WHO ARE WE?
It feels a bit weird to write about who we are, as I have very low expectations about this being read by people who do not already know who we are. Still, all blogs I checked ahead of starting this one kind of have this section, and I (being absolutely new to this blogging thing), don’t feel like challenging that “rule”.
I will be very short with the intro, though. We are Francesco and Sandra, two Peruvian expats (with Italian roots) who live in Amsterdam since 2011. I’m an Industrial Engineer, Sandra is a Lawyer, and we ended up in this beautiful city we now call home after a year in Madrid, for me at Business School, for her at Law School.
The reason for this Blog is that, not too long ago, we decided to take one year off and do some traveling, mainly around south-east Asia (we still say “Around the World”… it sounds fancier). These intrepid plans mean we both had to resign from our jobs at a company were many people would probably dream of working. A one-year un-paid leave was not something feasible to arrange. Now, for the story about how we ended up making this decision, you can check out my first official post here!.
TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG?
Funny thing is that my first approach was “social media? blogging? .. there’s no way I’ll be doing any of that!”. My idea of a travel Blog was basically an attempt to monetize a site full of links to buy everything the Blogger talks about. And don’t take me wrong, that’s a perfectly valid thing to do, but I just didn’t have the intention to do so. I am sure that it can pretty easily become a full-time job by itself.
Then I found myself coming across plenty of travel Blogs and Youtube channels when researching about destinations, packing advice, backpack reviews, top 10s of _____, and so on. Not only did I find plenty of good information (ask if you want to know which ones I found the most useful), but I quite frankly got further inspired about this whole idea of a trip around the world (or Asia) while reading and watching. What if…. what if I could also inspire others with stories and advice of my own? Interesting.
Somewhere I also read that it is be a good idea to keep some form of “diary”, just to have your own memories organized. I’ve written (as in hand-written) plenty of diaries before… but the idea of a digital version added the possibilities of linking pictures and videos to those memories. Interesting.
To finish tilting the scales, as soon as our news became known, pretty much one out of two friends/colleagues/family members asked the Blog question (with levels of intensity which went from “shyly suggested” to “strongly demanded”). And with many of them I could see an honest interest in “following our adventures”. It felt good. Very interesting.
And hey… our moms will be able to know where we are and what we’re up to. Enough said.
I was reading a bit about Blogging… and Sandra, at the other end of our dinner table, was watching a video about how to start a Blog. I didn’t pick up too much of it… but I remember that Spanish guy saying you shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about the “ultimate perfect” name.
When the time came for us to choose one, I remembered the last time we had brainstormed about choosing a name. Took place in 2012, when we had to baptize the wonderful little boat we had bought, second-hand, to cruise the Amsterdam Canals. Long story short, Peque-Peque is the term we use back home (which is Peru, in case you weren’t paying attention 🙂 ) to refer to a type of boats, because of the sound of their engines… peque-peque-peque-peque….. you get the idea. Also, Sandra is known by many as “La Pequeña” (the Little one). So, Peque-Peque made a nice name for the boat. And 5 years later, for this blog. There’s no more science about it, I’m afraid.
-here with my parents and the mighty Peque-Peque-
There’s this language dilemma. Most of our current friends and colleagues aren’t Spanish speakers (which is our native language). On the other side, many family members back home, including 3 out of 4 parents, many aunts, uncles and cousins, don’t really speak much English. My (Peruvian) family comes from Arequipa, 1000 kms south of Lima, and back in the days, “English as a second language” was not really hot. Many women went to a nun school where French was the foreign language (which does not mean many of them actually speak French now). My godmother, the great Tia Tere (aka Toronja) still comments all of my facebook posts with “EN ESPANIOL POR FAVOOOOOOR” (yes, in caps).
This is a good moment to also tell the story of my mother in law who (while they were here visiting) first asked the -Dutch- waitress if she spoke English, to which the answer was of course yes, and then ordered: “I want…. ensalada griega, por favor”. You get the idea.
So, even though I used to think “geez, two languages?” when I saw some my friend Wagner’s cycling posts in both Portuguese and English, now I undersand… and I’ll do my best to write in both languages. I kind of have the expectation that I’ll have the time to do so :). We’ll see how that goes. I’ll start with English. I’ve been reading, writing, thinking, speaking and working in English for the past 7+ years, so it comes more natural than Spanish when writing. Still, apologies in advance for the mistakes I’m sure you native ones will find here and there. Not trying to win a literature award here, so don’t take it that seriously either.
EXPECTATIONS MANAGEMENT (read: Disclaimer)
As said before, I am new to all this… both blogging and long term traveling. I have no clue about the time, will and energy I’ll have while on the road, to produce “publishable content”. Apologies in advance if it doesn’t happen as often as you’d expected. Apologies as well if you follow us and then I get so creative that the notifications start feeling like daily spam. No hard feelings if you un-follow :). Thanks for having read all the way to here, by the way. You are officially our digital friend now.
– the second one we kind of covered already… going for the first one now. –