Goodbye Florida- Hello world! 

Naples, Florida pier – a day before departure

It feels exhilarating to be departing for my circumnavigation around the world tonight. Leaving from Naples, Florida (my sea level hometown), I will be traveling up 11,000 feet to the breathtaking sacred valley of Cusco, Peru. I will be flying first to Bogota, Colombia where I will make the connection to the city of Cusco. I have never been to this high of an altitude, and I’m curious to see how it may alter the lifestyle of those living in the region. I have read up on altitude sickness — I hear the views are breathtaking! I’m hoping to have an easy transition.

Cusco is home to many indigenous peoples, and I’m interested to see how globalization has led to an increase in rural to urban migration. Why did some small farmers or indigenous peoples move to the city? What is the history of farming movements in the region? What part does Cusco play in Peruvian trade relations?

From preparatory research, Cusco seems to be a place for dialogue and expression of the concerns of small stakeholder farmers. From farmer protests to international meetings, there is an evident movement emerging out of the region. I am eager to understand this more in depth as I meet and speak with locals and experts in the area.

I’ve planned great amounts for this trip. Below you’ll find some apps I’ve found very useful during that process. Most of them are a must have while traveling:

STA app for planning flights and receiving updates

Booking.com app for reserving and checking prices of hostels

Hostels.com app for reserving and checking prices of hostels

Airbnb for inexpensive housing

Geniusscan for scanning documents on the go (you take a picture of the documents, it converts it to PDF format, and sends to your email)

WhatsApp for communicating via text and call

Venmo for transferring and receiving money

Showaround for inexpensive tour guides and translators

Google Maps for directions/ planning routes

Duolingo for language prep

I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead. Be sure to stay updated as I make my way around the world! You can also follow my instagram @maryssatradingplaces for more pictures and videos.

In addition, if you or anyone you know is willing to donate to my research experience, please see my go fund me page linked below. Travel based research is costly, and any help is greatly appreciated.

https://www.gofundme.com/maryssas-researchtrip