Saturday, 27 December 2014

5 things I got out of my Peru UniBreak

PROJECT: Teaching & Construction
WRITTEN BY: Brielle Spicer

Top 5 things I got out of my Antipodeans Abroad UniBreak:

   1.   Memories 

As cliché as it sounds, I have made so many memories that will truly last a lifetime. From simply making a child smile; to experiencing the suffocating smells of petrol, dirt, raw meat, and a hint of dog poo while walking down any street; to exploring all the weird and wonderful places this country has to offer such as Lake Titicaca.

   2.   The confidence to travel anywhere in the world
This trip has given me the confidence to travel to any country in the world and feel safe, independent and able to navigate my way around. I have survived in a country where I can't speak the language, and where the culture is dissimilar to Australia in every way possible. I have managed to order food, walk the streets alone without getting lost, and interact with the locals (mostly) successfully. My UniBreak has given me a taste for adventure and whet my appetite to see more of the amazing world in which we live!

   3.   I have learnt how to deal with crazy dogs, aggressive people trying to sell me stuff, and locals staring at us like stunned mullets

The way to deal with all of these is the same: ignore them. Stray dogs line the streets here, as do locals trying to sell you some souvenir hat or entice you into their restaurant. Tourists really do stand out here as they are few and far between; locals often stare and will try to charge us more for goods than they would Peruvians.

   4.   A taste for new and different foods

Granadilla, kiwicha, manjar blanco, mazorra, picarones, all different kinds of potatoes... The list goes on! We all agree that we are going to miss the amazing food here that you just can't get back home.

   5.   The ability to bargain hunt and barter

Traveling on a student budget has forced me to be savvy, and to seek out the best deal on anything and everything. The people here are fierce salespeople, especially towards tourists, but I am now not afraid to say no if something is out of my price range. There is nothing worse than buying something, and then 10 minutes later seeing the exact same thing for a lower price. Looking around and inquiring at a number of stores, hotels, restaurants, even taxis - as opposed to just going to the first one that catches your eye - is a good way to find the best deal.

All in all, this UniBreak has been a once in a lifetime experience - a month that has gone way too fast - in a country worlds apart from our own.

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