I’m sitting here trying to figure out what I could possibly say that could express what you’ve meant to me over the past three months and I’m drawing a blank. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be here in this situation, I would’ve called you crazy. No one expects to fall in love, whether it’s with a person or a place or a thing, and I’ve done all three in the past three months here in Urubamba. I’ve fallen for you, Perú, head over heels! I love the chaos of the mototaxis in the morning, I love the mountains that surround us in our little urban bubble, I love my Peruvian mama bear Soledad who never fails to make me smile, and I love all the people who I’ve been able to share this experience with. There is nothing short of a miracle that could stop me from loving you, Perú, and all the incredible experiences I’ve had with you. Every day is different with you, and I can never predict the way I’ll feel at the end of a day after work and Spanish class and homework, but I know I’ll go to bed endlessly grateful to be sleeping here in Urubamba with my host family in the next room and my best friends a short walk away.
I don’t know how to bring you home with me quite yet, and I’m tearing up right now just thinking about leaving you. What am I going to do without you next week? I’m going to be lost without pancitos for breakfast and besitos before work, and I don’t know how I’ll handle not hugging Soledad before bed. It’s crazy how fast the time goes by when you’re absolutely enamored with something. I feel like I’ve taken our time together for granted, but I know I’ll forever remember every day I’ve spent here. The smiles of my family are imprinted in my memory along with my afternoon walks to class and our incredible excursions exploring your astounding culture and history. It feels weird to say goodbye like this.
I know they say long distance relationships don’t work, but I believe in us. I know I’ll be able to keep you in my mind all the time, and it’ll be hard to shut me up when I start talking about you! I want everyone to experience the kind of love I have for you, Perú, and I know we’ll meet again someday. I can’t wait for you to meet my parents! They’re going to love you, I just know it. I don’t want to say goodbye because that feels too real, so I’ll just say nos vemos, Perú.