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Hot Metal Mama - Teresa Thompson

Planning a hiking adventure in Peru with friends

Thank you to Teresa Thompson for contributing this post to GoGirlfriend. We’re a community-based travel blog and we welcome submissions from everyone. Whether you’re a budget-baller or a first class only kinda traveler, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our Writer’s Guidelines and learn how you can share your travel advice, stories and adventures!

Teresa Thompson, Hot Metal Mama, is a passionateTeresa ThompsonTeresa Thompson metal artist. But she's also passionate about travel. Last year she traveled to Peru for a hiking holiday with 3 of her friends. She'd never been to Peru before, but that didn't stop her.

Wanna know how she did it?

So did we - and you'll be shocked at how simple it is to plan something like this.

GoGirlfriend: Where did the initial idea to hike Peru come from? Was it difficult to go from dreaming it to actually planning it?

Teresa Thompson: The trip was my idea. Machu Pichu has always been somewhat of a mythical figure in my imagination. It's always been on my "list." You know, the list we all have in our heads of places to see before we die?

Teresa ThompsonTeresa ThompsonMy husband doesn't share my fascination with the Incas so I picked a few friends to hike the Inca Trail with me. Out of the 6 friends that I invited, 4 signed on. My friend Gail had emergency surgery 4 weeks before the trip and had to cancel - leaving myself and 3 other friends.

I did all the planning. I'm somewhat of a detail freak when it comes to trip planning and actually enjoy that aspect of travelling. The Internet has changed the face of international travel - there's so much information out there on line. I used 2 travel guidebooks as well to compare results. If the hotels made both handbooks with a good review, then they made the short list. Then I went online and compared hotels based on their websites, rates and locations.

Our hotels in Cusco and Aguas Caliente were fantastic and very affordable. I even booked online and paid for the Aguas Caliente hotel via PayPal. I did require a "cone of safety" agreement from my friends - no judging, even if the cockroaches were bigger than us. Everyone was so happy to have someone else doing the legwork that they all agreed to the no-whining rule.

I also researched the hiking company online and Welcome to PeruWelcome to Perubooked it online as well. The entire 26 miles of the Inca Trail is a UNESCO World Heritage site so every hiker must book with a licensed hiking outfitter. The number of people on the trail each day is strictly limited by the Peruvian government. Our hiking company, Andean Life, was exceptional.

Making the dream into a reality was all in all pretty easy. Actually, I think one of the biggest lessons learned from the whole trip was it's just not that hard to make a trip like that happen.

I think sometimes the idea of the trip becomes so overwhelming that it puts most people off entirely. What a shame. Given enough lead time (ours was about 8 months), I'm pretty convinced that you could plan any trip you'd ever wanted to do.

Thinking about your own girlfriend adventure getaway? Send us your questions and Teresa will answer them in a future post.

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