You’ve heard it before: Social media portrays a fake reality. Countless articles describe how Facebook can have a negative effect on one’s self esteem, and Instagram is an even bigger sinner. Browsing through photos of perfect parties, delicious dinners and never-ending holidays can make anyone feel like a failure.
However, deep down we all know that there’s more to a story than what we see in a single shot. That’s the way it’s always been – whether we’re talking about Instagram or the family photo album.
On the Instagram account @WohooWorld, that I share with my friend Sia, we post photos from our travels. The gallery is filled with gorgeous sceneries, but it doesn’t tell the tales behind them – good or bad, so here we go:
Getting to Machu Picchu and back was quite an adventure – and we didn’t even trek the Inca Trail!
In 2008 I was living in Bolivia with a group of friends. We were traveling around South America when one of them, Liv-Marie, and I decided that we had to see Machu Picchu. Thorough planning is usually an essential part of making this dream come true, since spots on the train and trekking groups are limited. However, none of us were very good planners back then, so we didn’t get hold of any tickets. Instead, we decided to just wing it and hope for the best …
On our way from La Paz in Bolivia to Cuzco in Peru, we made a stop in the town of Copacabana. The town is located on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, and it’s definitely worth a visit – as long as you’re not in a hurry. We learnt that the hard way … Due to road blockages we got stranded in the small town for several days – with no cash, no ATMs and no bank terminals (but that’s a whole other story). When we finally made it to Cuzco, we only had one day to spare before we had to leave for Lima. In other words: If we wanted to see Machu Picchu, it would have to be the following day.
With an enormous luck, we got hold of two tickets for the right day. We were also happy to finally be in a city with a functional ATM – but our only credit card got demagnetized. We had managed to withdraw a bit of cash before the incident, though, so we could afford the cheapest hostel around + the entrance to Machu Picchu.
At the hostel, the manager promised to wake us up in time for our transport to Machu Picchu (because we didn’t have alarm clocks. Neither did we have phones – this was 2008 and we could actually live without them). Instead, we got woken up by the guide running into our room – screaming that the transport was supposed to have left already. If we didn’t get there in five minutes, they’d leave without us.
For some reason, despite all of the stress factors, I was just as zen as I appeared to be.
Happy to have made it in time, we lined up to get the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu. In our morning rush, Liv-Marie had forgotten to bring her student ID – fail! With extremely limited funds we had counted on the student discount, so the increased ticket price made all our cash disappear. With no money left for food, our cuisine for the day was a Twix bar each. However, experiencing the magic of Machu Picchu was worth being hungry for.
The hours we got to spend at Machu Picchu were incredible! We were actually so awed that we lost track of our guide group – and ended up as the two very last people leaving the ruins.
When we left, we thought we’d defeated the travel obstacles for this time around. Nope… On our way back, the challenges were to be continued. New blog post will follow soon.
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