Peru was my first venture into travel planning on my own. After being awarded a travel fellowship from the Archaeology department, I set out to plan a two-week long trip to Peru with the objective of comparing museums in the modern cultural landscape. As it works out, I enjoy going to museums anyway so it wasn’t too strenuous to write my report when I came back to the US. I traveled with one of my friends who I had known from club swimming growing up. Over the course of the trip, we visited nine cities (including Machu Picchu), starting in Lima before making our way south to Arequipa and then heading to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. We spent Peruvian Independence Day (July 28th) in Ica. Between most cities, we took Cruz del Sur bus service. I was nervous about bus travel, but I purchased the tickets and chose our seats before we even went to Peru and all of our ventures on the buses were without issue. Along the way, I grew increasingly tired of colonial architecture and Spanish churches and more interested in ancient ruins (if you’re a big fan of churches, to each his own), which might have been a result of our route or a happy coincidence of taking the route we did. Happily sipping pisco sours along the way, I learned a lot about traveling on my first self-planned international trip. It was the beginning of a new chapter of travel for me, and that was one of the most exciting aspects of the venture.