Explorations: Peru & Nicaragua

Explorations: Peru & Nicaragua

She's taken us through the colorful streets of Colombia, deep in the water in the Galapagos, and showed us the vast landscapes of Ecuador. In this third installment of her travel series, Marianna Jamadi, blogger behind Nomadic Habit, takes us to Peru and Nicaragua. As always, she'll have you dreaming of your next adventure.

What did you encounter during your trip to Peru & Nicaragua that you weren't expecting?

I was really blown away by the respect for mother nature (Pachamama) especially in Peru. I had no idea what to expect in terms of landscape in Peru and I was so mesmerized by the Andean Highlands as well as the culture and simplicity of life in the mountains.

What was the most unique aspect about Peru & Nicaragua?

Peru has a sort of magical feeling to it which I think is partly because of the Incan history. When you see Incan ruins, you can't help but think about how advanced they were for their time.

I always love the wildness of Nicaragua. Not only does it still feel quite undiscovered, the people there are always with open arms.

What have been your favorite foods along the journey?

I love the fresh ceviche in Peru and you can't go wrong with the tostones (fried plantains) in Nicaragua.

Tell us about your homestay with Intrepid Travel in the Andean highlands? What were the family dynamics like, where did you stay, what did you experience?

I went with Intrepid Travel to a homestay in the Andrean Highlands in Canocota near Chivay Valle. We stayed with a lovely couple who housed us in their beautiful home. There myself and my fellow travelers got to partake in their daily lives. We farmed the land, cooked dinner together, and all got to get to know each other while being totally unplugged. No internet or phone, just nature and human connection.

What did you find the most inspiring during your journey?

I was really impressed with the reverence for the land in Peru. The homestay also made me realize how disconnected we are from our food. It made me think about how a simple life can be the most beautiful life. A life where you can forge for your own food and barter for what you need seems so impossible in these modern times but I was so inspired that people are still living from the land.

How has this journey expanded your vision?

We often think that because we live in modern times that new is always better. After seeing the impressive impact of the Incan civilization and their sophisticated practices from hundreds of years ago and seeing the simple life in Nicaragua, I pause at saying we live in the best, or happiest time. It's important to understand that as we've progressed, we've also lost certain aspects or skill sets as we've modernized.

Did you meet anyone along the way that has expanded your vision?

All of the guides throughout the journey have allowed me to see their country through their eyes. Both historically as well as the current climate of the country. Seeing life through the eyes of others truly has expanded my vision and helped me see things in a different light.

Best piece of wisdom given on this trip?

Take time to enjoy nature.

Favorite Dharma Co. frames along the journey?

Ethereal in Tortoise Crystal + Maya sunglasses.

Let's talk about stuff-

Glad you packed: A rain poncho for Peru + Bug spray for Nicaragua.

Wish you'd packed: More of my favorite Yogi Ginger Tea.

Didn't need: I used every little thing I packed.

Brought back: A baby alpaca sweater from Peru.