Humans have that innate nature of complacency or capacity for growing accustomed to things, which can be both beneficial and undesirable, I think. Beneficial, when dealing with difficult circumstances. Undesirable when it comes to appreciating aspects of life. We grow used to things and subconsciously set standards, especially when it comes to how amazing or incredible we think something is. It’s too easy to get caught up in always looking for the next best thing or something greater than what you last saw, not appreciating the things that are already there.
Better, I think, than always looking for something amazing or seeking to show people something amazing (despite the fact that those are worthwhile efforts) would be the endeavour to give them the ability to appreciate and to wonder and to be amazed at the small and seemingly-insignificant things in life. Everybody experiences the world subjectively anyway; so just because you’ve gotten bored of one thing that you used to think was beautiful or magnificent, it doesn’t mean that the thing has actually lost its beauty or magnificence. (As it is, what would be the purpose of something beautiful if people weren’t there to appreciate it?)
Restore to people their ability to wonder and marvel at the world. That’s a gift that cannot be held or touched, and it’s more valuable than almost all others because it allows people to love even more deeply the things that they can hold or touch or see or smell or hear or feel.
In any case, would you like to know something absurd? Ironically, the very instant I was about to get into the bus that would take us to the little town below Machu Picchu, I lost my camera. It literally just disappeared. I have no clue what happened to it. One instant, I was sitting on the sofa in the hostel fiddling with it and wrapping the strap around my toes, and the next instant, as we walked outside, I no longer had it; and as much as I searched and searched and searched, I could not find it.
It was just as well in the end, I guess. I had to settle with the reality that I wouldn’t be getting any photos of one of the most outstanding places we visited; but I think it was probably better that way for me, since I could focus more on being present in the place and moment, without having the distraction of trying to make things look good on camera. Fortunately, though, Sam and Chrystel still had their cameras, and they took a few pictures whilst we were there.
The seven-hour bus ride back to Cusco was miserable, and the twenty-hours from there to Lima were even worse. We did travel through gorgeous landscape, though. However, at one point as we rode through the mountains, our bus crashed into a truck that also crashed into two other trucks. Thankfully, almost nobody got hurt, and nothing worse came of it except arriving later than we expected.
We’ve spent the last couple of days in Lima, trying to be real tourists for once — basically just relaxing, enjoying ourselves, finding good food, and simply making the best of our last few days together. Sam flies out tomorrow back to Canada to tend to his life at home. Once he leaves, it will be a sad and lonely journey as Chrystel and I make our way back up north without him. He has always been the life our little trio-party. We’re trying not to think about it too much.
Therefore, Chrystel and I have recently just decided that we’ll return first to Santa Marta, back to Pedro Nel’s little farm and stay with him for a while. (It’s a straight three-day bus ride to Cali, and then about another two days or so to Santa Marta. Not really looking forward to that very much.)
After Santa Marta, we’ll probably return to Bogota and quite likely stay until mid-November. After that, we’ll finally be able to return home.
Even though we do still have heaps of traveling to do, we’ve finally been perceiving the end of our journey approaching us. As you could probably imagine, it’s a conglomeration of emotions and thoughts ranging from the eager joy of soon returning to those at home, to the solemn conclusion of one of the most adventurous times of our lives.