I’m Going Back to Peru. Here’s Why.

by Nora Dunn on August 28, 2014

I fell in love with Peru long before I visited; and my love of the place only continued to deepen while I spent three months living in the Sacred Valley, near Pisac. So I’m going back for more….to set up shop and live there for a while.

 

I Knew it Before I Knew it

Shortly after arriving in Peru, I was walking with a friend, and saw a property that called to me. There were two houses on the property; one larger house that I was told was occupied by the owner (who was out of town at the time), and a smaller house nearby. I was inexplicably mesmerized. I asked my friend how much the owner charges to rent out the smaller house.

“He doesn’t rent that house out,” was the reply, so I put it out of my mind.

 

A few weeks later, the property owner returned, and we met a few times, eventually becoming friends.

One night, I awoke mid-sleep, and sat bolt upright in bed. It was as if my friend (the property owner) had called my name. I was sure he had a message for me; sure enough to go out on a limb and ask. So the next day I wandered over to his place.

“Do you have a message for me?” was my opening line, without explanation as to why I was asking such a random question.

“Um…eat more greens?” he replied.

This wasn’t exactly the message I expected. I chucked my dream up to ‘one of those things’ that we can’t explain, and forgot about it.

But as serendipity would have it (quite similar to the serendipity that brought me to Peru in the first place), over the ensuing months I developed a deeper friendship with the property owner, and, despite the fact that he doesn’t rent out the house that caught my eye and imagination, he offered to rent it out to me.

With a dose of hindsight, I can’t help but think that this odd sequence of events was part of a greater scheme that played out. This sort of magic isn’t uncommon in the Sacred Valley of Peru, and is part of the sense of mystery that has enticed me to return.

 

How long Will I Stay?

When I tell people I’m going to live in Peru for a while, the first question they ask is how long I’ll stay. My answer: I don’t know.

After traveling full-time for eight years, I’ve had a chance to set up shop in a few places; I lived in Australia on and off for 18 months, New Zealand (on and off) for nine months, and Grenada (again, on and off) for two years.

In all three cases I used these places as a base for other travels – something that, regardless of how much I ever “settle down” (oh gosh I dislike that term), I can’t see myself hanging up my traveling shoes completely.

 

Benefits of Cultural Immersion

I love living around the world (rather than merely passing through it); as much as that place may provide the sense of “home” that I crave in the moment, it also feels like a new world of discovery every time I step outside my front door. It’s the perfect balance for chronic wanderlust.

So for now, my next home base is going to be Peru.

 

For Now?

Yes, for now. I don’t know how long Peru will feel like home, or when the next amazing place I want to live in will cross my radar.

I could stay in Peru for years. Or…it might just be months.

 

Home is a Moving Target

“Home” doesn’t need to be a giant proclamation of permanence; for me, it’s simply a place that feels good enough to call home for as long as it feels good, it’s safe and secure, and there’s something to be gained from being there.

 

What will I gain from my time in Peru?

Only time will tell. Stick around, kiddo.

 

 

 

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Turner August 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I know the feeling. It’s about time for a one-way ticket myself.

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Nora Dunn August 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Turner – Great minds travel alike! Any ideas of where that one-way ticket might take you?

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Brenden August 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Great post. I also hate the term: “settling down”. I booked a one way ticket and will be traveling to Europe till Christmastime. I almost have an apartment lined up for a good while in southern Italy. I’m pretty excited!

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Brenden – I just spent a wee bit of time in Italy, and loved it. Great base for your European adventures!

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Michelle Sevigny August 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm

This is so cool to hear… I love serendipity moments and you’ve clearly had them in Peru! And I totally agree with your answer of “I don’t know”. I recently returned from a cross-country road trip (Canada and US) and told people I’d be gone for a month, maybe six months, maybe two years. I adopted a dog in Halifax (serendipity for sure!) and was gone for six weeks in total …ended up the exact perfect amount of time, of course.
You’re previous posts already made me add Peru to my wanderings ‘list’ and I really look forward to reading more of your discovers there.
Cool!

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Thanks, Michelle! I’m really excited to return, and despite already having spent three months there, I’m quite sure there will be MANY more discoveries to come. Stay tuned!

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Elizabeth August 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Congrats Nora – nice to hang the hat for a bit.

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m looking forward to it!

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Natasha August 28, 2014 at 8:17 pm

I totally ‘get you’ ! I get the concept of I don’t know, of time not having a definition, of the need to return, of the need to just be in a place without further expectations. I came into my own travel lifestyle by default. The universe helped for sure and it continues to serve. Peru sounds like a very sacred place to energize your soul. I’ve never been but I do look forward to your forth coming posts! Enjoy your new home :)

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Thank you, Natasha! My travels have redefined themselves many times over in the last eight years. It wasn’t always a smooth and confident process, but with time I’m learning that there is no definition that I need to satisfy. This lifestyle – and lifestyle design in general – is all about flexibility; and I’m flexing that flexibility right now!

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Kathleen August 29, 2014 at 1:19 am

I have a feeling I have been in that neighborhood:) If you happen to run into Javier give him my very best! Keep inspiring us all to keep wandering!
Excellent choice in a ‘base’!

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Kathleen: if you know Javier, then certainly you must recognize the house in my post…. ;-) I’ll give him your regards!

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Matthew August 29, 2014 at 8:20 am

I’ve been thinking a lot about Peru and a lot of South America lately, but I’ll have to keep that as an option for the future as I don’t think I’ll be leaving Japan in the near future. I’ll be keeping an eye out to see how Peru is going for you.

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Matthew – I waited 12 years for the right opportunity to visit Peru…there’s time yet for you! :-)

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Chris @ One Weird Globe August 29, 2014 at 8:42 am

We’ll have to connect sometime next year! Laura and I will be making South America our home base after finishing up with Asia early next year…

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Hi Chris,
Great choice! Look me up when you’re in the area. :-)

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Yuwanda Black August 29, 2014 at 12:10 pm

It looks enchanting. I can see why you fell in love with it.

I think there’s a place for each of us that just “fits” — who knows how or why. I love to travel but for me, there’s no place like New York City. It fulfills me unlike any other place I’ve ever been.

I lived here for 18 yrs (am currently visiting for a month), bought a house and moved to Atlanta for 10 years. Last year, I got rid of everything and relocated to Jamaica (Negril) — all the while travelling. I’m the type that needs a home base.

I feel like I had to go around the world to find out that New York is home for me. I know I’ll settle back in the city one day permanently — it’s the one thing I’m sure of.

Thanks for sharing. What a powerful story of the spirit knowing what the unconscious mind is sometimes unaware of.

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Nora Dunn August 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Hi Yuwanda,
Travel often helps us learn more about ourselves, what we like, and where we want to ultimately be. I’m sure you’re not the first person to trek around the world to realize the value of the place you started. Happy travels/home basing!

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Rob August 29, 2014 at 5:50 pm

It’s always good when someplace calls out to you, even better when you can do something about the call out!

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Nora Dunn August 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Rob,
And that’s what lifestyle design is (supposed to be) all about! :-)

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Agness August 30, 2014 at 7:21 am

Great news! Go for it girl! Best of luck x :) Peru has been on my bucket list for ages :).

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Nora Dunn August 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Agness – Peru is a magical place….hopefully serendipity will take you there sometime soon!

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Dana @ Wanted Adventure September 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

Awesome story! Sometimes life is just like that :D Can’t wait to hear where this fated path leads you :) All the best! -Dana

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Nora Dunn September 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Hey Dana,
So far I’m loving my time here in Peru, although I’m still just settling in. I’m going hiking in the mountains for two days as of tomorrow….a great way to reconnect with the land and people and local communities.

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Dale September 9, 2014 at 3:37 am

Just came through via your newsletter just to say that your lifestyle design choice is as fantastic now as I’ve ever known it, ever since I started reading about you back in 2011 before we started our own travels.

And you’re so right about the “how long for?” question. Now we just shrug our shoulders and leave it at that.

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Nora Dunn September 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Hey Dale!
Indeed – people here in Peru regularly ask me how long I’m staying. My response is a simple “however long it feels good for”!

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Tom Bentley September 9, 2014 at 11:31 am

Nora, happy trails and spicy traveling (or spicy sitting-for-a-spell). I have a friend who is going to live in Peru on a semi-permeable basis like you describe; I’ve encouraged her to check out your site. Hope you’re well, Tom B (from the Florida Keys media trip).

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Nora Dunn September 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Hey Tom! (Hardly a guy I can forget)
Semi-permeable….very cute. And yet, I am feeling quite semi-permeable at the moment, soaking up all the local culture and language I can!
Happy travels to you….where is your next adventure taking you?

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Tom Bentley September 10, 2014 at 11:55 am

Got back from 3 weeks in San Miguel de Allende (lovely spot) a bit back. Short media trip to Vegas (!) in a couple of weeks and then a short one in Los Cabos after that. Then … who knows?

You’ll probably hear from my pal Rachel through your contact form—she’s going to be staying somewhere in the Sacred Valley. See you in the ether!

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Nora Dunn September 12, 2014 at 11:43 am

Wow, Tom – great trips all in all! Glad you’re enjoying all “the road” has to offer. I’ll keep an eye out for Rachel’s email.
Cheers!

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Adri September 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Things happens for a reason and if you got the place you wanted to rent thats something, Enjoy your time in Peru. I can not wait to visit Peru, it is one of the countries in my bucket list.

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Nora Dunn September 14, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Hi Adri,
Peru is awesome! I hope you make it here one day. :-)

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