Walking around Shrewsbury, Darwin’s Fine English Town

Shrewsbury is a beautiful medieval market town located near the Border of Wales in Shropshire, England. This “Town of Flowers” makes for a lovely weekend away from the nearby large cities of Birmingham or Liverpool.

I met a friendly local who kindly showed me some of the finer aspects of his handsome hometown. I did not concoct any stories in this birthplace of Charles Darwin as my visit was smooth and amicable. The closest I came to having any excitement was when I discovered that I had left my car window open for two days in a large open public car park and it rained.

Here are some pics from my visit to Shrewsbury in the summer of 2013.

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Located within a loop of the River Severn, Shrewsbury boasts lovely riverside walks and a fun boat tour on the Sabrina.

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It doesn’t get better than this. I love the cute and cozy architecture, it just feels so warm and welcoming. Of course, I was being welcomed by a local for my visit (a rare experience for me) so that didn’t hurt!

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Some of the award-winning flowers in this incredible central park.

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Shrewsbury Castle.

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This photo and any others I am in, was taken by Neil, a friendly Shrewsbury local who showed me the sights.

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From filming here.

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A serene view of the Severn.

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Carved into a bridge.

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I don’t always find a story everywhere I go, but I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about this lovely town anyway. Thanks for visiting http://www.PersonalTravelStories.com!

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Breaking Life Boundaries – Living a Bigger Life

I did not write a travel story to share this week. I did, however, make quite a few notes for when I do stand-up comedy in NYC next month, so it’s been productive. It’s going to be my first time although I do have performing experience from high school and university (where I studied Business but nearly had credits of a minor in Drama.) As far as I can tell it is going to be recorded, so expect to see my performance link on a posting sometime after Dec 9th! (2013)

I’d like to give a shout-out to fellow blogger, Cupitonians, who decided to push herself by writing 30 postings in 30 days and is doing a great job keeping it interesting! Well done! You can visit her here: http://cupitonians.wordpress.com/

An Update of my Life in Transition – Breaking Life Boundaries

If you are reading this you probably know that over a year ago I dumped my life in Winnipeg. The whole thing. Soon after, I decided to pursue my passions of travel and writing which began in NYC in November, 2012. Toronto became my home base between travels because the most important people in my life are here, my brother and sister. I am very fortunate that my brother and his partner have completely welcomed me into their home as part of the family, and my sister considers me the same.

I have spent more time in Toronto this visit than I originally planned. Because my current mission is to travel and write about it, I figured on having perhaps 10 weeks away, followed by a few weeks in TO and then away again. Instead, by the time I leave for NYC I will have been mostly in TO for four months!

It’s a bit harder concocting new travel stories when not travelling, although I have been writing some stories from earlier travels, such as the Turks & Caicos stories which are among my favourites. Re-writes can be endless, and I need some new material to add to the mix to keep it interesting for me. But, the past few months in Toronto have been fantastic – I’ve been moving forward on a personal level in ways I would not have expected.

In my “about” section I write about being an outgoing introvert. I am also highly sensitive, so if you meet me in a hectic street in Bangkok there is a good chance I will be wearing earplugs to quiet the noise and tinted glasses even inside to soften the light. Someone who is overwhelmed by strong stimuli, I am perhaps a surprising candidate to stumble around the back streets of our planet and write about it. But exploring is when I feel most alive.

Most people seem to misunderstand the introvert/extravert difference so here is a very brief summation. With a group of casual friends, at a party, in a pleasant social situation – an extravert is slowly (or quickly) recharging. In the same situation an introvert is slowly (or quickly) using-up their battery. A weekend-in for an extravert might feel punishing, for an introvert it might feel like a welcome reward. There are extreme extraverts and extreme introverts but most people fall somewhere in the continuum between the two.

I used to be shy but shyness became not a part of my self-concept many years ago. I still recharge by being alone (or with certain close people), but I am not shy. Introversion tends to cause one to be shy, but it is not the same trait. And I am convinced that unlike introversion, shyness is not a fixed trait.

My introversion – my need to recharge at home – caused me to become quite a homebody in recent years. An introvert trying to socialise after a busy social day can cause great anxiety. There is a threshold reached at a different place for everyone, but once that threshold is crossed – the party is over. For me, panic ensues. Fight or flight kicks-in. I need to escape. It is a horrible, isolating feeling. You look around seeing others still having fun and feel absolutely beside yourself, hardly able to breathe. It doesn’t come on all at once for me, I can feel myself approaching overload, I generally know when it’s time to make my exit.

During uni I would come to this point at a bar or club and I would need to escape immediately. If I stayed too long, the entire night would be coloured with regret. Even the parts when I had been having fun would become part of the experience that caused me overload, suddenly tainted in my memory. So that’s what I would do, I would disappear. Because my extraverted friends didn’t understand, “Don’t go, it’s early, come on!” Nope, not dealing with that anymore. Now if I go to a loud party or a bar I will tell people at the beginning. If you see me waving goodbye even before you consider the night to be over, do not challenge me on it. Many people will never understand my experience. Many people are unable to comprehend that others experience the world differently than they do. It is a narrowness of mind that I find pitiable.

If I have had a quiet day I may be able to enjoy a party or stay at a nightclub right to the end. I have learned to balance my days so that this is the case, and I have been very fortunate to be able to do this. If I was still a teacher, I would need most every evening to be quiet retreat. Likewise when I’ve had to work in a busy store all day. When I was able to limit my mall-time to three or four hours on only occasional days I was fine but by then I had an established routine of solitude that was hard to break.

We tend to establish boundaries as to how we live our days. Our boundaries hold our life together, contain it to a comfortable proportion with some safety of predictability. Some of us have flexible boundaries and others more fixed. I tend to go to bed around ten and to sleep around twelve or one lately. Sometimes I go to bed at midnight. It is a flexible boundary for me, more a preference as I know I take a long time to unwind reading, listening to audio books – “going to bed” for me more means going for quiet time before bed in my room.

We have boundaries of distance. How far do you tend to go away from home? Every day, on weekends, on holiday. I prefer to take my coffee within walking distance of home, which means I prefer to live within walking distance of a coffee shop. I have a strong urban preference. I generally don’t go across town for a restaurant unless meeting someone or for a special occasion. I prefer to choose something nearer. Going for dinner, the company is more important to me than the food. As for travel, clearly I have almost no boundary limitations. Some people only go to beach resorts, which to me isn’t travel it’s just a kind of rest that I don’t like so much myself. Some people only stay in chain hotels, I prefer a variety of hotels big and small, even apartment lets and homestays. (Although doing homestays is for me, pushing my boundaries. I definitely feel uncomfortable organising them and worry that I’ll be crowded (personally) or uncomfortable (again, personally).

We have boundaries of what kinds of things we do. Routines. These activities for most people are not a random assortment, they fit neatly into a box. The “Things That I Do” box. Make a list and you’ll see what I mean. (ex. Things I do: work, go to movies, have Sunday brunch, go to gym, watch tv, drive children to activities, go out for dinners, shop at farmers market . . . . ) How often do we push-back the boundaries of what we do, going outside our box to try something new? For me, it was very seldom. Except when travelling.

When outside of my usual surrounds I am far more likely to try something new. This is true for most people. If you decided to go for a helicopter ride it was probably when you visited the Grand Canyon, not on a random Saturday when you thought, “Why don’t I take a helicopter ride over my own city.” Would that be exciting and interesting, show you a new perspective of your own town? I think it would. Did you have more money when you were travelling? Not unless your income spikes when you are on holiday, lucky you if that’s the way your life works. No, you had the same money. But when travelling our priorities change – we give more priority to spending money on having new and unique experiences. At home we spend more money on buying “things” and home improvements and clothes and everyday bills.

“I feel so alive when I travel,” I remember saying a few months ago, “is it possible to feel so alive right at home?” Well, home is not going to have the excitement of EVERYTHING being new, but I have discovered that by pushing-wider my boundaries of what I do at home, I can make my experience of life much richer. Right here. In Toronto.

Toronto is a large city with loads of opportunities so it may be easier to push one’s boundaries than in a small town, but no matter where you are there are possibilities to try things that you have not tried before. If you’re bored of your gym routine, maybe there is a fitness class you could sign-up for. Afraid to try? So are most people the first time. Take a deep breath and walk in.

I’ve started to push myself to sign-up and go to activities that honour my self. I would never sign-up to join a basketball league because I hate basketball. But I enjoyed acting when I was younger so I went to an Improv workshop last weekend. I was a bit nervous but I went anyway. It was fantastic. Two weeks ago I went to a comedy workshop. I had little idea what it was so I felt a bit nervous about that too, but I knew I wasn’t going to die and I just showed-up. Loved it. Now I’ve signed-up to do stand-up at an open mic for 6 minutes in NYC. I think I’m going to love it and sign-up for more. Am I nervous about it? Of course I am, I’ve never done it before. Even if I had, it’s probably one of those nerve-stimulating experiences every time, I don’t know yet.

Until very recently I felt anxious to have time commitments. Having plans made me feel “trapped”. I had to push though that anxiety just to plan anything at all. Meeting someone for dinner any time apart from right now made me feel uncomfortable. What if the time comes and I am not up for it, then what? I mostly started breaking this terrible boundary during travels when I either made plans to meet people to do things, or I didn’t meet people. The discomfort of being completely alone pushed me to break my boundary. I find most change comes from discomfort.

If you’re looking to add some new zest to your life I have found fantastic opportunities through the website http://www.meetup.com . There are countless groups and activities you can join, perhaps not in very rural areas but it’s worth a check wherever you are. Like to sing? Want to meet other introverts or extraverts or other single Dads with teens or other survivors of cancer? Want to meet people for coffee, or for brunches, to go bowling or to try salsa dancing? Love the opera but don’t really go because your friends don’t? (Here I say, go anyway. I’ve been three times in the past month, by myself. So glad I did too!) The internet has pushed us away from each other on a face-to-face connection level as we text and Facebook and play games remotely rather than actually sit across from each other. But now websites such as meet-up are bringing us together again.

We evolved to connect with others. It used to take a village to raise a child, now we mostly operate very independently. Many of us don’t even know our neighbours. This is not the way we evolved, through thousands of years we relied on those around us with a much stronger sense of community. Together we survived, alone we perished.

As a sensitive introvert there is a balancing act which I have often failed. I have failed many friendships. I have pulled-back in to my comfort zone of independence. The familiar role of being an outsider (when appearing to be an insider) growing-up is one that I am now trying to break. It’s not easy. But I’m working on it.

Work on making your life whatever you want it to be. Don’t stop yourself from trying new things due to fear or inertia. Somewhere inside you know what is working for you and what isn’t. There are probably things you need to change and putting them off doesn’t make them go away. Delay won’t make it easier, the opposite is usually true. Whatever change you are resisting, consider ripping the band-aid off. Excuses won’t help you either. “It’s easy for you, you don’t have to worry about . . . . ” Maybe I don’t, but that has nothing to do with you. Don’t compare your life to someone else’s and remain stuck because of that, what good does that bring you. “I don’t have time to . . . ” Maybe you don’t, just be wary that most people fear change and most of us come up with myriad excuses why change is not possible. Most of us will not change until we reach our breaking-point. Suddenly the excuses are no longer concrete road blocks when we can’t stand it anymore. I could not take my life in Winnipeg for another moment, I felt like I was dying and I was. I was eating too much, drinking too much, not exercising at all and my will to live was actually waining. I know that I am in a fortunate situation now, I’m not deluded to think that everyone has the options I have. However, I still had to dump my entire life to start-over and I could still be sitting at home not trying new things. I had to push myself. I continually have to push myself but the more I do it the more rewards I find and the less I have to push. Trying new things and meeting new people is getting easier and easier. I’m not saying I will keep-up the pace or that we should lead even more hectic lives than we already do, but we should attempt to pursue passions.

Work on things in your life FOR YOURSELF. We are all human and I think that anyone who has it ALL figured out – is probably mistaken. If they really have, they are incredibly rare. If you’re not moving forward, then you are probably slipping backwards because life tends to go uphill. I slipped backwards for quite a few years and now I’m learning to hike again. I have a lot to fix in my own life; I have a lot to fix in my own head. I just wanted to share that I’m having fun trying new things in this growth phase of my life and I encourage everyone to try something new.

Write down something you want to try right now so you don’t forget. And make it happen.

On this topic I’d also like to recommend a book called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. I read this book some years ago, but I wasn’t ready to actually act on it at the time. If you want to expand your life I would recommend this book, whether you get advantage from it now or in the future it’s all about moving forward.

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Meeting on New York Street Corners

I started my writing project last year in Manhattan, in November 2012. This short posting is from that first month of writing. I will soon be completing the circle and returning to NYC in December where I have rented an apartment in Greenwich Village for the month. I am already starting to plan to do some readings and open mics so if you are in NYC let me know if you’d like to join the audience some night when I’m taking the stage! Cheers!

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I experienced the re-election of President Obama in Times Square during my visit in November, 2012.

Warning: The following prose contains some language of a mature nature that may be offensive to some. Also: Smoking is bad for you. Really, really bad. It was really hard to quit, but I finally did for good in February, 2013.

Finn

“Can you spare a cigarette?” so often the opening line of so many interactions and another reason it’s so hard to quit, again. “Sure,” I fumble into my pocket to pull out a package of B&H. I clearly have the look of someone who does not mind sharing cigarettes, based on the frequency this happens. And it’s true, I don’t mind. “Do you need a light?” I ask after handing him one and his hand lingers on mine a second longer than is comfortable. “Sure,” he says with a gentle voice. I flick my little disposable yellow bic holding it up to where it needs to be. He takes it from me and lights it himself.

“Yellow is my favourite colour,” he smiles, handing my lighter back. “Mine too,” which is true, but a long margin. “What’s your name?” he asks. “Darren.” “Darren?” “Yeah. What’s yours?” “- – -in” The noise at the street corner is loud and I miss it. “Sorry?” “Finn.” “Oh, like Finley?” I elaborate as way of verification, still guessing what I heard. “FINN! F – I – N – N ! God! It’s a simple name!” His anger surprises me and I step back, I turn away. I’m back to the task at hand which is meeting someone for dinner at the corner, but I’m not sure which corner, I just know that we’re meeting at this busy intersection.

“I’m sorry,” he says, reappearing in front of me after having sat for a few moments and finished his cigarette. “Would you like some beer?” he asks, standing too close, intensely making eye contact. I’m blushing. He’s a very cute little guy, not at all my type, but the attention feels nice and he makes me feel special. He holds-up a large can wrapped in a magenta pashmina with just the top showing. “No thanks, I’m waiting for someone, I’m meeting him here.” “Oh,” his face drops. “Is he your boyfriend?” “No.” “Your bodyguard?” “Yes, I’m meeting my bodyguard.” “O-Kay,” he replies in that high-toned ‘I understand’ sort of way. “I’m just kidding, I’m meeting a friend.”

“My roommate calls his guy his bodyguard. Whenever they go anywhere, he tells everyone he’s his bodyguard.” “Really?” “Yeah, but my roommate is an asshole. I mean, he’s a nice guy, I like him, but he’s an asshole.”

“What’s your name again?” “Darren.” “It’s just that I’d really like to go with you to your house and suck your dick all night. I’m just sayin’ . . . . .”

“You saved me!” I blurt aloud as my date arrives on the scene. “Oh?” I gesture with wide eyes. “Okay then, lets go!”

“Bye Finn.” “Bye Darren.”

My date and I walk nearly a dozen blocks South before settling on an Italian Restaurant for dinner. Chatting, we don’t pay great attention to the restaurants we’re passing, but it’s in the direction of his meeting afterwards. Following dinner, we walk a few more blocks where I deposit him for his evening rehearsal. After parting, I continue walking up the side street, I’ll walk a different route home for interest.

“Can you spare a dollar?” a small voice calls out to my left as I round the corner onto 8th Avenue. “Finn!” “Darren!” “Yeah, I’m a homeless guy,” he admits,”that’s my bed and he’s my roommate I told you about.” He points to a commercial entrance closed for the day, in which there is a small pile of dirty blankets, a shopping bag, and another smallish black guy holding the fort.

Finn suddenly brightens. “How was your date, Darren?” “How did you know it was a date?” “Oh, I could tell.” “It was really nice. We’re meeting again.” “I’m happy for you.” “Thanks.” “Here’s some money for dinner, Finn, I gotta go,” I start to walk. “Thanks Darren! See you around!” “Take care Finn.”

As for my date, we did meet once more. But only once.

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Some random shots from Nov, 2012 in NYC.

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Going for a Ride in Lima

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I would like to say that I did enjoy my visits to Lima and it is a city well worth seeing. That this story unfolded during those visits is probably coincidence. I recommend visiting Peru and I probably will again myself someday.

 

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Mother and I visiting a park in Lima, Peru.

Going for a Ride in Lima

The flight to Lima was uneventful. My second visit and Mother’s fifth, we anticipated our arrival knowingly and with excited anticipation. My family is involved with a charity project a couple of hours North of the city and Mom is the administrator.

We arrived to a summery Autumn day. Now experienced with this destination, we knew that the best exchange rate was not found in Canadian banks or even Peruvian banks, but in the airport. Mom has also become involved in a small community down South in the Sacred Valley where she likes to spend most of her time when visiting Peru because her visits to the charity project are basically constrained to two days. Canadian money goes a long way in Peru and Mother had decided that on this trip she would buy a roof for the church she attends in the Valley. It wasn’t that the roof needed replacement, the church didn’t actually have one. It was thought that having a roof would be handy, especially during rainy season when four brick walls on a patch of mud might not provide the shelter desired. For this purpose and for her own spending, she brought with her a good amount of cash.

Looking back at it, a glass cage in the middle of a busy airport hall was perhaps not the most inconspicuous place to deal with stacks of cash and we could have been more discreet. We both giggled when we saw the stacks of Peruvian nuevo sols that thousands of Canadian dollars had become, it looked silly. It appeared like the amount of money one could retire on, which in Peru I suppose it was. We also filled another small bag after Mother’s purse was full to busting.

Well educated on the perils of hiring just any taxi, we organise our government-controlled taxi ride before leaving the airport. The facility itself is located in one of Peru’s most dangerous neighbourhoods and is not somewhere one should even step onto the street. Too much luggage for us to take a car, we hire a full-sized van to get into the city.

After being directed into the van by our amicable driver, we start out. “I can’t believe how comfortable I have become here!” Mother exclaims, “I used to be nervous arriving to Lima, now it just feels like my other home!” We both beam excited smiles, looking forward to visiting some familiar places in Lima before we head to the charity project in a couple of days. The children will be excited to see us. I’ll get to visit my own sponsored kids again too, quite a rare experience when one sponsors children in the third world.

“Darren!!! Darren!!!”

At the traffic light some blocks away from the airport, a young man has smashed Mom’s window open. He has her bulging handbag out the passenger-side window before we can even register what has happened.

Mother is in the habit of keeping her purse over her left shoulder. The purse catches on her shoulder long enough that I am able to join in the struggle myself before it is too late. The young man and I have a considerable tug-of-war through the window before the assailant realises he won’t win, lets go, and runs off with nothing.

Our driver somehow hadn’t noticed this was happening and only after the man was sprinting away did he turn towards us. “What’s wrong?” as if he didn’t hear the window smashed open directly behind him, me shouting and fighting with someone right there. The driver got out in an act of infuriation that such a thing could possibly happen. But his reaction was impossibly delayed. If he honestly did have that delayed of a reaction, then he should not be allowed near any motor vehicle or even be permitted to walk down the street. A lot could happen to someone who has a 20-second delay in processing stimuli. (Sad. He fell in the bath tub and didn’t notice until after he had drowned that he was under water.)

Can you imagine being behind such a fellow at a coffee shop? “What would you like?” Twenty second pause. “What kind of juice do you have?” “Apple and orange juice.” Twenty second pause. “Is the orange freshly squeezed?” “No.” Twenty second pause. “In that case I guess I’ll just have a coffee, do you have a medium roast?” “Yes.” Twenty second pause. “I’ll have that then.” “How do you take it?” Twenty second pause. “Take what?” “You’re coffee.” Twenty second pause. “Where? I don’t see my coffee.” “Would you like to have a coffee with cream and sugar?” Twenty second pause. “No, just cream.” . . . . I imagine myself tackling him in utter frustration. Back to what actually happened, it wasn’t as though our struggle had been quiet, and we were in the seat directly behind his. He didn’t seem to be hard of hearing nor visually impaired. Oddly nearby is a police officer who our driver mockingly yells at and then tells us that he yelled at the policeman for what happened. Case closed. We were then back on our way with our deflated driver who probably just missed-out on a 6-month holiday. Mother whispers, “Should we still tip him?”

A good question. From my considerable experience, I usually factor-in quite a few scenarios when calculating my tip. How honest was the route taken (if I know, today I do), how helpful was the driver with our bags, was the driver friendly or standoffish, did the driver try to take us places we did not want to go enroute to our destination? Did he try to take us to his friend’s hotel rather than the one we instructed, did he tell us our hotel was out of business trying to persuade us to another destination then feign shock when he was mistaken? Did he refuse to use the metre, or did he start the metre at an extraordinarily high amount? Did he pretend there were ridiculous surcharges not included in the prepaid fare, did he not have any change whatsoever and refuse to take us to get change causing the fare to be six times the agreed rate? Did he try to pick-up an additional passenger (who could be a comrade to make it two-against-one for a mugging, by the way.) Did he run out of gas, did the car break down, did he insist on smoking and with the windows up, did he refuse to turn on the air conditioning without further payment when it was steaming hot and an air conditioned cab was already paid-extra for. Did he agree on one fare before you got in and then present you with a random total four times the agreed amount at the end? Did he then yell to a nearby police officer that YOU were trying to cheat HIM? Was his visa machine broken until you took a photo of his car’s id and then suddenly it was working after all? Did he try to drive away with your luggage still in his trunk? Did he put your suitcase on the roof and not secure it until you refused to depart until it was? “If it doesn’t fall off, someone will just take it when we’re stuck in traffic.” “So? Maybe my brother, I mean the stranger, needs it more than you do.” All of these scenarios I have encountered. I am not kidding. In some places I am now in the habit of taking a photo of the cab information while the driver is watching, I make that gesture obvious on purpose, although many drivers will still attempt a variety of cons even knowing I have the full ability to track and report. Best to use a phone because cameras can be removed from you. “So exciting to be here again! I just texted a picture of your cab to my sister!” NEVER admit to being a first time visitor to a taxi driver. At the very least, first time visitors tend to get the scenic route. The only country where I completely trust taxi drivers is Japan. “Sumimasen. Could you please count the cash in my wallet while I go use the toilet, I didn’t have time to check how much I have. Arigato gozaimasu.”

Today I add to my tipping criteria, “Did he collude with other criminal(s) to look the other way for a share of the takings while we were being violently mugged less than two feet away from him?” If you ask me, it’s definitely grounds for a reduced tip.

We arrive to our usual hotel shaken but thankful. We are still alive and the church will still get it’s roof. “I’m glad you were with me this time!” Mother chirps gratefully. Definitely. Alone her purse would have been gone and she would not have had anyone to calm down with. That would have been a terrible experience. (Unlike the wonderful experience it was due to my presence.) “That poor man, he’s probably addicted to drugs,” my Mother mused throughout the day. “Isn’t that sad, Darren. Did you see how thin he was? Do you think he probably uses crack? That makes people really skinny. He’s someone’s son. He’s probably someone’s brother. Just think of his poor Mother.”

We weren’t so lucky during my first visit. Nearly, but not quite. At the end of those three weeks we had one last day in Lima after covering Cuzco, the Nazca Lines, Machu Picchu and some other main areas. Our guide took the two of us inside St.Francis of Assisi Church in the lovely district that looks more like colonial Spain than South America. This was a church open for tourism, with paid admission. A crowd pressed close to look over a railing down into the catacombs where we could see a large collection of skulls. Turning away Mother suddenly noticed her purse was now open. Someone in the pressing crowd had unzipped it and got away with her wallet.

I had her passport with mine in my waist wallet, strapped under my shirt. Without that, we would have had to extend our stay which we were no longer keen to do. We did, however, spend our last afternoon and evening in Peru on the phone to Canada cancelling her various credit cards and later in Canada she had to go about the process of replacing all of her stolen ID. “Good thing you were with me,” I remember her saying that day too. Yes, thankfully one of us still had access to funds. And it’s much better to share a crisis. Not in the same way that it’s better to share a birthday cake. Or it’s better to share your crayons. This is more like sharing student debt with your parents. Everyone wins. Except your parents. You know what I mean.

Later we discover that the same scenario coming from the airport happened to someone we knew who had arrived to Lima a week before. She had also changed money inside the airport hall. Her window was also smashed open, she thought with a metal gun but wasn’t sure because it happened so fast. Despite being closed, our window was able to be smashed open. Her’s was smashed into pieces in her lap and she had to go for stitches.

At the end of our stay we again flew through Lima where we had an 8-hour layover. Previously, we would have gone into town to enjoy lunch and wander around without a second thought, but this day we stayed-put. We decided it wasn’t worth the risk for such a short duration. The airport suddenly seemed a perfectly cozy place to spend a day.

No matter how experienced one may be there are always new situations that life can bring and new lessons to be learned. I didn’t really feel like learning a new one just yet. I firmly believe that we need to take chances in order to live life fully. But sometimes we need to listen to our experiences and not just move boldly forward. Perhaps there was a reason we weren’t to visit Lima that last day. Maybe our close call was actually a warning. Whatever the case, the expectation that someone might attack us at the first traffic light after leaving the airport was enough to alter our enthusiasm for seeing Lima again.

Visiting my foster kids North of Lima.

Visiting my foster kids North of Lima.

A Street in Cuzco.

A Street in Cuzco.

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