Circumstances that would make me abandon Peru

October 5, 2013

Nazca Lines

My first days in Peru were filled with illness: dehydration from the plane, adjusting to the change in diet, breathing the air, absorbing the water. Dealing with different immunities and bacteria. Living in Asia may have tempered my gastrointestinal distress a bit, but the fact remains this week was the longest I have ever been sick in my life.

It’s starting to take its toll. I can’t run, try new restaurants, or even leave my bed. In and of itself, I’d be able to handle one or more travel hiccups, but lately, it seems as though I’m being attacked on all sides, work, health, and lodging:

– Aside from my language school operating slightly outside Peruvian law by bringing in as “interns”, the schedule is constantly in flux, with classes shifting from teacher to teacher, holidays cancelled, and conditions that differ than those which I was told when I signed on taking place, i.e. working Saturdays.

– I have no natural light in my room. It’s cold all of the time, and impossible to clean with bits of sillar falling off the walls every hour. Every encounter with the American building owner leaves me with a bad taste in my soul. It’s not anything he says or does (well, he does enter my room without asking and do noisy repairs at 5 AM), but there’s just something about his personality that rubs against mine like the harshest sandpaper.

Needless to say, the appeal of staying here, is fading. And with all the time in the world to ponder, I started to think what circumstances would make me consider leaving Peru.

A Better Offer

Even though I don’t have any applications in the ether, there’s always the possibility I’ll hear from an old contact about a contract position in the US. Obviously, it would have to pay enough and be good enough to warrant a trip back, but the bar is set pretty low.

More Trouble

Even without anything waiting for me in the states, I’m near my breaking point. All it may take is one more relapse of this stomach flu, one more unwarranted noise at 6 AM, or another schedule change.. and I’m outta here.


Getting robbed and beaten by taxi drivers in Arequipa is a relatively common occurrence. Although I’m usually one to walk everywhere, there are times I have to rely on a local taxi. If I were to be pickpocketed, robbed, or assaulted here, I’d be on the next plane out.

No Computer or Wifi

The Macbook is my sole window outside of Peru at the moment. With it, I can watch The Daily Show, catch up on news on the government shutdown, write and submit travel articles, and keep in touch with friends and family. Remove its existence, and banish me to Internet cafes? I think not.

I know I come across as one of those whiny travelers who just can’t hack it, but I need to clarify: I’m not giving up on Peru. I’m just not at all happy with this trip that so happens to be in Peru, and sometimes it may be best to just cut one’s losses. Even if I don’t work in the Nazca Lines or Macchu Picchu this time, I will still have been richer for the experience.

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