When I was about 14, I saw this movie, Max is Missing, in our local cable channel, about a boy who was on a vacation along with his family in Peru. He got lost and separated from them, then chased by robbers who were after a priceless mask that was given to him by a dying man. What a great adventure for a 12-year-old kid, right?! Assuming that every kid with the same adventure also gets to live.
After watching that movie, I was so inspired to have my own adventure in Peru, particularly in Machu Picchu. To meander Cusco’s cobblestone streets and watch the sun rise from the top of the ruins.
In 1998, I didn’t know much about Peru. I came from a province down south where internet was still practically unheard of. All I knew at the time was that Peru is a country far, far away from where I live. It’s a little impossible for me to run around, get lost, let alone sit atop the Inca ruins just like what Max did.
I went to college, graduated, switched from one job to another but still holding on to that dream, just shelved at the far corner of my mind. In 2010, the drive for that Peruvian adventure was reawakened, my obsession with it becoming stronger. However, I was too busy chasing neighboring Asian destinations, my bank account depleting faster than I could replace it. Peru remained a distant goal I may or may not ever accomplish in this lifetime.
But in December 2011, I had an epiphany. Prior to that I’ve been reading a lot about other people’s one grand adventure. How they strived and worked hard for it. I figured, if they could do it I probably can too. I just need a ridiculously huge amount of money to boot!
I knew it was an ambitious goal to aspire, one that even I can’t wrap my head around the money involved in it. Yes, money was 80% of the equation.
Logistics was my number one concern. I work in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company as part of the back office team that supports web marketing while the Cheese works as a Customer Service Representative in a BPO company as well, earning an average rate salary in Philippine standards. In other words, just enough to pay for rent, bills and occasional out-of-town trips. I’m glad that my fiancé and I are both scrimps. Not wont to indulge in the latest gadgets, branded clothes, fancy stuff. My biggest vices are books, food, and traveling.
With a tentative date on my head and a few calculations later, I made up my mind.
Machu Picchu 2014
It was only fitting to happen in 2014 as I turn 30 that year. We’ll be able to catch the tail end of World Cup in Ecuador, not Brazil because that would be financial suicide! Plus, it gives us 2 1/2 years head start to save up enough funds.
To accomplish my goal, I followed a strict rule of putting 30% of my salary into our MP funds. I got rid of unnecessary expenditures (not that I have many), scrapped some impulsive indulgences yet still managed to squeeze in a few trips here and there.
It is true what they say that when you have a vision, something that you really REALLY want, you will put all the extra effort to accomplish it. If somebody told me 15 years ago that I would get to do this, I wouldn’t believe them. But circumstances change, sometimes life gets you and before you know it you’re purchasing your first ever transcontinental flight to another continent you’ve only ever imagine in your dreams.