An Expedition With The Right Intentions |

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An Expedition With The Right Intentions


Our adventure had started in Lima, Peru. This Olivia group consisted of women from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and beyond, so everyone arrived at different times. I bonded with some of the group at the hotel bar that first evening over the local specialty, pisco sours. We connected with the rest of the group at breakfast the next morning, just before the short flight that took us up into the Andes mountains.

We flew from Lima, the modern-day capital of Peru, to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. In Cusco, we found ourselves at an elevation of over 11,000 feet. Though I was in decent shape and had been careful to eat lightly and drink lots of water, I admit that I felt a little light-headed when we landed. The local remedy for altitude sickness is coca leaves, so I bought a little packet for a dollar from a woman standing just outside the airport and I shared it with some of my new Olivia friends. It takes a ton of coca leaves and a complex, noxious process to produce the drug we know as cocaine, so this wasn’t about getting high. Not only are coca leaves legal in Peru, they are part of the local heritage—a tradition going back thousands of years. The locals in Cusco will get a big ball of leaves going inside their cheek and suck on it for hours. For me and my Olivia friends, all it took was a leaf or two. At first, the taste was quite bitter, but it mellowed out quickly, and within a few minutes I found that my tongue was a little numb but my altitude symptoms had subsided.

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About Curve

S ummer is synonymous with Pride, as destinations all around the globe hold LGBTQ celebrations from June through September in a time of sunshine, self-expression, and socializing. It’s the season when we bask in the feeling of coming into our own, together. This issue, with rumors that beloved lesbian TV show The L Word will be revived by Showtime, we caught up with Kate Moennig, who played the iconic character of Shane. We also spoke with liberal political commentator Sally Kohn about her book The Opposite of Hate, which urges us to emphasize what connects us rather than what divides us. And, as your soundtrack for the pleasant weeks ahead, we recommend putting the unstoppable out musician Hayley Kiyoko on your playlist. We also put Montreal and Oakland on your map, and we hope you’ll feel inspired to join other women in life-changing adventures with Olivia Travel. Finally, I would like to send a sincere thank you to the many readers who contacted us about Curve’s relaunch. We’re as delighted as you are with the new direction!