Lima, Peru! I’ve been here before, on a trip around Peru for half a month with one of my best friends in April 2015, but I’ve never spent more than three days in this city.

This time, I’m having the experience of living here, which is vastly different than traveling at a quicker pace. There are a few main differences:

Where to live in Lima

Dan and I are living in an apartment in the Miraflores district, which is a big neighborhood in Peru known for its shopping, green parks, cafés and an array of restaurants. Our building is 17 floors and has a view of the city from both the living room window and the stairwell (I found this out when I was taking out the trash). It’s located next to one of the city’s biggest highways, but it’s kind of nice for going to sleep at night and the noise reminds me of when I lived at 96th and Broadway in NYC. We’re also walking distance from the Malecon, where we can catch one of those epic Lima sunsets.

Where to work remotely in Lima

As you read in my previous article, I’m working remotely and traveling with Remote Year, so I’m still working on my business as @halfhalftravel. Everyone in our group works from Comunal Coworking, which is located not too far from our apartment. Comunal is a chic coworking space for remote workers and for some local Peruvian startup companies. It’s a bright workspace where I feel inspired and can clear my head. There’s coffee, tea, fruit-infused water and phone booths where I can take calls privately.

How to find routine in Lima

When I’m not working remotely, I’ve been going to yoga classes in the commercial part of Miraflores with some new friends from our Remote Year group. So far, I’ve kept my yoga routine from home by going three times in the past week to classes like Iyengar and Hatha yoga. Aside from routine activities like yoga, I’ve been shopping for produce at the supermarket, the giant Mercado Surquillo 1 (it’s huge, and there’s so much fruit!) and the fruit-seller two blocks from the apartment, where I got a cherimoya (Incan fruit), granadilla and tiny tropical bananas.

How to learn about Peruvian culture

I spent some of the last week doing fun activities with half of our group at a time to learn about the city and culture. Last Friday, ten of us took a bike tour through Miraflores and Barranco. I spoke Spanish with one of the guides, who was from Venezuela, and we saw sights like Parque de Amor with its mosaic poetry walls (a great way to practice Spanish) and the Malecon (seaside path). Last weekend, our Experience Manager Gaby took the group on a walking tour of her local secrets in the Barranco neighborhood, and we had a private spot from which to see the ocean on a nice day. Last night, we had an event to learn about Peruvian cooking through potatoes - did you know that Peru is home to more than 5000 types of potatoes? They were delicious (well, some of the 5000).

Having an Experience Manager in Lima

Our Experience Manager Gaby is helping us with Spanish, giving us bar and restaurant recommendations and is providing us with updates about the city and fun facts. She’s like our connection to the local culture and her job is to make sure we have the best time in Lima. She knows everything and has great insights, so I never hesitate to ask her anything about her city or country. Last week we went to get our nails done at a place around our neighborhood that she recommended!

Having a community with me in Lima

The last time I was in Lima, it was a quick whirlwind - a flight in, a night in Lima before a flight to Cusco, and another day-and-a-half in Lima before a flight back to the U.S. to end the trip after 15 days. This time, with a community of remote workers and people who want to join me for a trip to Lima’s Chinatown, a lunch break or a grocery shopping trip, I’m with a community of people who all want to experience the city as traveling professionals. We can do all the “touristy” things over the course of a month and we don’t have to rush it.

How I’m balancing it all between work and play

During weekdays, I’m at our workspace during business hours, and when the workday is done, I head out to one of our events or try something on my own. There’s a lot going on, and there’s a lot of feeling the need to ‘do everything’ in a new city. With enough sleep and a meticulously-planned agenda, I’m being productive and also trying new things. Our group shares a calendar of events that are ‘official’ and ‘unofficial.’ Official events are those that Remote Year is providing for us like a monthly excursion and some weeknight cultural events. Unofficial events are the ones anyone can create for anyone else to attend - a trip to Lima’s Barrio Chino, a football night, live music events or a walking tour led by our Experience Manager Gaby.

I love living abroad and I’ve been trying to find a way to do this for a while with a built-in community. Now, I’ll be experiencing Lima with some local flavor and in so much more depth than last time.

Want to learn more about the basics of Remote Year and what your work life might look like if you live abroad? Click here to learn more.

❤️ and ceviche,