Wow. Where has six months gone? Here’s a bit of a personal update on La Vida Lima.
It may look like we’re always travelling and yes, we’ve had some amazing adventures so far. There is so much available on our doorstep and we have a very long bucket list for our time in South America. So far we’ve tagged along with backpacking friends, made the most of public holidays, skipped Christmas with our families (sob), found cheap flights, cheaper hostels and friends with cars (you know who you are!)
But aside from the travelling, it’s been six months of adjusting to life on the other side of the world, and another language. I had five glorious months out of work, enjoying some freedom and adjusting to life in Lima.
I spent 10 weeks back at school, doing intensive Spanish lessons at El Sol Escuela de Español. I’m so glad for the strong base I got there (and the lunch dates with new friends!) I’m still far from fluent, but can get by day-to-day and am constantly learning. If you haven’t read it, check out my blog on the fun and challenges of learning Spanish.
I then volunteered for the NGO CARE Perú (part of the CARE International network) full time for two months. They do fantastic work to improve outcomes for marginalised and impoverished women and girls across Peru. I worked in their Fundraising / Marketing team, helping with their individual donor communications plan. Because of the language barrier, this was incredibly difficult and frustrating, but also great experience for me to work at a Peruvian NGO and to improve my Spanish.
And now, finally (!), I’m back to the world of work. Work permit is being processed just in time as my tourist visa will shortly expire. I recently started a new job doing digital content for a luxury travel agency here in Lima, and will be blogging for work too. I just hope I’ll still have the energy and creative drive to write in my spare time. There will be some overlap, as I’ll be work-blogging about my personal experiences as well, just from a different angle.
If you’re interested, here’s my first blog for work about our trip to the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. It’s basically a reproduction of my personal blog about the experience, just a bit more polished and minus the jumping-in-the-lake antics and copious selfies!
As for Steven, he hit the ground running, and was straight into work jet-lagged, the day after we arrived. He’s had to deal with all the frustrations of our ‘life admin’ – apartment rental contracts, opening bank accounts, setting up phones, internet, etc etc… as my Spanish was pretty rubbish at that point and I was too scared to even make a phone call (I’m marginally better now).
He’s been playing squash and football (when not injured) and finally getting his PADI scuba diving license. Last weekend two sea lions swam over to say hello on one of his dives, which I was pretty envious of! [Note to self: add diving with sea lions to bucket list] And he’s my editor-in-chief; cutting down my drivel (these blogs would be twice as long without him), adding witty, brilliantly crafted words, and occasionally, much to my annoyance, correcting my grammar (got to love a man with good grammar).
Thanks everyone for reading! I genuinely hope that you’re enjoying my little blog project, whether you’re interested in what Steven and I are up to, just glancing at the photos and videos, or getting ideas for your own South American aventura. I’ll try to keep ’em coming.
Over the next few months I’m going to write more about Lima, as we get under her skin – this wonderful place we now call home, so you can get a flavour for her character, quirks, delights and frustrations.