How I made it from LAX to Machu Picchu in 24 hours
It’s Sunday night, April 15, and I’ve just declared myself capable of taking a trip to Machu Picchu the following day.
Obviously, I didn’t sleep that night. 😐
There was no time to waste in overthinking or analyzing how the trip should look or flow. I had no time for that. My first of three flights was set to leave at 11am from LAX and I had to figure out what vaccines (if any), visas, warm clothes, etc. I would need to make this a successful adventure.
I was too busy glowing to feel any worry or doubt…#blissedout
Monday morning, 7am, I sat at Starbucks with my mom talking about how I felt…
Oddly, I felt more at ease than I had in a VERY long time.
There’s just something about me living life by the seat of my pants that soothes me.
See, this trip wasn’t just about taking a trip to a place I’ve always wanted to go. It was about me conquering something in me that had yet to be conquered: a need for permission to live life to the fullest.
We all have demons, some more intricate and powerful than others.
Mine has always been a need for permission to take action and grow.
Thankfully, I’ve done fairly well for myself despite this…
however, it has created a huge void in my life of waiting for just the right time in many cases. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in life, and especially from this trip, when I surrender to what CAN be, NOW is just the right time…
And Source proves it to me EVERY time!
I called this trip “My Celestine Prophecy” because from the start to finish of the trip, it was truly spirit-driven. ❤
As I really wanted to learn to surrender, I did not plan out the full trip that Sunday night. I made an agreement with myself that I would have everything I needed at my fingertips once I arrived.
And I must say, it all worked out beautifully.
Like, seriously? Was I just in Redondo Beach, CA 24 hours ago talking about this?!?!
On Tuesday morning, I arrived in Cusco, Peru with only a few hours of sleep I’d had at the Lima airport during my layover. I was tired, dehydrated and ready for a shower.
HA! No time for that!!
I found a booth at the airport with the travel agency who would arrange my trip and within 30 minutes I was in a taxi with my sales rep heading to catch my first bus.
The first bus ride was long and bumpy and I was taking it all in…the rolling hills…the bulls feasting on grass with no fences…the street dogs…the stone-paved roads.
It was all so new and beautiful to me with its old, historic character.
I sipped on coca tea when I arrived at Ollentaytambo…a trick everyone recommended for potential altitude sickness…sitting by a stream while facetiming with my coaches and missed my connecting train by about 1 minute.
No worries though. 💁
The people with Inca Rail were super helpful, fit me on the next train without hesitation (with a complete meal for lunch as well) and got me to the next place that felt like Shangri-La…aka Aguas Calientes.
Photo credit: ME! Seriously, no need for filters on this one. Pure magic!!!
I bonded with my travel mates on the train who felt like soul family and once we arrived I committed to seeing them again without hesitation or exchanging contact info.
If I could make it this far with pure conviction, I could easily manifest another encounter. Right?
Final bus ride up the windy, steep and very narrow mountain road and I met my tour guide at the top. I dropped off my duffel bag at bag check since I had yet to get to my hotel and I was actually THERE!!!
I’m still in awe of how fast this trip happened…Like, LOA is in full effect here!
My guided tour lasted about three hours.
I had to stop periodically to just gaze at the incredible thought, skill and intuitive power used to build this amazing site. Three hours for me, so not enough. Of course you know I’ll be going back later this year for the 4 day hike on the actual Inca Trail!!!
I stopped to take pictures for documentation though I wanted more to feel the energy from the homes, temples, walls. I’d place my hands on a structure to see what imagery I could get from the past and what emotions I could sense from these people who lived there.
Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night either.
Arriving at my hotel around 11pm that night, I felt like I had not had time to think or breathe much since I left LAX the day before.
I woke up to breakfast prepared by a cook in-house. Such a treat! Then slept a bit more before venturing out to tour the Basilica Cathedral in Cusco. Man, I wish they would have allowed me to take pictures inside!!
Photo credit: ME! The overcast day was perfect for lighting :D
From as far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by cathedrals and spiritual culture so of course I was ooohhing and ahhhing at every turn 😜
A quick bite in a local organic cafe to round off my afternoon and I was headed back to my hotel to get back to packed and on my way to the airport.
When I got to the airport, I actually did run into my train buddies from the day before and fate would have them miss their flight to be on mine! Now, our flight is delayed for 2 hours…more time to talk about life, relationships, and purpose.
I made friends for life!
I raced to check into my next flight which was scheduled for one hour after we landed only to find out my online booking had a glitch…
24 hour layover in the Lima airport? Sure. Why not?
Photo credit: ME! This place was a great option for clean food at the Lima airport! I ate here…twice ;)
Looks like I’ll have plenty of time to eat at lots of restaurants while I’m waiting…
A pisco sour at midnight to pass the time?
Duh, like that’s even a question?!
I took some time to reflect on my adventure thus far. Everything happened so fast that my mind was racing way too fast to even attempt to process.
From there, I slept for about three hours on the tile floor along with others who were stranded overnight. At about 4:30am, the officers woke us up ever so gently and asked us to move.
After breakfast, I pulled out my laptop grabbed a Chocolate Caliente with an add shot of espresso, and considered how I would be showing up when I got home…
What did I learn about myself from this trip?
How did I learn to let go of control by allowing it to take shape in the moment?
What did I do to allow myself to receive guidance and support from strangers?
How did I show up for this adventure?
The truth is…
I was SO present from start to finish that nothing phased me. I showed up cool and calm like a monk for everything that came my way, with a full heart and extreme gratitude for every bit of it.
And because of that, I had everything I needed with incredible ease and grace.
I spent the day in the Lima airport working: making phone calls, connecting with clients, and sitting in the chapel talking to God.
I surrendered in that moment to allow myself to be guided at ALL times by Spirit and instantly felt something inside me shift…BIG time.
I now understood what it meant to be unapologetically authentic by taking this trip, to follow my intuition despite the fears and doubts of others, and I wanted to carry that feeling with me always.
By the time my red-eye was ready for boarding, I was so clear I’d be unstoppable that I was ready to go home and put it into action!
Due to maintenance issues, the plane pulled back into the gate, we exited the plane back to the terminal, gave up our passports to get stamped back into the country, and were given a room and three meals at a five star hotel until the next available flight.
Which just so happened to be 24 hours from then.
Extension on my trip?
I watched many of the Americans get pissy about the delay…cranky about “not having enough answers” and attempting to ruffle feathers. lol I was pretty excited about another level of receiving and surrendering so despite yet another night of no sleep, there was no need for getting upset.
On another note, I now know how to successfully function under sleep-deprivation.
I met some people on the bus ride to the hotel who I instantly connected with though I was so tired by the time I got my room key, I didn’t think to connect with contact info. As I’d already created reconnecting with my train friends, I figured this would be no different.
With a shower, hot meal, and a few hours of sleep under my belt, I headed down to lunch determined to reconnect…and I did!
More pisco sours and an ocean view, I spent the afternoon in more great conversations with strangers.
What a perfect way to end my impromptu trip
Along this journey:
- I learned about tax rates in Canada and Spain compared to the US from talking to a couple of students traveling to Machu Picchu.
- I met a lady traveling up the mountain alone for her 63rd birthday.
- I met a lady who was traveling on vacation for the first time in 6 years without her laptop to work from.
- I gave my coffee to a homeless man who I received a beautiful blessing from.
- I shared my table in a busy restaurant with a Swiss man who came to Peru for the surfing.
- I had some of the deepest, most vulnerable conversations with strangers I’ve had in a long while.
- And best of all, I’ve made some really cool friends for life.
The trip not only showed me how to live in surrender to what’s possible, it taught me that leaving things on my bucket list is like waiting to die before I finally live. While I’ve accomplished enough in my life to make most people’s heads spin, there’s so much more to be explored!!
The mindset I have now is very clear.
I’m truly looking forward to what’s ahead as I’ll be officially embracing my inner Laura Croft from now on 😉
Listen to the audio version of this article here: