This trip was a lot of firsts for me. First time in South America, first time traveling with my boyfriend (Tim), first time traveling with my brother (Bryan) and his wife (Bridget), and first time using Adventure Life. Before leaving California, I had diligently read the ''Departure Information for the Machu Picchu Pilgrimage'' and ''Preparing for Your Trip to Peru'' provided by Adventure Life. I also partook in the recommending reading of ''Lost City of the Incas'' which I'll admit I never actually finished. After 22 months, Tim was released from physical therapy in December and in January we started doing weekly adventure hikes with his dogs in training for our Inca Trail Trek. Although I couldn't truly know what was in store, as our flight was departing, I felt that I was as prepared as I was going to get and was more excited than I've ever been. Our flight from California took us to Dallas, and from there we flew what felt like a very short 7 hours direct to Lima arriving, as many international flights do, after midnight. We had no problems in customs, getting our luggage or finding our arranged driver who took us straight to our hotel in Mira Flores. The most memorable part of the drive through Lima at 2 AM was seeing a bunch of people playing an organized soccer game but we were also surprised to see so many casinos scattered throughout the city.