Reflections from Machu Picchu

Last week we were in Machu Picchu.

It is incredible – better than I expected.  It truly is one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Perhaps I’ll write more about it later, but here are my initial thoughts:

  • Progress – While I’m extremely grateful to be back to the modern comforts of my daily life, we are kidding ourselves when we believe that all change is progress.  What they built at Machu Picchu (and other sites that we saw) is simply amazing, and in many ways superior to many of the “modern” structures that I saw elsewhere in Peru.  Most change is progress, but not all.
  • Form and Substance – I thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  However, at some point I realized that all I was looking at was a few “forms” of their civilization.  Largely missing was the substance of why they would go through that Herculean effort.  From the ruins of what they built, we know they had evolved sophisticated agriculture, and had some mathematics and astronomy.  However, what do we really know about the substance of the culture?

Traveling with family is … hard.

Traveling with family is … frustrating.

Traveling with family is … wonderful.  In fact, it is my favorite thing to do.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When I’m traveling with my children it’s easy to get caught up in the “prose” of the trip.  How do we get from point A to point B.  Where are we going to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom?  Getting six of us around a South American country is not especially easy (and we were on a tour)!

However, the “poetry” of family vacations is irreplaceable and my favorite thing.  I can’t figure out a different way to build shared memories and stronger relationships among my family.

I will always remember Machu Picchu.  I will remember the ruins and the mountains.

I will also remember the moments of my children smiling and laughing.  I will remember the moments of peace and joy.

More important to me than the place, I will remember the adventure we shared together.

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