08
Dec-2012

The One Question That Changed All

It has now crossed my mind on several occasions here in Peru. Women here are strong, by far more dominant compared to their male counterparts and said to rule the household. And this reminded me of the initial project I had in mind for this trip and the start of it all.

That one night – now over 14 months ago – I bumped into my current partner-in-crime at a warm after-summer party at a good friend’s place in my home town, Amsterdam.

Babbling along next to the cozy BBQ one question changed it all. Four and a half months later we sat on a plane to Ushuaia, southern Argentina.

Now you may wonder what that one question was, that made us – hardly knowing each other – decide to plan a trip through Latin America for roughly a year. It is that one question that I firmly believe goes through many people’s mind, probably yours too, and to which the answer often stays a dream. We decided to act instead and follow and explore our dreams.

                                     

The question “what would you prefer to do if you would have all the freedom in the world?” was responded by ‘travel and write’ by one of us and the other – me – answered the question by ‘travel and take pictures’.

The joke that followed – to combine forces and travel together – gradually took more shape and we started meeting more often. A route was planned and we both started working out a theme for our writing respectively photography projects.

Unnecessary to say, preparation time for these projects and what later turned out to become a year long trip was short, especially keeping in mind that our professions were hardly related to our ‘dream activities’. So, it mainly became – and still is – learning on the road.

And I must confess that probably also because of this, the focus has somehow shifted or let’s say expanded a bit in these ten months of travelling. What should have become a pure photo website with pictures around the theme ‘Latin American women’ developed itself more into a travel blog with photos and slowly more and longer stories.

Creating and developing a blog was something completely new for the both of us and it surely takes up time. Yet, it’s another interesting thing I have learned a lot about this year. All in all, it has been a year of learning and developing. It has been a fruitful year, a joyful year. For sure one of the most memorable of my life so far.

Meanwhile, women here in Peru are continuing their tough lives.

During our visit to the islands Taquile and Amantani in the middle of Lake Titicaca we had the chance to stay with a local family and to learn more about the daily life of the families living here.

The most remarkable was probably the absence of men – who are said to work at the mainland mostly – and the consequently laborious work women have to perform at the fields and the household.

Our hostess, Gloria, a single mother of one, was due to her situation still living with her mother, but clearly found her distraction and joy in receiving tourists that stayed at the island, in this way learning more about the world outside Lake Titicaca. It made me wonder if this ever made her dream about another way of living.

For Gloria choices may be limited, but I believe that for many of us living in the West following our dreams is often a question of daring, of getting out of our comfort zone, leaving safety behind.

                                         

If you are also often dreaming away but still doubting whether to follow your dreams or not, please consider this for a moment:

I for sure didn’t regret to follow my dreams for a single moment.

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