Milestone Travel

About 3 years ago, my sister and I were planning our first international trip together. I suggested Egypt. Was that a crazy idea, considering the nation was still devastated by the aftermath of its political tumult then? It was not; not for me, and definitely not for my sister. Her response was ‘let’s go see the only surviving wonder of the ancient world. It will be the best present to mark my 30th birthday’ :-D. The second part of her reply has forever changed the way we see celebration of milestone birthdays, especially when we are not much of a partier. And I believe the trip was really the best birthday present my sister could give herself. At one point of our trip, she challenged me to do the same for my 30th birthday. I accepted her challenge by saying ‘I’ll go to Peru’.


Shuzy and I on our first day in Cairo. The city does not have rainbow colors. But I suppose that is a reflection of the religious values there- humility?



Riding toward the horizon as fiery sunset was engulfing the Giza plateau. What is this if not life?


Following the posing style of Queen Hatshepsut who had her tomb dug in the Valley of the Kings.


With our guide, Ahmed, before the Great Temple of Ramses II.

I turned 30 last year. And I didn’t go to Peru. But the dream was still very much alive. My best friend said to me ‘you can go next year, just before your 31st birthday. You will still effectively see Peru at 30’. That’s precisely what happened. I call it a delayed gratification :-). And it was the best landmark birthday present I gave myself. During our Inca Trail trek, we celebrated the 31st birthday of one of the fellow trekkers. He told us that he wanted to make the trip last year for his 30th birthday, but for some reason that didn’t happen. Hearing him say that, I was like ‘hey, we are on the same boat’. I was reading a Time magazine the other day. The 10-questions section featured Barbara Bush. One tiny part of the article really caught my attention: Barbara’s husband jumped out of an airplane for his 90th. It got me thinking if it is becoming a trend that people plan vacations for their milestone birthdays. How I wish I could travel for each birthday! That would only be possible if my dream to have a money tree came true (then there’s that annoying time factor). However, as much as I love to travel, I do believe in the beauty of ‘going down the country road before hitting the highway’. You will appreciate that BIG travel a whole lot more that way. It is still a long way to my next milestone travel (the 40th), but I’m thinking maybe I can make it every 5 years, instead 0f 10. Sky diving? :-D. Let me mark that on my 2019 calendar! My friends, where are you going for that milestone birthday of yours?


Yay! Finally! It was surreal to see Machu Picchu right before my eyes! It was fantastic that we lingered a bit after the crowds were gone.


Beautiful Andes in the background.


That’s the highest point I’ve been to in my life so far: the Dead Woman’s Pass at 4215 meters.


Group photo with our porters just as the sun was rising! Absolutely beautiful!


Group photo with the Urubamba river in the background, winding through the valley like a mystical snake!


Churos! churos! churos! Absolutely yummy!

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