No Te Puedes Ir Sola: Misconceptions about Traveling Alone

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“Tu no te puedes ir sola….”

Infamous words of my abuela. Whether it be to the store late at night, or across the world on my travels, I should never go alone. “¿Y Porqué?” –  frustrated that I was always being told this.

“Por que eres una niña.”

Why does my gender suddenly make me incapable of protecting myself? Why is it taboo for me to be out alone, or travel alone, just because I am female. Men face just as much of a risk taking the train at 2 am. Men have been victimized abroad. So why are we a target, just because we are girls?

Screw that.

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Essaouira, Morocco

It’s not just abuela who worries. I’ve had friends and even strangers ask me, “but aren’t you scared/worried/afraid?” Absolutely not! Who’s to say something can’t happen to me in my own neighborhood? Why should that fear stop me from exploring and learning?

Don’t get me wrong, I️ have been followed, harassed, even gotten garbage thrown at me. My big mouth has gotten me into trouble more than I️ can count. So maybe don’t follow in my footsteps exactly. I’m the type of girl that will curse out cat-callers (and it’s not the smartest reaction, especially abroad!).

In an ideal world, men would understand to respect a woman and her body, that we are not objects or property. If anyone finds this perfect world, let me know how to buy my ticket! Chicas, let me tell you NOTHING you do, say, or wear will make you more or less of a target! Let me give you an example:

I went out one night with a group from my riad in Morocco. One girl in the group was wearing sweatpants and a hoodie. Nothing revealing, nothing tight-fitting, but she was blessed with curves. A man approached us very nicely and asked if we wanted to sit down and have tea in his café.  No, but thank you, we replied. This. Dude. Went. Off.

“How dare you come to my country dressed like that”

“How dare you walk on the street”

“You whore, you should be ashamed”

Um… what!?

Now you may be saying, “Well that story doesn’t make me feel better about traveling alone!” Yeah, I see what you mean, but I want tshow that you can follow customs, not try and draw attention to yourself, take all precautions necessary, or not. At the end of the day, you have to be aware of your surroundings and try and make smart decisions in case of uncomfortable situations.

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Machu Picchu, Peru (that llama followed me around for 15 mins!)

Abuela was raised in a different time, and I understand her concerns come from a good place. More and more women are following their heart to travel solo and realizing the rewarding experience it is! I’m a strong believer that you should be able to be comfortable alone. Traveling alone is an eye-opening experience, it allows you to truly push yourself out of your comfort zone. Plus, traveling alone means you can do and see whatever is on your list, without having to worry about compromising with a travel buddy!

Book that flight and explore that country you have always wanted to! Don’t ever let other peoples fears dictate your life, dreams, and goals. And if you don’t feel comfortable traveling alone, let me know why, or better yet TAKE ME WITH YOU!

 

Around the World Beauty by Stephanie Flor

Stephanie Flor, Make-Up Artist and Digital Creator
By day, Stephanie is a NYC-based makeup artist with Ecuadorian and Costa Rican roots who works with some of the most influential celebs out there from Mariah Carey to Sting and brands who focus on global beauty like Shea Moisture, Clinique and many others.. After hours she’s a bona fide #BeautyTraveler who’s traveled to the tip of India to take part in the Ayurvedic way of living, and through the heights of South America where she climbed Machu Piccu – you know – just to get a closer look at the sun. Stephanie is the host of “Journey to Beauty,” a regular beauty and travel series on vivala.com and her global beauty tips have been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine, on travelchannel.com, allure.com, cosmopolitan.com, and more. She’s also been named as one of Latina Magazine’s “Beauty Vanguards” a trailblazer in Marie Claire Magazine and was featured in Glamour and Skyla’s “Making Her Mark” campaign.

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Stephanie Flor

Stephanie created Around the World Beauty because of her passion for culture and travel. She wanted to find a way to combine her career in the beauty industry with adventure, while also breaking out of the norms of what we think beauty is. Beauty is an adventure, getting outside the comfort zone, and seeing from the heart. To see from the heart, it takes being with yourself, taking risks, and willing to trust others. Travel is truly the only way to discover who you really are.

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Around the World Beauty reveals beauty rituals and traditions that are practiced by women all over the globe. Our mission is to inspire women to reconnect with their ancestral beauty path. Ancient old beauty remedies passed down from generations that celebrate the beauty of women in all different cultures.  

Discover Your Beauty Roots
1) A call to explore the history of global beauty, which spans from the beginning of time.
2) The demand to uncover the beauty traditions of one’s ethnic heritage.

ATW has offered trips to India and Ecuador in the past. We’ve ventured into the Amazon, and meditated next to the ganges under the Himalayas. It’s been a beautiful journey expanding to new locations, and making women travel to locations off the beaten path, full of inner and outer beauty.

Peru Beauty Journey (November 15th-24th, 2018)
Experience the land of Pacha Mama, the mountains of the Incas and Sacred Valley that holds an abundance of Beauty Energies. This journey brings us to Peru to discover the deeper meaning of beauty. Together we will immerse into the true spirit of holistic wellness while we #BeautyExplore two days in the ancient city of Cusco, six days in the Sacred Valley at Willka T’ika Retreat Center, and spend two days at the mysterious Machu Picchu. We will be special guests of Willka T’ika, the luxury full-service retreat center situated at the feet of the Andean Peaks in the Sacred Valley. Experience cultural and traditional Incan ceremonies with healers, musical celebrations, vibrant Chakra Gardens, and the delicious organic gourmet vegetarian cuisine.  There will also be plenty of free time for Andean Spa Treatments, and to be immersed in the spiritual essence of the Andean world. Here, you will be surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, the magic of ancient civilizations and transformational energy which can only be found in the lands of Pachamama. Alchemy with the Elements, Beauty Rituals, Chakra Gardens, Ceremonies, Mystical Temples, Sacred Sites, Pristine Mountains and Sacred Lakes, Q’ero Wisdom, Beauty Give Back, Textile Shopping, Solar Bathing, Andean Spa Treatments.

 

The retreat is designed to accommodate 10-15 women. We bring women together in a safe, spiritual space to learn about the meaning of different beauty rituals, the source of #BeautyCulture from Around The World. Our following is a niche group of nomadic and conscious beauty lovers who care about the world of beauty around us, and changing the way we see and share in beauty.

ATW’s Journeys explore the deeper meaning of beauty and the passed down rituals of our ancestors to celebrate and empower younger generations through wellness and beauty from the source. Let us inspire you to make a beauty discovery of your own! Join our next Beauty Journey to Peru 2018.

 

A Note on the Deposit and Instalments
The initial non-refundable deposit is $1,150. You are able to pay as you go for this trip until September.
The full price for this trip is $4,250 but she’s offering $150 off if you use the code: TravelXLatina.

 

Read, Book, and Explore Machu Picchu!

I didn’t know that booking a ticket to explore Machu Picchu will enable my eyes to see the revealing beauty and indigenous mystery that lies within this great wonder of our world. So many people describe Machu Picchu as a philosophical voyage that serenades you with so much history and breathtaking views like no other. Many regard this destination so major that once checked off their bucket list, other must do’s are just accessory items on their travel wish list. I’m sure all this hype must tickle a nerve within you and makes you wonder, what is all the fuss about? Why is Machu Picchu a travel stamp high in demand for every passport holder? I had to book a flight to Peru and go on this expedition to discover this South American jewel. The Travel 101 experience was the only way to answer these questions and reason why the world is so in love with Picchu!

Behind the Mystery of Machu Pichu:
A masterpiece dating back to 1450’s, this mountain burghal was once the home of the Powerhouse Inca Empire. Upon researching the origin of its discovery, I concluded the facts with the explanation of many urban legends of who, when, why Machu Picchu exists? But there is one story which stood out the most: the voyage of American historian and lecturer, Hiram Bingman. It is recorded that his actual experience to Machu Picchu led him to collect many artifacts of the Incas Empire, which led to its cultural explanation and one of the reasons why Machu Picchu is one of the most visited places in the world. I just wanted to delight you with some history treats, but let us move on to the fun part of making this visit come true.

 

Getting you there:
There are hundreds of tours, website, and airlines which take you to Peru, where the historical site is located. But one website where flight deals are thrown at you like confetti is Skyscanner. This site offers you many options as to where and which airlines accommodates your budget. The most popular airlines flying to Peru are Avianca, Lan, and Taca. One way to beat the price boogie man is flying to Lima, Peru and then take a local flight to Cusco. Some people stay in Cusco then take a Railroad to Machu Picchu and some fly direct to Cusco, which tends to be more expensive. I flew into Lima then took another flight to Cusco for under $600. Once in Cusco, you have the option to reach the mountain via Railroad which is a 3-hour scenic ride of nature’s treasures or a challenging hike which takes a few days. My favorite website of booking the train ride is called, Perurail. Their service is royalty and the picturesque glass view strokes your every emotion. You must book the Vistadome ride so your eyes are taken hostage by the scenery surprise.


Where to rest?
Well, the good news is that you have many options whether to stay in Cusco or Aguas Caliente. If you want a local feel and witness the colorful life of the people in the warm town of Cusco, then book your stay there. For the budget traveler, one good place to stay is Pariwana Hostel (website). It’s clean, friendly, and has a close proximity to main attractions. Also, they host nightly events for their guests. For a more luxurious stay in Cusco, there are places like Belmond Hotel Monasterio (website) and Aranwa Boutique Hotel (website). Websites like http://www.bookings.com, http://www.hotels.com, & http://www.jetsetter.com offer lots of choices to rest those exploring bones.


Visiting the site:
Don’t let Machu Picchu be one of those places you wish you would have visited, because quite frankly, you are going to regret it! One of the most enchanting and curiosity booster is when you hop on the bus, which takes 15 minutes to the entrance of the site. The ride is a slow-motion slideshow of the Peruvian Andes. You witness how each layer of the hills unveil photo worthy landscape features, which brings you to agree that this path to the mountaintop is a beautiful way to greet its guests. The average cost for the bus ride is $20 USD. Things you need to know when planning your visit: book your tickets ahead of time, wear appropriate clothes for hiking, drink plenty of water, and wear sunscreen during the hot season. Also, you have different options as to which level of the mountain top you will like to visit: Picchu or Wayna. I chose Wayna, the most challenging route but the view from the top is heavenly. Once you reach the top, the experience feels like the most intimate moment you will ever have with nature. Please note** not recommend for the elderly, children, and physically disabled. For more information please visit Machu Picchu’s (website) and please note, you can book the ticket with confidence on their site.

 

Best time to visit
While I personally believe Machu Picchu is always a good idea, you must know its weather seasons in order to plan wisely. Rainy season is usually between October & April, and Dry season is usually May & September. If you don’t mind the crowd, then you know you have to visit Machu Picchu during the dry season as it is peak time for tourism. Want to skip the crowd? Then visit the site during the rainy season. FYI Cusco tends to be a bit on the cooler side in comparison to Lima due to its high elevation.

Want to add more flavors to this post? If so, share any questions or travel tips regarding Machu Picchu below.

 

Mochileando Perú en 10 días

 

Guía para llegar a Machu Picchu (y un poco más allá) con poco presupuesto.

Blog post escrito por Tatiana Chacón Salazar

Ahora que los vuelos baratos Costa Rica – Perú han multiplicado las visitas de ticos a tierras incas, mucha gente me ha preguntado sobre mi experiencia mochileando el país sudamericano, así que les quiero contar mi viaje con Mari, ojalá puedan disfrutarlo tanto como nosotras.

La primera cosa que quiero aclarar es ¿cómo conseguimos recorrer TANTO de Perú y hasta pasar por Bolivia en tan pocos días?, solo una respuesta: fuimos unas intensas. Nos tomamos muy en serio eso de aprovechar cada minuto y a descansar… cuando esté en casa. Allá fuimos a caminar, correr, escalar y correr más.  Así que si su plan son unas vacaciones de relajación, la recomendación es que se quede los días en Lima… si sus piernas están dispuestas a cansarse, aquí les cuento.

Llegamos al Aeropuerto de Lima y nos hospedamos en PayPurix Hostel que está a 3 minutos del Aeropuerto y es muy barato, pero muy lejos del centro.

Así que RECOMENDACIÓN 1: Buscar un hostal (o un hotel) en Miraflores o en el centro aunque esté más lejos del aeropuerto.

. . .

Para leer el resto de este post escrito por Tatiana Chacón Salazar: Mochileando Perú en 10 días