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Photographer: Chue Zeng Yang

The Prep
I had heard that the trek to Machu Picchu would be difficult
so I started high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes,
twice a week, a semester before my trip.
Twice, sometimes once a week, I ran 2 miles and then walked 1 mile
on a treadmill with the incline set to max.
I walked 1.3 miles from my parking spot to campus (approx. 2.5 miles roundtrip),
and always took the stairs at work and at school.

A few days before we left, we sprayed every item of clothing with Permethrin.
I ran to Macy's twice to buy two pairs of Columbia hiking pants,
and Adidas running leggings.
I bought wool socks, a soft mesh breezer hat, and insect repellent from Amazon.
I stocked up on Uniqlo's AIRism seamless bras and base layers,
and I got an ultra light down parka that I ruined after the trip because I put it in the wash
(still feeling so salty about that).

The one thing I regret buying because I did not use it: an inflatable sleeping pad,
though I thin…

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