As you walk the narrow streets of Cusco, Peru‘s San Blas neighborhood you are touching history. A stone wall might be of Incan origin…or built by the Spanish after the conquest. Old colonial homes are now restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels. Hip college kids texting friends with the latest smartphone walk side-by-side with indigenous women garbed in brightly-colored traditional dress.
For South African Idelette Aucamp, it’s just the latest stop on her journey through Latin America. So far, she has spent three months in Colombia and a stretch in Bolivia…traversed the Atacama Desert with a friend…traveled throughout Chile…hitchhiked all the way to Patagonia…and headed into Argentina.
“For four months we went on this incredible adventure,” she says. “We were hiking mountains, exploring forests, swimming (and bathing) in lakes, learning new languages, and exchanging cultures. We stayed away from the normal attractions and did everything without guides and at our own pace. My favorite thing was sleeping under the stars every night. We were completely free. The experience has changed me forever.
“A few months ago I never would have thought I would be where I am now. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with so many amazing people,” she says. “I can do all of this while being in beautiful Peru.”
Idelette is a freelance graphic designer, web designer, and marketing consultant. Her office is her trusty MacBook Air (perfect for the road because it’s so compact and light) and wherever she happens to be at the moment.
It’s a free-spirited life…Idelette goes where her whims take her. And she relishes the freedom that comes with having a portable income. Contrary to popular opinion, you can build a freelance income while you’re on the move, according to Idelette.
She focuses on working with small businesses and start-ups, usually local to wherever she happens to be living at the time or places she has passed through recently. Right now, she is doing the marketing and web design for the Green Point brand in Cusco. It’s a major project covering the brand’s two restaurants, vegan shop, healing center, and vegan cooking school.
Idelette plans to stay in Cusco for a while. After that, who knows where the wind might take her.
“I love discovering new places, trying new things, learning about other cultures, and experiencing things differently. Traveling allows me to really step outside my comfort zone and get to know people from different walks of life,” she says.
“Being exposed to new perspectives, cultures, and traditions has been a constant source of inspiration. I think we get stuck in these routines that make us lose sight of things that are important. Traveling puts everything in perspective. I am often confronted with situations that force me to think about my own beliefs, dreams, and challenges as well as how I want to contribute to the world around me.”
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