Smyth explores Peru with Nat Geo

Ethan Smyth traveled in Peru with Nat Geo Mundo Explorer. CONTRIBUTED
Ethan Smyth traveled in Peru with Nat Geo Mundo Explorer. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – Ethan Smyth traveled in Peru this summer as one of two Alabama students selected for a National Geographic Student Expedition with Nat Geo Mundo Explorer.
Smyth is a graduate of Bob Jones High School.
Smyth and three other American students explored exciting destinations with National Geographic photographers, scientists and writers from all over the world. AT&T/DirecTV partnered with FOX Networks (National Geographic’s parent company) to send these students to experience an immersive learning trip.
Smyth documented his adventure in a blog. “I embarked on what could only be described as a trip of a lifetime to Peru, courtesy of Nat Geo Mundo and AT&T,” he said. For almost one month, he explored the capital city, hiked across ancient Incan sites, including the fortress of Ollantaytambo and swam in the hot springs of Santa Teresa.
“We experimented with local cuisine, including delicious ceviche — raw fish cooked in lime juice — and cuy, also known as fried guinea pig,” Smyth said. “All of this led up to a highlight of the trip: hiking Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.”
Absorbing the sight of Machu Picchu at once was impossible. He marveled at “ancient buildings, magnificent stonework, giant green terraces, mountain views all around us. It was all breathtaking,” Smyth said.
The town of Cusco was Smyth’s favorite stop. “Cusco is an amazing city with cobblestone streets, beautiful churches and gigantic markets. We visited old churches, shopped at farmers’ markets, learned from professionals at a local photography gallery and taste-tested at a chocolate museum,” he said.
During with Nat Geo Mundo Explorer, Smyth and his peers met local residents, overcame challenges and pursued once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. “I hope many other students will have a similar experience. If they do, I have one piece of advice to offer: be open-minded.”
“You never know how much you will truly enjoy something until you try it. Whether it was swimming in a frigid lake, climbing a mountain or eating something I would never normally touch, every aspect of the trip offered an incredible experience,” Smyth said.
His blog is available at about.att.com.

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