In October 2013 we started our first long term trip. Then our main goal was to travel a little bit around Asia. But after 5 months in India we already understood that we want to see more of our planet. We knew we want to visit as much countries as possible, including also those in South America.
We read and hear a lot of amazing and inspiring stories from those who had traveled in South America. And today I have one special story to share with you – Anna’s story. In November 2014 Anna left Latvia with one way ticket to South America in her pocket.
Now she is in Peru and enjoys her amazing life very much! Meet Anna Sundukova, a traveler from Latvia!
– Please, Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself!
I am an ordinary Latvian girl, who after receiving 2 higher educations tries to escape the career or systematic work and feels too young for the family life yet. I really want to continue my education, but now it is turn of „the school of life”. Since childhood I have been dreaming about the ocean, jungles, mountains and many other places which always seemed to be so far. So far away, that even pictures of these places in my head started to fade.
So when the time came there was just one question – when else, if not now? – so I went!
– Where Are You Now? How Do You Like It There?
Now I am in the jungles of Peru – to be more precise it’s on the way between high and low jungles, with a long stop planned in the city of Tarapoto and 2 shorter stops in Iquitos and Pucallpa.
These jungle experiences have made me speechless. The colors of animals, plants and habits of people I met, introduced a parallel world to me. I never realized before that jungles are so complete, so full of magic in each corner wherever You look. Jungles provide all medication one could possibly need. And local people know it very well. They know how to use every single plant.
One can get dizzy from the variety of animals representing the local fauna. And also I want to mention the local tribes. They are so welcoming and always ready to share their knowledge. They will introduce You personally with every leave and every root of plants of most incredible shapes and forms.
To understand it more vividly – imagine the path of all shades of green where every tree is decorated with curtains of lianas. Blood red roots are scratching your feet. And then there is ginormous army of ants, crossing your path. They are walking in the rhythm of the “jungle song”. The song coming from birds, who are hiding somewhere in the trees. Birds with the feathers in all the colors of rainbow.
The air is sweet, but the water from the secret waterfall – even sweeter. Motor boat. The sound of the engine. The wind in Your hair. And your eyes dancing together with the pink dolphins jumping all across the river. This is where I am.
– When Did You Start This Journey? How Was It for You to Leave Home?
I started my journey on the 12th of November, year 2014 – that was the date when I left my house in Riga. It was very easy – without stress or doubts. It felt even obvious that this is my path to go. So I opened the doors, put the backpack on and went.
– How Long It Took for You to Get Ready for It? To Buy That One-Way Ticket to South America and Go?
Getting ready? Hmm.. I think I was born ready for this :D But physically I needed just 1 full day, to go for shopping and get the most necessary things like a sleeping bag, sun cream, socks and some books.
– Why South America?
South America is on the other side of the globe. It’s so far, that it seems unreachable. It is so unknown, which makes it magical. And it’s nature is so diverse, that it seems unreal.
But deep inside I just felt that it hides a secret! And I was right!
– How One Can Prepare for a Trip to South America?
Preparation is very easy, because you don’t need anything. Visa is given on the border when you enter the country and it lasts for 90 days (which can easily be extended later on just by crossing the border with whatever neighboring country).
About Vaccination – I don’t believe in necessity of it.
And so far I see that it works for me very well. Though if you plan to work with wild animals, maybe I could suggest you to make a vaccination against rabies, as the monkeys tend to bite. But that’s it. You don’t need anything else.
– How Much Do You Carry with Yourself?
My backpack was definitely over packed. But it is just because I carry my old computer with me (5 kg), which will serve me when I will be completely broke. Then I will use it to work and earn some money for bus tickets needed or anything else what I will need.
Otherwise I have only a minimum (if we don’t count some books, which I just can’t leave) as I tend to give away my clothes in the orphanages or other places, where I see that other people need them more than I do.
Also the feeling of happiness when I lose things is something completely new for me. And I am enjoying it as much as every lost kilo, which does not need to stay on my shoulders anymore.
– Where in South America Have You Been So Far? Favorites?
Till now my map looks like this – 6 months, and only part of Peru!
I loved everything till now, but for typical Latvian one of the most impressive experiences was the dialog with Andes – the journey in the bus from Cajamarca to Chachapoyas. It is indescribable beauty of powerful energy.
But in reality – absolutely everything is breathtaking. It just depends on how do you tend to perceive and experience things.
– People Tend to Say That South America Is Dangerous. What’s Your Experience?
Is South America dangerous? I don’t know. But Peru – definitely is not! Of course, in the bigger cities, like Lima, there are spots where you shouldn’t hang out alone during the night, but these kind of places exist in every single country in the world.
Till now I have been very lucky to meet the most incredible people, who would always try to help you in any possible way. Even if all you need is a little unfunny joke, to make you smile in the moment when it rains all over You!
– Do You Want to Travel Across Other Continents as Well?
Other continents? Sure! Bring it on! But from this trip I start to realize, that I will never be able to get to know everything.
I adore experience everything the way it is. The feeling of integration – the feeling of becoming one of the… And this always requires more … More patience, more time, more curiosity, more acceptance and understanding. This is the way I love to travel, and this is my way to get to know the world – I try to live it through not just pass by.
All pictures used in the article are from Anna’s personal archive.
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.