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Women’s Quest Peru Adventure November 2016
~ Cynthia Brown – Women’s Quest Sister & Heart-Opened Adventurer
The opportunity to go to Peru was first met with great enthusiasm and interest.  My dear friend had posted about it on social media and it immediately resonated with me to go.
 As the time approached to actually commit and book the trip, it was met with great unrest and uncertainty. It was the worst time for me to be leaving the country and it was the best time for me to do so.
I have been faced a few times in my life with a relatively big decision that did not make sense to do intellectually but a very strong and heavy emotional pull from my heart made it impossible to say no. This trip was one of those times.
So, off I went, unsure of what I was embarking on yet totally convinced that it was just what I needed. My heart has never steered me in the wrong direction and this was certainly no exception.
The entire experience is one I will never forget. From the unique collection of women that made up the group to our incredible guide, Gabby, whose outpouring of passion for her culture and her country was palpable.
Many memorable moments come to mind for me.
I loved connecting with each of the women on the trip. From the bus trips, shopping tours and daily hikes there was always a great opportunity to engage in great conversation. It was a collection of women from all over the world coming together in one place.  
The places we stayed and visited were with the locals. Being a part of their landscape and daily life was refreshing. I loved the way they lived in communities and how the elders held a place of honor and reverence in their homes and in their lives. Such a different experience than what we see back home in the United States.
The Peruvian people were exceptionally friendly and very generous with their time and the sharing of their culture. The simplicity of the way they lived with just what they needed and how happy they were struck a strong chord in me.  
I was most impressed by the craftsmanship of the architecture of their homes and villages. The use of the building materials and the immaculate state that is still in existence today is unfathomable to me. Everything had a purpose and meaning and the agricultural fields and use of resources seemed so advanced for that time period. Remarkable in a world without technology.
My personal growth came in so many areas.  There was an immense history and spiritual connection with each of the mountains and villages we visited.  
The hikes were intense and the altitude was challenging. I found that it forced me to be present — a state of living that is not common for me. Each step up the mountain was met with complete and utter focus. I repeated different mantras to stay focused and encouraged to keep climbing. It is something I return to in my daily life as a reminder to appreciate what is here right now in front of me.  
I will never forget the feeling at the heart stone. When I went to connect with it, I felt a HUGE surge of energy come through me that truly left me in tears. It was such an incredible force that I will never forget it. Something happened there and I knew that my heart was where it needed to be.  
I am extremely grateful for the experience and the genuine friendships that were created that week. I was impressed by the Women’s Quest guides. Their energy, enthusiasm and pure joy of life was very refreshing and the itinerary never left us bored!
I am looking forward to another trip/journey to take with my daughters and my sisters and I will be forever grateful for my friend for her encouragement and insistence in getting me to join her.