Traveling Ethically through Peru

“Wow, day one of Peru is coming to an end. What a crazy (but fun) day. I’m really loving this whole independent, getting around by myself thing. If you ever need something to make you feel like a capable human being, this is it.”

In June I ventured out to Peru all on my own. It was the first time I had traveled to another country (almost) completely solo. The first half of the trip I spent venturing the areas around Cusco alone, but later met up with mi amiga in Lima.

Traveling Ethically through Peru

The first way I supported ethical traveling was by packing some of my favorite Fair Anita jewelry and clothing. Here, you can see me sporting my Izzy Stud earrings in white and “Not all those that wander are lost” tee at Machu Picchu. Fair Anita currently provides fair trade jobs to women in 16 different countries, often times paying them 3 to 4 times the minimum wage. I couldn’t think of anything better to wear while pushing myself to my limits at Machu Picchu.

Traveling Ethically through Peru

On the left you can see me showing off my Sarah Earrings at the Moray Ruins. And to the right are the salt ponds at the Maras Salt Mines. The Sarah Earrings are some of my absolute faves. I wore them practically everyday on this trip. They are light-weight, stylish, and made fair-trade by women in India! You can learn more about the wonderful women who make Fair Anita jewelry at fairanita.com/artisan. Now, don’t get me wrong, solo travel is fun and all but meeting up with my dear friend, Alexandra, was unforgettable.

Traveling Ethically through Peru

We both got a little teary-eyed as we ran to each other at the airport. I’m sure our heads banged together as we hugged out of the excitement and our clumsy selves, but nothing could restrict our happiness.Traveling together was always a dream of ours, but it was surreal to be together on the opposite side of the equator.

Part two of the journey began. 

Traveling Ethically through Peru

The two of us traveled to small little desert town where we were able to take a dune buggy out to the sand dunes and give sand boarding a try. This is probably one of my top 3 favorite memories from the trip. This picture of the dune buggy and desert is just a reminder to be socially conscious and tip while traveling (if appropriate).

Most people in the tourism industry rely on that one job to provide for themselves and family. Additionally, they are often not paid minimum wage or minimum wage is set so low that it is hard for them to provide. By making sure you do your part by tipping, you are supporting them financially. By scoping out organic and fair trade coffee shops and buying art from the artists themselves, you are supporting an ethical traveling style as well. There was gorgeous street art in the park outside our hostel that we may or may not have visited four times throughout the day. Alexandra and I both bought stunning works of art directly from the artists themselves.

Traveling Ethically through Peru

We also stumbled upon this cute little store, down an otherwise deserted cobblestone alley. The store was filled with beautiful handcrafted vases and decor. Although we were not able to meet the artists directly, we felt their love from the hand signed initials. We topped off the day by finding a local cafe with organic products. A delicious chai tea or chocolate latte, anyone?

Though most of my travels in Peru consisted of wandering around parks and ruins aimlessly, I was able to travel ethically by packing, eating, and purchasing gifts with a socially conscious mind. Have ethical traveling tips yourself? Leave them in the comments below! 

Traveling Ethically through Peru

P.S. you may have noticed my little black Toms® in many of my photos. They are literally my go-to shoe for anything, but particularly for traveling. This specific pair has traveled with me throughout the U.S., Argentina, Belize, Uruguay, and Peru! If you aren’t familiar with their mission yet, check it out at toms.com.

***This post was originally published at The World Buzzer