TamarGasko's Travel Journals


  • 24 years old
  • From Maryland, United States
  • Currently in Urubamba, Peru

Leaving the Nest- Destination, Peru!

I'm going to be keeping an online journal in order for my friends and family to have a taste of my adventures (you wish you were here, Aba!). I'm going to write about my host family, the friends I meet, the places I go, my volunteer work... everything! Unless I'm having too much fun- then I might ignore my duties for a while. :-)

Eight Days Left!

United States Maryland, United States  |  Jan 24, 2013
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There are 8 days left before I get in the car that will take me from my house to the airport, get on the plane that will take me from Wasington D.C to Miami, get on the plane that will take me from Miami to Lima, get on the plane that will take me from Lima to Cusco, and get in the car that will take me from Cusco to Urubamba.

But then I'll be there! FINALLY!

My parents have started asking me whether I'm excited to go. From the outside I seem very composed, diligently working through the many tasks I have to accomplish before I leave. But inside, my guts are tumbling around with excitement and nerves. When nobody is around I practice stringing Spanish together into sentences that I hope will be useful. I fall asleep saying "Soy vegetariana. No como pollo, ni mariscos. Pero si como pescado." I am a vegetarian. I don't eat chicken or seafood. But I do eat fish. I practice explaining to my little host brother what the English words mean in the books I got him.

I imagine my mother giving me a crushing hug, and checking up on me when I get sick. I see myself spending the afternoons wandering the alleys of Urubamba, exploring courtyards and conversing with women in the markets. I imagine getting caught in a sunshower and ducking into a cafe where an old man will ask me to sit down and share a cup of chicha morada with him. We'll sip in silence, watching a ribbon of rainbow unwind on the wet cobblestones.

I know, I know, I know, I'm really getting ahead of myself here. But no matter how much I try to stay in the here and now, I find myself creating images in my cabeza of what it will be like!

Besides the utopia above, there are a few REALISTIC things that I am looking forward to:

1. Being in South America- my first time ever! I've been wanting to visit ever since I started learning Spanish.

2. Becoming functionally fluent in Spanish.

3. Being immersed in a new culture. I love the values that many other cultures share outside of the U.S; I often feel like I was made for another culture! Peruvians, like many other peoples, put family first; extended family lives nearby, and people just drop in on each other. There's a shared closeness and love of company; bedroom doors are left open and people sit very close to each other. The proper way to  start up a conversation is to ask about their day, their family, and how they are doing. Only then can you "get down to business." All these things come naturally to me, and I can't wait to be surrounded by people who feel the same.

4. Meeting the other volunteers and traveling with them!!

5. FOOD. I am a food nut, and can't wait to dig into a new food experince. The Culinary Explorer strikes again! Although being a vegetarian AND gluten intolerant might pose a problem or two..... Oh, what the hell, it'll be worth it. 

6. Meeting Avishai, the hippie Israeli who grows his own food and hosts out-of-the-box Shabbat dinners and holidays.

7. Volunteering with the women's group- I'll be able to put my knitting skills to good use, all while talking with these amazing women who are turning their lives around.

8. MY HOST FAMILY!!! Nothing more to say there.

9. HIKING! I can't wait to spend as much time outdoors as I can. Period. Surrounded by lush mountains, hiddedn rivers, ruins, little towns, the great big sky... I'm feel like I'm going to explode just writing this.

10. Wearing T-shirts and jeans every day :-)


I'll try to post something again before I leave!


P.S. Can you tell I'm excited?

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  • User Profile Photo
    Bonni wrote: Mon Jan 28, 2013
    Believe it or not, I am at the point of being very excited for you!
    Plus, I just love you. Ima
  • User Profile Photo
    Aba wrote: Mon Jan 28, 2013
    You are right! I DO wish I was there! But only for a visit. This is totally your adventure.

    Have a blast! Love you. Aba
  • User Profile Photo
    Kirsten wrote: Sun Jan 27, 2013
    Your entry had me grinning! Your writing is delicious - I could taste the adrenaline in every sentence. Looking forward to the next post! XO
  • User Profile Photo
    Yael Gasko wrote: Sun Jan 27, 2013
    Hope all your wishes come true! Enjoy your adventure! See you soon in Peru :)

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