International Tourism Peru 2015 – I am not very fluent in Spanish, so trying to communicate with the locals is most of the time, a challenge. However today, (with the help of my Spanish lessons) I had a full Spanish conversation with one of the local market vendors. After a fair bit of bartering, We traded stories about my time here in Peru, and how the closest he’s ever come to Canada was Montana, USA. The personal connection that was made in this interaction has been life changing. I never thought I would be courageous enough to dive head first into this culture, but I did. I never thought that something as small as learning a few Spanish phrases, trying a new dish, or walking through a different city can have such a powerful impact on how you see and value life. Being in Peru has forced me to step outside my comfort zone and experience new things, such as learning the Spanish language well enough to hold a conversation, and to experiencing their unique cuisine.
I am not a very adventurous person when it comes to food, and today at the Instituto Del Sur, I learned how to create authentic Peruvian Ceviche! Being able to work along side the students and chefs of the institute made me realize just how vast and different this culture is from my Canadian comfort. I was very unsure about eating raw fish, but the rest of the group was so encouraging, I couldn't pass up the wonderful opportunity to experience the authenticity of the freshly prepared dishes. (The food was DELICIOUS)
This trip has opened my eyes to what experiences and memories I have been missing out on due to my inability to step out of my comfort zone and to widen my flexibility on change. Because of this trip and my experience with the locals, it has increased my personal drive to travel and I foresee more of it in the near future.
Our trip has only just begun, and I already have a different perspective on life and how many ways there are to live it.
Tourism Management Student
NSCC Pictou Campus