When I was seventeen I made a New Year's resolution to visit one new country every year, nine years later I'm still on track! For 2015 my new country was Peru. Seeing the Andes, the Amazon River and Machu Picchu had always been on my bucket list, and when two of my friends moved to Lima, I decided it was the perfect time to finally book tickets!

My husband and I flew down for a month long adventure around the country. We trekked over 75 miles through the Andes, and up to 17,000ft. We took a working cargo ship up the Amazon River, sleeping in hammocks, showering in river water and playing with monkeys. We explored Machu Picchu and other lost ruins. It was a trip of a lifetime and a true adventure!

Three tips I can offer for your next trip abroad:

1. Limit your expectations. Nothing is as it seems. Guidebooks and blogs only show the best version of every destination. 

2. Be open to change. If possible plan as little as you can get away with. My best experiences have been the unplanned, last minute adventures that happen spur of the moment.  

3. Do what the locals do. Eat where they eat, dance where they dance and try to experience a place outside the guidebooks' recommendations.

My favorite travel shoe is the Reef Rover. It's perfect to slip on for a night out on the town, a last minute afternoon hike or a walk down the beach. It's super versatile, light weight and easy to pack. I loved mine so much I had to get another pair when I got back. Check out my photos from the trip!

Words and Photos by Rachel Moore Shankle @moore_rachel @voyagesofagape