Home > California > Sari Gartner > All Travel Experiences > A Transformative Trek in Peru

Sari Gartner

San Diego, California Travel Agent

A Transformative Trek in Peru

After reading a cover story in National Geographic about Machu Picchu as a child, I decided someday I would get there. The dream was buried deep in my memory until about twenty years later when my husband and I watched a Today Show segment about a couple deciding whether to go to a spa or Machu Picchu for their free honeymoon. With no hesitation, they chose the spa.  

My eyes welled up with tears and my surprised husband asked why. I said: “They had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Machu Picchu. How could they chose a spa over a potentially transformative experience like that?!” He said he had no idea that I would want to go there. “You have given everything I have ever wanted; we are going to Machu Picchu.” 

The trip spoke to us on many levels. The Inca culture was fascinating and my husband connected spiritually to their world view. We also spoke with many people who seemed to have nothing and learned that they felt sorry for us because we lived so far from our extended families and had to drive long distances on impersonal highways to get to work every day. It made us think differently about money. 

For me, the two most awesome moments were in the rainforest. We were hiking with a private guide, alone in the forest, and the guide said “Stop. Listen.” We heard what sounded like wind. He told us to put on our rain gear. What we thought was wind was the sound of the rain on the trees moving towards us. Within minutes there was a short, intense downpour. Then, we boarded a canoe and paddled along a hand-dug canal that felt like a tunnel through the foliage. Suddenly we saw a light at the end of the tunnel and paddled into Lake Sandoval. I felt I had stepped into an episode of the National Geographic shows that I had grown up watching.  

I never thought I would have the means to travel like that. We were not affluent then, but we had made this trip a priority. It taught me that life is about setting priorities and that there are affordable ways to see the world in ways that nourish your spirit. That trip changed our perspective on travel and the trajectory of my life. Up to that point, we had opted to spend our money on tangible things and our travels were local camping trips. We traveled differently after that trip, and it also inspired me to become a travel agent.  

If you are looking for a transformational trip, I can help you make it a reality. 

Return to Previous Page