Adíos Valparaíso. Hola Cusco!
Week 4 with The Nomad MBA was quite turbulent since it marked the end of our first month in Valparaíso. Halfway through the week, the whole tribe made its way to Cusco, Peru. Everyone was busy crossing some last things off their to-do lists for Chile and getting ready for Peru.
And after a month of staying put, it was also time to pack our bags again. Easier said than done when you had four weeks to spread out all your belongings in a huge apartment. The risk of forgetting something was probably just as huge. That’s why I decided to make a packing list of all the essentials I travel with. I also think this might be interesting for some of the lesser-seasoned travellers among you. These items have been on the road with me since last year December with the only new additions being two beautiful dresses from Bali, another pair of yoga pants and the jumper since I wasn’t really prepared for colder weather. (Remember? My initial plan was to tour South East Asia, no need for jumpers there.) Have a look at the copy below or download it for future reference. 🙂
Whatever you need
Before leaving Chile though, we had one last amazing workshop with one of the founders at our coworking space. It was all about non-violent communication and how to achieve that by getting in tune with your needs. The essence of this concept is to not react and communicate based on what another person has done to us but based on what we feel and need in a moment. And to then communicate our needs and how they could be better met free of demand and with the option for the other person to say ‘no’. No bias, no blame, no threats, no hard feelings.
To do that, you first need to be able to identify your needs. We were handed the list above and then asked two questions: ‘Which needs weren’t being met when we applied for The Nomad MBA’ and ‘Which are the needs I have today’. For me, that led to some interesting insights. For the first part, I picked ‘Growth’, ‘Making sense of life’ and ‘Purpose’, with ‘Making sense of life’ being the main one. That, however, has evolved to ‘To be heard/seen’, ‘Closeness’, ‘Love’ and ‘Connection’ in general for my needs today. Talk about a shift in priorities! By being in a close-knit community like this tribe I realized how much I long for deep and meaningful connections with like-minded people. A need that certainly hasn’t always been met in the past. But now that I’m aware of this, I can work on it and create the environment I crave.
Hard to breathe, easy to love
After a middle-of-the-night start, one forgotten and retrieved passport, two flights and a way too long layover in Lima, we finally arrived in Cusco late on Thursday afternoon. We were quite exhausted from the long day and the altitude didn’t make it any better. Despite that, we decided to go out for a nice dinner and a little stroll around the neighbourhood. And I fell in love with Cusco immediately. That probably wasn’t hard since we went to San Blas the first night, which should quickly become my favourite area in all of Cusco. All the narrow cobblestone alleys, cute cafés, unique boutique shops and – best of all – vegan and vegetarian options wherever you go. There is also a daily local market and lots of street vendors if you are looking for more authentic and cheap alternatives.
The weekend was then spent exploring more of Cusco’s Centro Histórico and it only made me fall more in love. I could seriously see myself living here. If I could get used to the altitude and the shortness of breath that comes with it, that is. I personally like this city so much better than Valparaíso. Even though it’s almost twice as big, it feels calmer and more authentic. And it’s so easy to get out into nature, one thing I missed in our prior location. I definitely see lots of weekend hikes in the future. Well, at least if we don’t get sucked in by all the coffee stores haha.