Inside Nomadtopia: Trip Planning

April 24, 2013 | ,

Hello from Peru!

(Actually, in the Inside Nomadtopia spirit of full disclosure: I’m writing this in Buenos Aires, before I leave for Peru! I wanted to spread out my posts and give you something to read while I’m on the road. So when you read this, imagine me adventuring in Peru, OK?)

This is the first time in quite a while that I’ve taken a pretty “normal” trip: round-trip from one country (Argentina) to another (Peru), for two weeks.

It’s interesting to see how my perspective has changed and how much less planning I do than I used to.

This time, I waited until pretty much the last minute to pack, although I’d been gradually creating a mental packing list and pulling random things into piles for days.

A few days before I left, I decided to take my small carry-on suitcase instead of my backpack, which my aching neck and shoulders can’t really handle right now. Less than 15 hours before I left for the airport, I decided what bag/purse-type item to take.

The main reason for this trip is to co-lead a retreat for women entrepreneurs, so a lot of my itinerary was shaped by that.

I’ll be spending a few days in Lima before traveling to Cusco with my co-leaders for the retreat, then we’ll have the retreat, then I have a couple days in Cusco and one in Lima before I fly back to Buenos Aires.

I do have my accommodations booked for all but the last night, but I haven’t done much planning or research beyond that. I think there are a number of reasons for this:

  • I haven’t had a lot of time
  • I didn’t have easy access to a Peru guidebook
  • I’m going some places I’ve been before
  • I have local connections to lead me in the right direction
  • I’m confident I’ll visit Peru again someday
  • I’m in the mood for some good ol’ exploring

It’s my first time traveling this way with a smartphone, and that’s exciting. In fact, the smartphone is enabling me to actually leave my laptop behind, for the first time since I’ve owned a laptop!

The phone will allow just the right amount of connectedness for me and my business right now, without my getting sucked in to surfing the web or doing any actual work, like I might with the laptop. Of course it has its limitations, such as not allowing me to do much writing (that’s what the real paper notebook is for!) or edit videos (that’ll have to wait until I get back).

I have an app on my phone for the exchange rate, and I did actually download a Lima guide, but it was sending so many spam messages to my phone that I uninstalled it. I’ve got WhatsApp installed to connect with my friend (and co-retreat leader) Heather once I get to Lima. I’m trusting Wi-Fi will be enough to keep me connected, so I won’t be getting a local SIM card.

For the first few days I stayed at a place I booked through Airbnb.com, and they arranged for a taxi to pick me up from the airport, and I could use dollars to pay him so I wouldn’t have to get cash out of an ATM until later.

I’ll be able to access hotel reservations and the like on my phone, so no need to print those out, but I did write down the most important details in a little notebook in case I don’t want to pull out my phone in a sketchy area (or, even worse, it gets lost or stolen).

I know there’s lots of cool stuff to see in Lima, but I’m going to totally wing it. If something catches my eye or someone recommends something, I’ll check it out. I’m sure I’ll do lots of walking. Maybe one afternoon I’ll just hang out at a sidewalk café and soak up the atmosphere. (By the time you read this, I’ll have already done most of my wandering, and I bet it was awesome.)

Anything’s possible, and isn’t that one of the best things about travel?

So that’s about it! When I’m heading out on a new adventure, I always remind myself: as long as I have my passport and my credit card, I don’t really need anything else.

With each new travel experience, I learn things that work and things that don’t, and find ways to do things differently next time. This trip is no exception!

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