If you missed it, our first stop in Peru was Cusco (Adventure in the Andes 😉). Our second major adventure was visiting the Amazon rainforest (one of the new 7 wonders of the natural world!). After completing his Peace Corps service, my late great-uncle Peter Jenson built Explorama Lodge in the mid-1960s. Located 50 miles down the Amazon River from Iquitos, his company has since expanded to also include 4 other accommodations and one of the world’s longest canopy walkways. 😲 Tommy and I spent an amazing 3 days there (+1 in Iquitos) exploring the river and rainforest.
As our last post detailed, we’ve spent the past 8 months teaching with VIPKID while traveling the world. Our destinations have been guided by cheap flights and bucket list activities – which led us to Peru and its world wonder (Machu Picchu) in late February!**
Arriving in Peru was a breath of fresh air. We loved our time in Europe and feel so blessed to have traveled so much during our time there, but many of the places we lived in or visited felt a little too “easy.” A lot of people spoke English, quite a bit of the food was familiar-ish, we were usually in large cities, and we just didn’t have as many, “Wait, WHAT?” moments. The exceptions to this were our trips to Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt – noticeably, places mostly outside of Europe (part of Istanbul is in Europe, while part of it is in Asia). We did love the architecture, museums, and accessibility of Germany, France, Romania, and Italy, and overall had a very positive time in each place – but… when we arrived in South America we were just excited to be in a continent that felt “different” again! Peru was definitely a highlight of our travels.
Because the cheapest flight can sometimes mean the most roundabout journey, Tommy and I got to see Dusseldorf, a city we probably never would’ve thought to visit otherwise. We spent a couple days visiting museums and fighting off the germs that had latched on during our flights. Then a day trip to Cologne, and next it was off to Munich for Oktoberfest! … where our hunt for a reasonably-priced hotel led us to the nearby town of Dachau. Our week in Germany was full of history, food, art, cars, and of course – beer!
The other day Tommy asked, “So, will our family ever get to read a new blog post?” What a subtle reminder that I have not posted anything for almost two months. 😉 But I guess it is time to catchup! Everything has been going really well. We left as scheduled on September 18th and since then we have visited Iceland (Keflavík), Germany (Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, Dachau), and France (Paris). We’ve been in Romania (Bucharest) since October 2, during which time we’ve mostly just been working and walking to the park/grocery store. We did go to a wine & street food festival at the Parliamentary Palace last weekend and next week we will be visiting “Dracula’s” castle!
So, first up was Iceland and the Blue Lagoon!
If you’ve asked us, “What’s next?” anytime within the past year, you’ve probably gotten a vague and confusing answer that changed within the week (or even the day). For a long time, we had every intention of teaching in person in a traditional setting. We’ve considered teaching everywhere from China to Mexico to Spain to Morocco to Turkey to Thailand to….. you get the picture. Well, the long wait is finally over – we have a plan!!! We have jobs, our tickets are booked, we’ve paid for our housing (yes, family, you can finally tell people where we’re going – It’s not going to change, for real!). So, where to? (Can you guess from these photos?)