Mi barrio. Finding rhythm in an unexpected place.

There have been some tough decisions already made on this trip.

There is the stark reality that the money I spent years saving is just like life — it goes pretty darn quick.

I had to do some soul searching and practical decision-making and already eliminate one or two destinations.

I was supposed to go to Bolivia but decided to stay in Areuipa instead. I had already seen it over four days, and needed the time more to write about Nicaragua, to get prepared for the upcoming projects, and in the meantime, it would save me money. My idea of writing from the road and writing about the traveling is a lot harder than I thought... you're busy seeing and doing.

Choices.
There have been tough ones made in the last days, but I knew this trip would be about facing them all and becoming who I am going to be, not just exploration, though that's how I like to imagine it.

I thought I might be bored but I quite like it here. I've grown to sort of adore my temporary adopted home of Arequipa, the "white city," because so many buildings are white from the Spanish influence.

The hostel is great and there's a few long-timers like me that feel like roomies now. I've seen all the stuff in the city, so on my walks I started to see people and the rhythm. Walk to the nontouristy areas and buy bread with everyone else for 15 cents for three cheese rolls. Say hi to the corner store lady, like I see her every day. Because I do.

Here are some photos from my neighorhood here. My daily walk, the main plaza a few blocks away, guys heading to the skatepark, the hostel and the friends I've made.

I have been living on $9 a day for my room and spent $7 on dinner for three days ... total. I think this is what they call an austerity budget.

Heh. I don't mind. I am having a grand time in my adopted temporary home here of Arequipa.

It feels weird today without Anton the Swede and Martin the German. We've been housemates for so long!

The small world breakfast table at the hostel. Anton is on the left, and a girlf from Penfield on the right

Rush hour at the main plaza

The hostel back yard. This is where all the cool old VW bugs went. Here. Arequipa. They are everywhere

I cannot figure out if anyone lives on this block. Anywhere. Weird.

Our quiet hostel street. Usually, there's two VW old bugs out there.

My favorite hangout. The plaza.