They say some places leave you breathless and sometimes even speechless. For a while I contemplated the experience I had while I visited Machu Picchu and I was really at a loss of words. It is not that I couldn’t write about its history or offer any recommendations of my trip, but truthfully, I am sure you can find better articles out there about that. You see, I am concerned with the human experience, the civilization that dwelled in this place high above the clouds. I wonder how many families lived as they watched their young ones grow and their elders die. I wonder if the young people struggled with the pressure to live up to society’s expectations, and if they ever did something crazy for love.
It is easy to be moved by the astonishing view of Machu Picchu and wonder how people could have created a city in the Andes Mountains standing at an altitude of 7,972 ft. However, we think of places like these as ancient and exotic locations where you can marvel and take pictures making your friends jealous back home. But did the experience change you in any way? Did it move you? Did you realize that the local guide giving commentaries about the place was a descendant of the Inca and was talking about his roots? These are questions I asked myself.
We have more in common with these civilizations than we think. We are living in communities as we integrate ourselves in this society, trying to do our best with what we have. I wonder if one day, our society and the world that we have created ceases to exist. What will it say about us? Will other civilizations see us as an old monument, almost forgotten, or will they have something to learn from?
[If you are interested in learning about the history of this spectacular city, continue reading here]