The Lost City of the Incas: Machu Picchu

On Sunday morning we woke up at 2am and piled into a convi bus (mini bus) and drove 1.5 hours into the sacred valley. When we arrived at the train station everything was still pitch black and freezing. We waited around until about 4:45am when they let us board the train. As we sped down the train tracks, the sun started to come up and we could see the river right next to us and the mountains towering above. I can’t even explain how ridiculously cool it was.

train to machu picchu

Cusco Peru

After about an hour and a half on the train, we arrived in Aguas Calientes, where we ran to buy bus tickets and then waited in line for our final ascent up to the ruins.

train to machu picchu

As we drove up the windy road up the mountain, the sun broke over the mountains and everything was beautiful. After 5 hours of buses and trains, we finally made it to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. That place is hard to get to, but it’s so worth it. Seriously. And it’s massive! We explored for 8 hours and there was still more to see. But, enough talking, here’s what we saw (although pictures don’t really do it justice):

Lost city of the Incas

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Machu Picchu

Peru

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu

travel peru

Machu Picchu

I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful it is there. After 8 hours in the ruins, we took the bus back down into Aguas Calientes where we ate dinner by the river and explored the plethora of shops. We grabbed the 6pm train back to Ollantaytambo and another bus back to Cusco and our day at Machu Picchu was over, just like that. Good thing we have pictures so we can remember days like this forever, am I right?

Aguas Calientes

Cusco, Peru

Cusco, everything but the…

Everything but Machu Picchu. Because that gets its own post.

sleeping in the airport

Nothing makes you feel more like a true backpacker like sleeping in an airport because you can’t afford a hotel during your 14 hour layover. We flew into Lima, payed for some overpriced Subway sandwiches, and then joined the other 20 random people who were going to be with us in the long night ahead. We lined the hallway and waited until 1:30am when they would let us go to our gate and sit on actual chairs. From there we tried to get some sleep and then caught our 9am flight to Cusco.

mountains in Peru

The Andes Mountains are king in South America, and this view proves why. After we landed we headed to the house we would be staying at (which we found on Airbnb.com, seriously go use it). Our host, Carlos, welcomed us in, showed us around, and then sat us down with some Coca Tea (local remedy for altitude sickness) and told us about the best things to do in town and what restaurants we had to try.

We hopped on a bus that afternoon that took us around to all of the Inca Ruins that were near the city. Those Incas…just brilliant.

ruins in Cusco ruins in Cusco

I guess the Spanish can build cool things too…

Cuzco Peru

That night our friend Arturo drove us up to the Christus up on the hill to overlook the city.

travel Cusco

We decided to spend one of our days in the area visiting the Sacred Valley. We grabbed a local bus out to Pisac, a beautiful town in the valley known for its market and ruins. The Incans seemed to build all of their ruins in highly unreachable places, so of course these ones were on top of another mountain. We decided to taxi up, explore the ruins, and hike down. The ancient buildings and incredible views did not disappoint.

Pisac ruins Pisac ruins Pisac Pisac Peru IMG_2239IMG_2249

Now, besides having amazing ancient ruins and a history that will intrigue even non-history buffs, Cusco is beautiful, lively, clean, and just plain awesome to explore. We ate some great food, explored the markets, enjoyed wandering the streets, and sat in the Plaza de Armas to people watch and relax. Cusco is incredible. Go there. Please.

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The placed we stayed really made this trip da bomb. Carlos (our host) helped us book trips, found us spots on buses  when everything was full, and even woke up at 2am one day to make sure we made it to our train on time. The other people staying in the house were great as well. The house was 2 blocks from the main plaza, we got a great authentic breakfast every morning, and we found legit Incan tools hanging in the back room.

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I can’t say enough about our trip to Cusco. It was breathtaking, invigorating, bold, and life-changing. In 4 days it stole my heart.

Next up…Machu Picchu!

Trujillo: Capital of the everlasting Spring

Huanchaca beach

I have a lot of catching up to do, but I’ll start here, with Trujillo. One of the guys we work with, Cesar, is a native of Trujillo and we jumped at the chance when he offered to show us around. A bunch of us loaded onto a bus (so many bus trips this summer) and headed south.

Cesar picked us up from the station and the girls piled into his car and the boys packed into a taxi and then we all headed to Huaca de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon).

Huaca of the moon

Trujillo Peru

Next, we headed right over to Chan Chan, an ancient city in the middle of the desert. These people sure knew how to make something beautiful out of dirt.

ruins in Peru Trujillo

Chan Chan

We spent the night enjoying the city center and failing at going out clubbing because we passed out from exhaustion too early (lame-o’s). The next day was beaches and piers and sleeping on buses.

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Hey Peru friends, I like traveling with you.

ruins in Peru

Lately in Chiclayo

Peru

Last week we met up with some of our Peruvian friends (who are so cool and talented it’s unreal) and grabbed a convi bus out to Pátapo. We originally went with the intent to hike to an Incan lagoon we heard about, but it ended up being out of reach so we settled on hiking up two mountains to see some ruins and a great view.

hiking in Peru

This is our crew. 6 interns from the U.S, 3 Peruvian best friends, 1 Peruvian guide, and 1 Australian named Spaceman Africa. Man, I love the world and traveling and meeting awesome people.

Hiking in Peru

Patapo Peru

Peru

At the top of the mountain, our friend Jota told three of us to go stand at the edge, he was going to do a blessing/cleansing ritual for us. Not sure what to expect, we obliged and stood overlooking the valley. He instructed us to close our eyes, not opening them for anything, and to imagine our greatest goals for our lives and our futures. Then, one by one, he came over with a bottle that held a perfume fragrance liquid and blew the liquid on our neck, feet, hands, faces, and hair. He also created haunting music which he played during this ceremony. It’s hard to describe, but it was beautiful.

hiking in Peru

After hiking all over these mountains, we headed back down to the town. On the way we ran into a witches house which had these baby dolls nailed to trees all around their house. Quite possibly the creepiest thing I’ve ever encountered.

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In other news, I was on Peruvian TV the other day for the magazine project Ben, Ashley, and I are working on. It was hilarious and typically latin.

Channel 51 Peru

With less than two weeks left life here just feels like we are running downhill and there’s no stopping. We are keeping busy with wrapping up projects, writing articles, and gearing up for an awesome trip to Macchu Pichu next week.

*several photos in this post taken by my friend Hector, an amazing Peruvian photographer. 

Granja Porcón and the Andes Mountains

Cajamarca Peru

I think there are some places in the world that will never feel real. Where you go and experience them and try to realize where you are and then you leave and it doesn’t even seem like real life. That is Granja Porcón.

Ben, Michael, and I bought tickets on Friday for an overnight bus that night. We left t 11pm and arrived in Cajamarca at 5am to a pitch black, sleepy city in the mountains. It was so much colder than what we are used to on the coast. Right away, we got a taxi to take us the hour drive to Granja Porcón. As we drove further into the Andes mountains, we watched the place wake up. Once we finally arrived, around 6am, we met up with Will and Logan, who are interning up there, helping with tourism and recreation. We built a fire and planned out our day, which included warm quinoa drinks for breakfast, hiking 10 miles in the Andes mountains, repelling down into a cavern and swimming through the coldest water of my life, motorcycle rides, and stargazing. The second day was just as eventful visiting the “zoo”, eating delicious food, interviewing some amazing people for an article I’m working on, and then heading out to spend the rest of the day in Cajamarca.

Cajamarca Peru

Cajamarca, Peru

Cajamarca Peru

Granja Porcon

Granja Porcón used to be one of the poorest places in the world. It was desolate, with no natural resources, and people were desperate for a change. Belgium presented a plan for forestry, and in the search for the right place and community, landed at Granja Porcón. It’s a detailed and complicated story, which I’ll be writing about and publishing soon, but the community is now a cooperative that has planted more than 13 million trees BY HAND. They have created jobs, built homes, and made a future for everyone in the area. It’s unreal, and after I finish transcribing and translating the hours of interviews I have, I’ll share the link to the article all about it.

Cajamarca Peru

Andes Mountains

Granja Porcon Llamas in Peru Cajamarca repelling in the Andes Cajamarca Cajamarca, peru Cajamarca Granja Porcon_MG_3410Cajamarca

Sunday night we went back into Cajamarca, the city where the last Inca died, and met up with Mateo, Anna’s fiance (!!!). He was wonderful and showed us the best places. I’m already plotting how to get back there because I didn’t get near enough time in that city.

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Sorry for the picture heavy post, but the weekend was amazing and I couldn’t narrow down the pictures. There are a million more that I can’t stop looking at everyday.

Granja Porcon Peru

Discovering Puerto Eten

beaches in Peru

My boss here in Peru, Jose Mario, is married to Michael’s boss, Juvissa. They are amazing at what they do and are some of the most honest and humble people I’ve ever met. Plus, they are super fun and often whisk us away for double dates. This past weekend, Jose Mario took us to his hometown of Puerto Eten. We had heard good things, but this surpassed any expectations I had.

Peru

In a fishing town, it’s only fitting to eat fish for every meal…including breakfast. So that’s what we did. We ate fried fish for breakfast and dared each other to eat the eyeballs. Probably won’t eat the eyeballs ever again, but hey, when in Peru, right?

Back in the day, Puerto Eten used to be a port town and huge ships would dock at the pier to export sugar cane. But, then a hurricane hit and wiped out half of the pier. The Brits decided they didn’t want to rebuild it and pulled the plug on everything. Now, there’s an abandoned railway station that we used as our playground.

railway station

train station

beaches in Peru

trains

puerto eten

Peru

We had heard rumors about a beach near Puerto Eten called Media Luna. People had told us there were penguins, but no one believed it, and no one went to check. So, we hopped in a wagon and drove through some sand dunes to find out for ourselves. As luck would have it, there are penguins, but we couldn’t get too close. It’s a rehabilitation program the French are doing. I guess they like penguins? And they really like the idea of penguins in Peru.

penguins

beaches in Peru

media luna beach Peru

Puerto Eten

Puerto Eten

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This place was magical. What wasn’t as magical was the giant hike through the sand that we had to make when we realized Jose Mario’s uncle who had the wagon had left us. So, after an hour of hiking back we plopped down at a table in a restaurant and ordered tons of food to nourish our famished bodies. It was a day well spent.

Thanks Jose Mario and Juvissa for an amazing adventure. We won’t soon forget it.

Everything we didn’t expect to find in Zaña

Peru

One of my favorite parts about traveling and living in other countries happens with little intention or expectation. It’s when you get on a local bus to a small town most people have never heard of and you’re hurdled into a day of adventure. Where you meet amazing people and climb all over ancient ruins and dance with kids that grew up in a slave town.

It started like this: A few of us had researched a town about an hour from Chiclayo called Zaña. It was once a wealthy booming city full of Spanish cathedrals, African slaves, and lots of gold. Then, pirates invaded. And then, El Niño hit and destroyed everything. So now, it’s a small town with ruins of a once beautiful city. So, we grabbed one of the local mini buses to check it out.

Peru

Once on the bus we waited while several people got on board and begged for money. Once that was over we started to hear squealing from a giant pig. Then, we saw a rope get thrown down from the roof of the bus, and we realized what was happening. As the pig kept squealing, they tied it up and started to loft it onto the roof of our bus. This task meant that the pig was hitting the side of the bus and it’s little face was level with ours in the window, just begging us to save it. So then they threw it on the roof with a tarp to take the journey with us to Zaña. We were off to a good start.

Zana

The Afro Peruvian museum was first on our list. This town used to be full of wealthy spaniards who shipped over slaves from Africa, and the culture has remained. This tiny museum was full of goodness, all forms of it. Music, dance, decimas (an awesome form of poetry, think beat poetry), and amazing people.

Zana

Zana

Then we explored all of the Spanish ruins, which were beautiful. We were the only ones there which made it the best.

cathedral

zana

travel peru

zana

peru

Travel Peru

Spanish

Travel Peru

travel Peru

After exploring we headed back to the museum one more time. As luck would have it, we walked up the same time as another group of people. We got to talking, realized one of the guys looked suspiciously French and realized it was Vincent Moon, an independent filmmaker a lot of us admire. Trying to play it cool, we chatted with him about what he was up to and what he would be filming. He let us sit in while he filmed poetry and music and we were in heaven.

Vincent Moon

Peru

Check out that scowl. What a day. What a place.

In the moment

Schools in Peru

We are half-way through this Peruvian adventure and I’m already thinking to myself “wait, no, I’m not ready for it to end. I’m just getting started here.” Luckily, we’ve still got time. Time to remember how the cobblestone streets feel beneath my thin sandals, how warm it feels to greet everyone with cheek kisses, how beautiful the sky looks at sunset from my office on the sixth floor, how we laugh every time the freaking school band starts playing again and we put in our headphones, and how delicious the air smells after lunch from the bakery down the street. I still have time to be amazed by how giant avocados are here and time to eat guinea pig for lunch and actually kind of like it.

This group of interns, well, we’ve cried out of frustration and fought brick walls, but this internship is ours. We’re the first ones to ever do this and there’s so much beauty in that. We are putting our heart and souls into this, and we are going to come out of it with some great stuff. And there’s so much ahead! So many adventures to be had! I just want to take it all in and be all here. All present in Chiclayo, Peru.

Chiclayo, Peru

One month anniversary with Peru

Chiclayo, Peru

It’s been a little over a month since we left the U.S. of A, and life in Peru is a never ending crazy adventure. I get overwhelmed thinking about what to write and how to express what we are all doing here vs the thoughts and feelings that go along with all of this. So much to say, no way to say it. This quote seems fitting:

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” Charles Kingsley

And there are so many things to be enthusiastic about. Like how I’m helping create a creative magazine for the students as a means for them to publish their writing/artwork (nothing like this exists yet) and how we’ve managed to raise the Alexa ranking of the university website to double what it was before in only a month. And how there are so so many amazing things happening here in social entrepreneurship that I want to write about but I get stressed thinking that I won’t have time to interview everyone I want to. And how every time I go to the elementary school the kids scream down the hallways “Miss Tessita!!!” and run up to give me hugs.

On top of the work here, we are able to get out and visit the crazy markets and archeological sites. Yes, I have lots of pictures of these and yes, I am now posting them below.

Tomb of Sipan

exotic fruits

That giant green bean is actually a fruit. Note to everyone…only eat the white fuzz. And look out for worms.

markets in Peru

Chiclayo, peru

pyramids in peru

Chiclayo Peru

pyramids in Peru

fields of Peru

chiclayo, peru

Peru

markets in Peru

On bravery and patience

Pomac Forest Chiclayo Peru

It’s not that I’ve never experienced the challenging situations that living in another country present, but this time it’s more apparent than others. This time around I’m learning more about bravery and adaptability and the clashing of cultures.

Everyday requires bravery to do uncomfortable and hard things and patience to get through, so in honor of this I thought I’d share the top moments thus far:

1. Killing of the roaches. Ok so this one was mainly Michael, but I helped. For the first few weeks we would find roaches in our kitchen. We would get home at night, flip on the lights and they would be there waiting. After debating the best attack route we would spend hours trying to corner them and squash them. They are so fast and fearless and giant. Our can of Raid sits on the counter ready for when they show up next time.

life in Peru

2. Freezing showers. I know I sound like a spoiled American…but I really don’t like cold showers and I have to prep myself before I can brave the cold temperatures. These aren’t just lukewarm showers, they are straight up cold. To dull the shock of these here are the two solutions we’ve come up with:

  • Exercise before you shower. If you are sweaty and hot then the water feels more refreshing and less terrible. 
  • Boil water and keep it in a pitcher by the shower before you get in. Mix the boiling water with the freezing water to reach a desired temperature and then rinse off with that.

3. Speaking Spanish. Turns out, working and having to speak a different language while working is hard. It’s hard to communicate ideas and projects when you don’t know terminology or the right vocab. I know I sound like an idiot every time I try to tell a story or communicate something, so this is also a lesson in humility and patience.

4. Teaching. Unexpectedly, I’ve been asked to help teach English at the elementary school just a few times a week. I was kind of terrified at first since I’ve never really taught anything to small children. Luckily, kids are the most forgiving and they are mostly just fascinated that I’m white and blonde. They shower me with hugs, cheek kisses, origami, stickers, and apples (the cliche gift of teachers!).

5. The noise. Chiclayo is a noisy place. Around 5am everyday we get woken up by roosters outside of our window (I still have yet to find them, but when I do…). I didn’t know cities even had roosters. There is also constant noise with honking, sirens, and construction EVERYWHERE including on top of our house. This doesn’t bother me except when I’m sleeping and they are hammering and dropping bricks right above my head.

Luckily, I’m with some pretty great people with pretty great senses of humor. People that will laugh with me when we are served potatoes and rice for the 20th day in a row. Today we had a potato appetizer, rice/potato entre, and then a rice dessert. So we laughed, because if we didn’t laugh we might cry because of breaking points and long days of work and frustrations. But Arrested Development starts tonight and that’s enough to heal any wound.

Chiclayo Peru

South of the equator

Sunset in Peru

It’s been two weeks in Peru and life’s going at warp speed. There’s so much to say and tell and show but I don’t know how. So I will post photos and tell you about a few crazy experiences.

After we arrived in Chiclayo and settled into our apartments, we started work right away. There are several different campuses so we are all split up in different places. I split my time between an elementary school where I help teach English and a high school where I work with IT and internet marketing.

Peru

The first week we were here they had a giant welcoming ceremony for all of us. We are the first American interns to come to Chiclayo so they like to parade us around. They’ve welcomed us with open arms and I think we are getting spoiled with all of the attention we are getting. Plus, not many tourists come to Chiclayo so the fact that we are white makes us quite a spectacle. I’ve never felt like a celebrity before, but I think this has to be what it’s like. I literally get mobbed everyday at the elementary school after I’ve been gifted apples, stickers, origami, pens, and Barbie pictures. The teacher will have to hold all of the kids back after they’ve attacked for 5 minutes and I have no hope of finding my way out alone.

English teaching in Peru

I think Michael likes all of the attention he is getting from the ladies ;)

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We’ve also been publicly embarrassed on several occasions when they make us dance in front of massive amounts of people. My favorite was when we drove up to a nightclub, walked in to a standing ovation by students and parents, and then sat down. Flashing lights of different colors were everywhere and tribal music began to play. We thought we would get to watch a cool tribal dance…no…turns out we were the ones doing the tribal dancing. So there we are, in a flashing nightclub, dancing terribly to tribal music, and all of the sudden clowns on stilts appeared. After 10 minutes of this, we were given some potatoes (because who doesn’t want a potato after working out?) and then escorted out. We didn’t know if this experience was real or a dream. I’m still confused.

To top the week off, we had a mother’s day feast of cow heart, utter, and tongue (which was a very nice gesture and we had to do our best to eat as much as we could). Never will I ever say “I’m so hungry I could eat a cow!”

So we’ve done service projects on the outskirts of town, taught, danced, eaten (I mean we have really eaten…so much food), went to the beach, learned to enjoy potatoes for every meal, eaten crazy weird things, spoken broken Spanish, and kissed too many cheeks to count. All this and we’ve still got the whole summer ahead of us.

Chiclayo, Peru

Chiclayo, Peru

Peru beaches

 Chiclayo, Peru

The language barrier

After arriving in Chiclayo, I soon realized that I was done for. My Spanish skills seemed non-existent and I couldn’t manage to put together a fully coherent sentence when trying to communicate. But Tessa, I thought you spoke Spainsh, you are asking yourself. Yeah…well I did…a long time ago. And I thought I maybe still did. But turns out if you don’t practice, you really do loose abilities and talents. So, we are starting from square one.

After my first day of feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted from trying to work with the IT guys in Spanish, I’m trying to get creative with this. Google translate is single handedly saving my life.

My favorite language barrier/translation experience happened when we were still in Lima after getting picked up by a few representatives of the school we are working at. I looked up and found this sign:

Lima Peru

Of course, I had to share this gem with others and soon we were all giggling to ourselves. We asked one of our Peruvian friends how they would pronounce that sign in Spanish…and it’s exactly how we would in English. At this point we were laughing even harder, which made all of the Peruvians confused. We then had to explain what this word means in English, which was also entertaining.

Moral of the story: Even though language barriers can be frustrating, they can also be hilarious and bonding.

Getting lost in Lima

Lima, Peru

Peru is a trip. Seriously though, I feel like I was dunked under water, held there for a while, and now I’m flailing my limbs around and trying to breathe in as much air as possible. But more on that later.

We flew into Lima on Tuesday night and taxied over to our hostel in Miraflores. Sidenote, we found the hostel on Airbnb.com, which is the best. Go use it. Our host, Emma, was the kindest lady and stayed up so late just chatting with us and showing us around the apartment. The next morning we were greeted by the loud voices of the other travelers in the  hostel as we tried to sleep in. After pulling ourselves out of bed we chatted with the solo-traveler Mike who gave us a map and told us how to get to downtown Lima by bus. We took his advice and explored the city center, wandered down streets, and grabbed some ice cream. On our way home we got lost but then found by a pack of Peruvian grandmas. They told us they would tell us where to go, but then insisted we get in their car so they could just take us there. They seemed harmless, so we obliged and made it back safely and even found a churro truck on the way.

Lima, peru

That night, after cleaning up in the one bathroom that the travelers all share with the family, we grabbed dinner at a food court overlooking the ocean in Miraflores. We spent the next day hanging out with Emma and her husband who drove us to the Lima Temple and ate some good Chifa (a hilarious combination of chinese and peruvian food) with us. We then explored some pre-Inca ruins and met an Indian travel agent friend.

Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Miraflores Peru

We met up with the rest of the BYU clan the next day and ate breakfast and explored more of the city with them. Little did we know what we had gotten ourselves into for the rest of this summer. We hopped on an overnight bus that evening and spent the night driving up the coast to Chiclayo where we live now. Lima was definitely a vacation to what Chiclayo has brought upon us, but I’ll save that for the next post.

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Lima, Peru

Here’s lookin’ at you, Peru

Peru, Machu Pichu

Summertime is made for adventure, and what’s more adventurous than moving south of the equator? That’s what Michael and I told ourselves as we purchased tickets that would land us in Chiclayo, Peru for the summer. This all came about in a really nonchalant way with Michael toying with the idea of doing an internship there, meeting with some people, getting a grant, and then…what we are really going? Yep, we are going. In one week. (Cue panic attack for everything we have to get done before then)

Basically, we are still fuzzy on some of the details, but we are moving there for the summer to work at a local University in the city. We will be helping with marketing, SEO, eco-tourism, and English courses. Unfortunately for me, my Spanish skills are really rusting seeing as the last time I used Spanish was in Spain…3 years ago. But, the cool thing about this internship is that we are really going to be pushing this University and it’s resources to the next level. They are excited and we are really excited and I guess that’s the  most you can ask for.

So, here’s to adventure and unknowns. And to prove how adventurous we really are, we bought Chacos, because what says adventure more than a pair of Chacos? Watch out Peru, our strappy sandle feet are about to trapse all over you.

Surviving the worst winter of your life

San Diego

Folks, it’s March and that means there is a light at the end of this freezing tunnel. Winter 2013 was the worst winter I have ever experienced (cold-wise). After returning from the tropical paradise of Thailand where we spent Christmas, we were greeted with 0 degrees back in Salt Lake City. Literally zero. And it didn’t let up from there. The next few months were a lethal combination of inversion, below freezing temperatures, and gray skies. I was funneling down into a pit of cloudy, cold, depression. Once I had to scrape ice off from the INSIDE of my windshield. That was rock bottom.

So, without further ado, here are the only things that saved me from turning into a cold-hearted, cold-handed, mute this winter.

Weekend getaways

 bunk beds

What do you do when you can’t stand your 450 sq foot apartment anymore and you can’t go outside without getting hypothermia? You leave.

This has hands-down been the thing that has saved me from losing my mind this winter. It has given me something to look forward to, and it has bonded friendships with some of the best and most hilarious people I know. Thank you to everyone who has been generous enough to open up their homes, cabins, bunk beds, and hot tubs to me.

Wool socks

wool socks

I have never before owned a pair of wool socks. However, after I was positive I was starting to get frostbite, I decided to invest in a pair. LIFE CHANGING. Really though, I wear them every day. That might be gross, but my feet are so warm and cozy and I don’t care who knows it.

Head South

Arizona

 

beaches

I am a creature of the sun, and when the sun didn’t show it’s face here for weeks on end, I had to go find it. Luckily, I have friends and family in Arizona and California, leaving me no choice but to head south to the warmer weather that they offer. I had two glorious weekends soaking up enough sun to get me through the rest of this winter.

Beaches in San Diego

Gloves and an ice scraper

In my four previous years in Provo I rarely have ever worn my gloves or used the ice scraper in the back of my car. But, with no more underground parking, and sub-zero temperatures, my gloves and scraper have gotten a work-out. Without these trusty items I would no longer have hands and would probably no longer have a car due to an inevitable car accident.

Good people

Without the great people here in this place, I couldn’t have made it. You make living in this tundra worth it.