After a month and a half in the jungle, it was strange to jump back into Cusco where civilization, traffic lights, and paved streets existed. We were excited—thrilled, even—to experience people and to immerse ourselves in the Spanish language we had been building for ourselves while in the jungle. As we jumped out of the car, we wondered with awe at the city that was about to change everything. We eagerly explored the markets, danced in the streets, conversed with strangers, and tasted all that Cusco had to offer. We climbed all over Machu Picchu (and subsequently collapsed on top of Huayna Picchu), and breathed in all of the wonderful mountainous air that engulfed us. We inquired about the culture surrounding us, wanting to know more. Adventure summoned us around each corner, and we willingly went. Cusco revealed characteristics about ourselves that we always had possessed but never knew existed.

And yet, with each passing day, the jittery excitement and utter longing to be back in our jungle filled each of us little by little. The exquisite macaws, the delicious plátanos, the hum of the frog-filled nights, and the beautiful, thunderous rain beckoned us to come back home.

And we went.