Ready, Set, Peru!

I always love the anticipation before going on vacation. Whether it’s embarking on a new destination or returning to a place full of memories, I feel that it’s the break from reality that truly contributes to the relaxation you get from taking time off. In anticipation of tomorrow morning’s flight out of Seattle with the fiancé, I’ve done a couple things in eager anticipation for my two weeks in Lima, Peru.

1. Gel Manicure, pedicure – done

As it’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere, I wanted something bright, cheerful and summery. Those who know me know I rarely ever stray from pinks/reds for my manicures, but I treated myself with a gel manicure (with OPI Gel Polish in Strawberry Margarita) at Polished Boutique Spa in my neighborhood Capitol Hill. The nail salon is impeccably clean, and while it may not have the largest selection of gel polishes I’ve been accustomed to seeing in NYC nail salons, my manicurist did an impeccable job, one of the best I’ve had. I’m definitely returning.

2. Packing – almost done!

Clothes: While I see that the high in Lima has been in the 70s, my fiancé’s family has informed it is both warm and cold there so we should be aptly prepared. I can be an overpacker so I’m stuffing my luggage with bikinis, heels, summer dresses, but also my usual spring/autumn wear of jeans, long-sleeve shirts and jackets. Most importantly, items that do not crease too easily as I really can’t be bothered with ironing on vacation!

Makeup/skincare/haircare: A delicate subject for me; I’m always torn between wanting to sport a very minimalistic look on vacations yet also wanting to glam myself up more than usual as there will be copious photo opps. Needless to say I’m pretty much bringing everything I use on a normal basis but decanted into smaller 1- and 3-oz containers. The thought of needing something but not having it be readily available in Peru terrifies me; better safe than sorry!

A few necessities I feel every woman needs on vacation:

  • Dry shampoo: I love Alterna Caviar’s version – I prefer loose powder than an aerosol spray as the former lasts longer
  • Leave-in conditioner: Deesse’s Elujuda Emulsion+ which I discovered from my favorite Japanese hair salon in NYC, Tokuyama Salon. Not only does it have a deliciously light, floral scent, it makes my normally thick and coarse hair feel so much softer after use. A more accessible leave-in conditioner I’ve also used and loved is the It’s a 10’s version – I first got into leave-in conditioners after trying to find a great heat protectant but then figured I could make my money go further by buying a product that not only offered protection from heat-styling tools but also conditions the strands at the same time. A win-win!
  • Body lotion/oil: I can’t live without Neutrogena Body Oil! But as I’m running low on it I’m making do with a basic Olay anti-aging body lotion for this trip

3. Physical/mental readiness – there’s no time left!

Here’s where I’ve been bad – I had intentions of exercising daily to look really fit and toned in time for my vacation and yet I succumbed to utter laziness as I took up part-time work in mid-October. It wasn’t an excuse but at least I finally squeezed in 30 minutes of cardio on Friday morning for the first time since… early October! Embarrassing, but I’m proud of myself for having done something versus nothing.

4. Food for the airport – done

I’m always outraged at how inflated the price of food is at the airport, and it’s subpar at that. I’m bringing 3 apples and 4 bananas as snacks to endure the 1 layover, and 2 flights that will make up the nearly 18 hours of traveling I’ll be doing tomorrow. The joy!

I’m pretty proud of myself for not having bought anything new in preparation for this trip. I’m slowly weaning off that habit of buying new merchandise just for an occasion (be it a date, an interview, or vacation in this case) as I’ve realized several things:

  1. I have plenty and that will suffice
  2. Owning more stuff = feeling tied down to it
  3. When money is limited, reserve it for experiences/memories not, the temporary short-term high you get from purchasing material goods

Now, instead of saving up money for a nice pair of earrings or a new purse, I’m attempting to save up for practical things such as workout classes and gifts for friends and ultimately, hoping I have enough to embark on a several months-long backpacking trip. I don’t chastise anyone for using their money in whatever manner they want as I definitely went through a phase of maintaining an envious closet full of stuff; I’ve just found a better way to make money go the extra mile for me and contribute to greater fulfillment in the long-term as opposed to the short-term.


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