So, the first morning was great and all was well in my cute little city apartment but stepping outside those doors was not as easy. Coming to a country that speaks Spanish when you can barely count to 10 in Espanol may have been poor planning on my part but certainly adds to the adventure. The first day walking around and getting to learn my surroundings was both awe inspiring and scary. Simple things like buying bottled water proved challenging because not only did I not know how to say bottled, I didn't know how to say what size bottled water I wanted and once we did figure all that out I didn't know how to pay the correct amount of money for the item. It proved very frustrating for me but I got through it. Then there was the taxi ride to the bank and the grocery store. Talk about serious stress. Trying to explain where you need to go to someone who doesn't understand you at all is a major challenge. That first day out was so draining both emotionally and mentally that I spent the rest of the evening in the apartment once I finally found my way back.
Once I realized that 99% of the people I would encounter on a regular basis spoke no English it was time for me to take action. A friend gave me a great link to a free online site to learn Spanish and I enrolled in private lessons that begin on Monday. I never thought I would learn a language since I have the worst memory ever but its vital for my success here and so I push myself beyond my comfort zone knowing that anything for me is possible.
Traveling alone is not for the faint of heart but definitely worth it for anyone who wants to step outside their box (for some literally their cubicle box) and lead a different life. I will say the people here are very friendly and everyone is patient with me and willing to help me along the way however they can. Many people here own their own bodega's or shops and support each other's businesses by buying the things they need from each other. Its a community of oneness here that is refreshing from what I have noticed in the States.
There are a few things I learned that you may want to know when coming to Lima, Peru:
- You may be the only person from your Country when you come here
- Its more complicated to find someone to speak English than you think
- They will run you over so don't take your sweet ole time crossing the street
- Every time you get into a cab you will think that you may just die
- Lima is a big city with lots of people so expect it to be constantly busy
Ultimately have fun, take it one day at a time and slowly but surely you will make your way in Lima, Peru! I know I will!!