A Surprise Trip to Machu Picchu for Jenn's 30th Birthday

A week or so before my 30th birthday Jenn brought me a cup of coffee in a Starbucks mug we bought in Paris in 2014. She then proceeded to tell me as I spilled coffee on my lap that in only a couple of days we'd be taking a flight to Paris to celebrate my birthday. It's a moment in my life that I'll never forget. If anyone was ever to make a highlight video of my life, my 30th birthday trip would be in it.

And so like everything in life, nothing is free. Jenn is one-year and one-day younger than me. So in short, I had 366 days to figure out what the heck to do for her birthday. I tossed around a ton of ideas over the last 10 months. I had my mind set on going back to New York for a while, but then we went to Chicago and I scratched that idea. I thought maybe going back to Paris again for the fourth time, but realized I was really just buying myself a trip. I was also tempted to go surprise Jenn with a trip to Abu Dhabi (a place we didn't visit while in Dubai so I could go to the Atlantis Waterpark). But as hot as it was in November when we were in Dubai, the temperatures in the UAE during August seemed unbearable. And then finally I figured it out. I needed to check off something from Jenn's bucket list, and so a trip to Machu Picchu was decided. 

Now that I figured out the trip, booked the flights and hotel, and even a train to take us to Machu Picchu, I needed to figure out how to break the news. It came back to really the genesis of the trip itself, a bucket list. I scoured the internet and stumbled upon a UK Etsy seller who makes Bucket List posters. I ordered a poster with places Jenn still wants to visit and the plan was set. Last week I erased our living room chalkboard and wrote happy birthday above the poster that has ten (there are more) bucket list places we haven't checked off yet, with one of those ten, Macchu Picchu checked off. 

And so in around a month we will be departing LAX for Cusco, Peru where we will be spending six nights in South America (a first for us). Although my idea for surprising Jenn with a trip was a complete rip off of what she did for me last year, I hope that at the end of it we're able to make amazing memories just like we did last year. The world is a marvelous place and I can't wait to keep exploring it, in Peru, with Jenn, to celebrate 30 years of this amazing woman's life.