I lived in Kansas City for twelve formative years of young adult life. In retrospect I can attribute base attributes of my personality to that Midwestern culture within which I was raised: kindness, consideration for others, love of barbeque beef along with the desire to eat more food than is prudent. My mother and stepfather still live in Kansas City and my brother and his family do as well. I made a quick three day trip to visit, eat and see some of my old grade school friends after living internationally for 15 months. I’ve been dreading experiences the comforts and accordance of state-sidelife back in the states. How can I return to 2nd and 3rd world adventures after driving to Whole Foods, eating home style comfort food and speaking English? Some initial reactions upon USA re-entry: air conditioning is uncomfortable. Kansas City is charming and completely underrated (especially by me). Americans aren’t so bad out here. I think I should look at the real estate market downtown these lofts look really cool. If I lived here I would be obese. I remember the sounds of the cicadas from when I was a kid. I visited the Central Library, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, The Blue […]
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I had originally planned to stay in Quito for 5 weeks to decompress and re-orient focus that had been dispersed to more social and adventurous enterprises, back into creative endeavors. I figured such a small, nondescript location that I had chosen via a map instead of more organic recommendation would afford ample space and few distractions. Half-way into my stay into Bogota last month though I cut my Quito time short in order to remain longer in Colombia. Once I arrived into Ecuador, though, I was glad I did. On paper, Quito is a mid-size city of around 2 million people; but a view from above makes it seem much larger. I found Quito to be a comfortable place to live — even relaxed. There are large parks full of people enjoying the ample sunshine and ideal temperatures. Quito is at altitude so that even though it’s on the equator the temperatures hover around 22 degrees C (72) in July. There’s a mix of sunshine and clouds and it doesn’t seem to rain much. I stayed in an AirBnb in the financial district of the city convenient to a myriad of restaurants, a large super market and within walking distance of a few gyms. Perfecto. Beyond this it afforded a perfect […]
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I entered Colombia for the first time the same way I have many other destinations – no expectations. I thought it would be a little dirty and rugged owing to rumors that white people told me. These of course just made it more attractive in my mind (and of course less in theirs). Bogota blew my mind. It has supplanted Seoul, South Korea as my favorite place to live over the past fourteen months. Colombia has a vibrant, friendly, beautiful and diverse culture that is energizing and contagious. I’ve lived less like a tourist these past two months in Bogota than in other places — finding an easy groove between my working, gym worship, Bikram yoga, exploring local and historical attractions and partying amid the myriad of diverse nightlife venues. How much have I enjoyed my time in Bogota? Enough to stay an additional month than I planned — supplanting 4 weeks in Quito and a non-refundable AirBnB reservation. Why Bogota is overlooked as an international destination is beyond me. Some people will no doubt find its perpetually partly-cloudy, mid 60s temperatures off-putting but for me it’s an ideal climate. As one AirBnb host told me, “it’s like the AC is always on in Bogota”. The city’s location within […]
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Back in January I left my cellphone in the back of a taxi on the way to a karaoke bar. My friend, Yoshinori Nishiki visited the police and called taxi agency — insisting the if my phone was found, it would be returned. After a week it hadn’t turned up and I told Yoshi thanks for the help but it was most likely gone forever. The phone was insured and I replaced it by paying $150; two weeks later it was in my hand. I wasn’t as upset with the money as I was with losing the photos I had taken of the Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nagoya Castle (which I absolutely fell in love with) that I was unable to upload before my phone was lost. Fast forward six weeks — I was in Argentina and Yoshi messaged me on Facebook to tell me that my phone had been located by the taxi company! Another month later, after it was ransomed by Argentinian customs, returned to Yoshi in Kyoto and sent to me in Uruguay, I received it. Yoshi is a true friend for doing all of the leg work – thanks buddy. Last month I had the opportunity to return a favor to […]
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I stayed in Lima, Peru for the month of May and limited my side trips to a single weekend adventure to the Peruvian Amazon. The last time I was in Peru was about five years ago to white water raft and hike the Inca Trail; it was nice to not have the obligatory visit to Machu Picchu hardlined onto my monthly itinerary. Instead I opted for a weekend getaway outside of Taropoto – my destination being a Shaman that was a plane, car, boat and hike away secluded in the Amazon. I spent a weekend preparing for and taking Ayahuasca a traditional, psychoactive, entheogenic brew that the Peruvians have used ritually for thousands of years. As a native Coloradan who doesn’t even smoke pot, drugs have never appealed to me. You might be skeptical when I tell you that ayahuasca is not a drug — it’s medicine. Perhaps the distinction is semantic to hear but to me it creates an important distinction between what the experience entails and what drugs entail. People take drugs to feel better — people take ayahuasca to become better; at least that’s my personal experience. I became better. Ayahuasca is the closest thing to magic I have […]
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I visited Santiago, Chile for the first time twelve years ago as the gateway to my first South American adventure. American Airlines was running a promotion that gave a free international round-trip ticket anywhere in the world that the airline flew in exchange for buying a round-trip ticket to Florida and California. I did a weekend trip with my roommate Nick to Fort Lauderdale and then I must have visited my sister in California (because she’s the only person I knew in California at the time). When redeeming, I chose the destination that American flew furthest away from Boston, Massachusetts where I was living which turned out to be Santiago. I spent a few days exploring Santiago, Valparaiso, Vina del Mar and the Cajon del Maipo — of which Santiago I found the least interesting; I didn’t see much personality in it. I continued elsewhere throughout Chile and Argentina having decided there was nothing I need come back for in Santiago. I did return though and this time around, though it was just for 11 days, it felt like a lot longer. Nothing much has changed including my rather offensive opinion that Santiago doesn’t have much going for it from a travelling gringo perspective. It’s […]
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Rapa Nui

by Reid Peryam· April 22, 2016· in Oceania, Travel· 0 comments
Isla de Pascua (AKA Easter Island or Rapa Nui in the native language) has been a travel destination of mine ever since I was young. The large, mysterious moai statues are the most iconic and unique artifacts I have ever seen. Adding to the splendor is the surprising lack of tourists and a fascinating, intact native culture. When you step off of the plane it feels as though you are entering a really interesting, special place so isolated from anywhere else. The geography and climate of the island is also unique — dry, temperate with palm trees, grasses and rocky coastline. The color of the ocean — beautiful. A deep, dark royal cobalt that perhaps must only occur in such isolated parts of the south pacific — no debris, dirt grass or beach muddies it. To me it mirrors the mystery and intrigue of the island it surrounds. It is really easy to imagine how life existed 500 hundred years previously owing to how undeveloped the island is and accessible to exploration. I spent four days on Rapa Nui exploring in a rental car I shared with a French Canadian and Argentine couple I met at the bed and breakfast […]
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Bolivia is one of those places that had succeeded in escaping my conceptualization. As such I wanted to visit. Back in December on a cold night in Seoul Korea, I was flipping channels on TV and came across a Korean television program featuring Bolivia. The hosts of the show demonstrated the diverse geography spanning the entire country as well as ethnicity, history (modern and ancient, even pre-Inca) and cultures. They visited deserts, lakes, mountains; the showcased diversity blew my mind and immediately I made mental preparations to visit once I was in South America. It was a great decision. Bolivia is the rugged, authentic and low-touristed South American destination adventurists crave. There is no shortage of adventures in the Bolivian Amazon jungle, national forests, salt flats, deserts, mountains. History intellectuals will love learning of historic roots and stories. To me Bolivia has come to represent a Northern variation Patagonia. The city that I spent 13 days in, La Paz, is co-captial of the country and houses the executive and legislative branches of the government. It is also 4,000 meters above sea level (more than doubling Denver, Colorado’s brag of “The Mile High City”) — this is the Two Mile High City or at least […]
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Montevideo was a nice come down from the paradise of Buenos Aires and Palermo. Less glamorous, a little dodgy (I witnessed a knife fight and a purse snatching on the same day) but with a funky-cool vibe and interesting neighborhoods all the same. There’s a hipster-friendly mix of graffiti and desolation among the buildings comprising Old Town — the neighborhood looks like the set of Omega Man — a post-apocalyptic wasteland featuring trees growing from the sides of buildings that seem like a few decades back they were rather nice. A handsomely-masoned  building for the Bank of Uruguay sits across the street from an abandoned parking lot (?) lined with street art. There’s even a beautiful church with a single side of exposed brick beneath a snowy white paint that has the effect of a decaying underbelly. The neighborhood dogs are photogenic. But Monte has a more modern and charming side as well and a shore called the Rambla that locals stroll down or alongside in the sand. After Southeast Asia the beaches aren’t so grand – but in opposition to the knifey dark side of Old Town they are no less appealing. Even further North, up the coast of Uruguay from […]
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Ahh Mendoza. Malbec, steak, olive oil and endless, rolling hills of scenic views of the Andes. I wouldn’t know — I spend 5 days in Mendoza city which is, let me tell you, not nearly as cool as the surrounding countryside, villas, estancias or wineries. Such is the price I choose to pay while working during my travelling (instead of travelling to be on vacation). That being said I still had a really fun, adventurous time looking at stuff. My typical modus operandi when landing in a new place involves “hey I wonder what thing on the map is. I better go look at it.” I’ll get side tracked four or five times, probably lost and hungry. Eventually I’ll get to the destination either to be underwhelmed or excited about something else to venture to. I also end up discovering and solving a lot of micro mysteries. I think of them as micro mysteries because they are insignificant and only really mysteries to someone such as myself who has no idea what is going on or why something is happening. Para exemplo : “Why is there a line 100 people long outside of this store that looks sort of like a tiny […]
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