SAFARI NJEMA

words of an over-opinionated travel addict

2 Things I Never Thought I’d Say

1. I’m dating a boy

2. I’ve seen Machu Picchu twice

Anyone who knows me knows I’m an open book, sometimes to the point where it’s too much. I started a blog originally just to update about my travels, but lately (in typical me fashion) it’s becoming a bit more personal. Traveling is hard in so many ways. It’s so much more than sight-seeing, cool Instagram photos, and eating strange foods. Nine times out of ten, I go to sleep at night thinking about the person I am, and the person that I want to be. Last week was no different, and resulted in quite a bit of self evaluating. 

I like women. I mean, really, really, like women. I started to come out at 14 years old and while I “dabbled” with men a few times over the years, I had never actually fallen for one or dated one in any serious sense. My last relationship was extremely serious and when it ended I felt like I was grieving her death rather than grieving over the future that I lost with her. That relationship ended within minutes of me returning back to Long Island after months of traveling. Not only did I suffer reverse culture shock, adjusting back, and the fear of not having a next step, but my entire life at home as I knew it (with her) was gone. I went through a pretty pathetic and dark period, but I’m proud (and relieved) to say that I came out of it a better person. I did not become bitter. Our years together taught me invaluable lessons and have altered me forever. I have promised myself afterwards that I would no longer sacrifice myself or turn down opportunities for a relationship.

When I left for Peru in July, I was about 2 months into a new relationship. With a guy. No one was more surprised than me to find myself dating someone of the opposite gender, and I struggled with it more than I did when I came out of the closet to begin with. It has been almost 6 months, and much to the annoyance of my boyfriend, I am still referring to myself as a lesbian. Either way, he swept me off my feet and supported me 100% when I said I wanted to move abroad again, despite how early on it was in our relationship.

Not only did he encourage a long distance relationship, but he came all the way to visit me. I spent the last 8 days in a fantasy world. Craig came to visit me in Cusco, and it was an unforgettable trip for both of us. For him, it was his first international flight and first real trip abroad. For me, I expected the whole thing to blow up in my face (sorry, babe), but the opposite happened. I put him on 3 flights each way, then dragged all over the region via local public transport to save money, and he only complained once or twice. He didn’t know it, but he was being tested, and I’m happy to say he passed with flying colors.

I’ve now lived in 3 countries – in 3 different cities just outside out some of the worlds biggest attractions. Manhattan, Serengeti National Park, and Machu Picchu. This leads to me reliving the same large tourist attractions over and over. But somehow, it never gets old. My second visit to Machu Picchu was just as incredible as the first time…and I’m still not sure if it’s because of the ruins, or because of him. We spent the week eating, zip lining, exploring multiple Incan ruin sites, shopping, and laughing. 

While I still struggle a little bit with my sexuality (am I betraying the gay community? Am I one of those bisexual girls who takes the easy way out? What do I even identify as?!), and while I still have no idea how I got here, I’m happy that I did. I have just over a week left at Sonco Wasi, and then I take a few weeks to travel. The tentative plan is to cross into Bolivia for a salt flats tour, speed through part of Chile, check out the beaches in Uruguay, and fly home from Argentina! My next post will probably be from the road 🙂

They spoke no Spanish, but we still became friends 

Spent the weekend with my boss’ family in Quillabamba 

Took the special needs kids to the park – but they aren’t the only ones who got to play!
                          Machu Picchu

  Are there ruins behind us or something?

 He’s too tall for Incan doors apparently

Baby llama at Machu Picchu

Ollantaytambo ruins

Chinchero

Llamas. Alpacas. Everywhere. 

3 Comments

  1. Great Job Carolyn!!!!

  2. I love, admire, and miss you <3

  3. You are an inspiration! And don’t worry about the labels, just be you!!

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