“I never poop. Princesses don’t do those things,” Nicole told me, making a disgusted face.
Famous last words.
We flew from Chile to Peru days after she told me this. While in transit, she rapidly spoke Spanish to the man sitting by us on the airplane, and I marveled at how much living in Chile had improved her Spanish. My Spanish was rusty and so she translated for me. “He told us not to eat anything the first day we’re in Cusco because we’ll be elevated and it’s a hard adjustment on the stomach.”
When I was seven, I wanted to be a veterinarian. My oldest brother was a high school rebel at that time, and he came home one day and told me he was a vegetarian.
“That’s what I want to be when I grow up,” I said.
“No no. A vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat meat,” he explained. “Meat comes from animals.”
“Well, I love animals. I’m a vegetarian too.”
That night I was four bites into a hamburger when my mom said, “Hey Anna, I thought you were a vegetarian now.”
I looked down at my partially eaten meal, realizing for the first time what I’d be giving up. “I’ll start tomorrow,” I declared.
I arrived in Easter Island with a wine buzz and an ear to ear grin. I had managed to save up enough money to travel while finishing college. I finally had two things I needed: a three week vacation, and dreams that didn’t involve either of my jobs.
I also had the bonus luxury of South American wine.