Slow Living: the choice to live consciously with the goal of enhancing personal, community and environmental well being. Involves simplifying your life, minimizing possessions/distractions, and structuring your life around meaning and fulfillment.
About one year ago Stevie and I made the decision to abandon our traveling goals to embrace slow living as defined above. Although we still plan to pursue our dream of driving around the world, we decided to “slow live” from country to country. This would allow us to become part of the people and cultures we visit. In effect it would offer us the most opportunity to grow as individuals and give back to those who so freely give to us.
We’re finding that the most frustrating aspect of slow living is dealing with the van. Each country has it’s own rule on foreign vehicles. Most, including Peru, allow for only a 90 day permit. So every 90 days we have to head for the nearest border, cross for 10 minutes, then secure a new 90 day permit.
Our nearest border is Ecuador. It is 12 hours away on slow, bumpy roads.
My friend Julio was going to join me on this border run, but I can’t surf right now (see next blog post), so he decided to stay behind. I packed up for a solo mission and off I went.
Here are a few photos from my nice little drive to Ecuador…
I love that even in the middle of nowhere they sell Bio Diesel here in Peru. Why aren’t we doing that in the US? Serisouly…
Here is one of the few road signs you see in the 12 hours to the border. I am at the point where I can make it to the border without the GPS or map. They aren’t really much help anyway.
The border crossing itself was uneventful. Last time I paid a bribe on the Peru side so I wouldn’t have to actually cross into Ecuador. This time I decided to just cross and get stamped in and out. But I ended up having to pay a bribe on the Ecuador side anyway. The rule is that you have to stay in Ecuador for 48 hours if you cross. They weren’t letting me out so I just settled for 30 soles ($11 dollars).
I broke my rule about never driving at night and made it back home in one piece.
Another rare road sign. This one actually points you in the right direction!
And so now we have another 90 days. The next time we cross a Peru border will probably be into Bolivia. I hear that’s a fun one. Joy.
We’re both chopping at the bit to get out on the road again….just a few more weeks before the exploration continues!