You never know where life is going to take you, despite all of your travel lists and plans. Sometimes the best trips are ones formed out of love and surprises.
Peru had never been at the top of my travel list, however, my dad has been talking about it for years. My parents were finally going to climb Machu Picchu for their 30th anniversary, but a last-minute family issue destroyed those plans, and my dad’s Incan dreams.
To give some context, my father has provided an incredible life for my family and has encouraged / funded some amazing trips for my sister, mom, and I that he hasn’t alway been able to partake in. We’ve wanted to give back by taking him somewhere for years, and, seeing that he had a big “35th” birthday coming (it’s been his 35th birthday a few times now) we had the perfect opportunity to do so!
We came up with the idea around August and dad’s birthday wasn’t until June of the next year. Luckily, some family friends had just returned from a marvelous trip to Peru and got me in touch with an amazing travel company called ECS Travel. They planned our dream trip with flights, hotel, transport, tours, guides, and breakfasts quickly and affordably. It is amazing how easy trip planning can be when you find the right people (though I may have claimed the booking credit…).
We were able to nail down almost all of the trip planning details by October and then it was time to plot the surprise. We decided to place a birthday card containing fake plane tickets to Peru on our Christmas tree and save it for the last gift of the present-opening extravaganza. Of course, knowing what was coming, we ripped through our gifts to get to that last card. We presented it to Dad and he opened the birthday card with confusion that quickly turned into extreme delight has he read the tickets and realized it was a trip! “Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu!” he kept exclaiming in probably the most excited voice I have ever heard from him. If that wasn’t telling enough, the rest of Christmas day was spent listening to everything dad knew about Peru, queuing up Incan documentaries we had to watch, going through the itinerary, and hearing many more “Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu!”s.
We finalized the dates in May, finished booking the flights, and were ready to take on Peru!