceans. No thanks.
That’s six… what am I missing here?
…oh yeah! South America! It’s right down there, attached to North America by the isthmus of Panama. This might sound odd, but it’s the continent I think about least. It’s mostly jungle, and Brazil aside — granted, that’s a ridiculous exclusion — is nearly entirely Spanish speaking. I know very little about the continent in general; I have a very specific image of jungles, makeshift houses, lakes, and mountains that spans from Mexico to Chile in my mind. I know that’s not accurate, but I don’t have first-hand knowledge to show me otherwise.
Yet. When this post goes up, I’ll be on one of three flights down to Peru for a week. A more-or-less spontaneous trip over the holidays with friends and family. We’ll be primarily in Cusco, the mountain city known perhaps primarily as the gateway to the legendary Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.
Naturally, we’ll also be trekking to Machu Picchu. It hasn’t sunken in yet. Of course I’ve seen the ruins in photographs — just about all of them stunning. I just cannot fathom that I will be up there myself in a short few days.
I can’t freakin’ wait. I’ve gone on a few trips of a lifetime — I’m ready to add another one to my collection.