Mike and Bone have had some awesome big trips, but doing Peru was BIG!!!! The started all the way back in February when Bone visited his friend Bruce Tyler in the ATL, one night at dinner a IBM alumni Mike Stefanik mentioned that an old friend Elizabeth Becker from PSU was chartering Leadership Tours to Machu Picchu, without much thought Bone was in, and after a10 minute phone call so was Mike!
Why Peru !?! Peru brings thoughts and emotions of the Spanish Conquistadors such as Hernando De Soto and Francisco Pizzaro, and Inca leaders such as Atahualpa, Manco, through Tupac Amaru all created the events and drama that makes the amazing "stew" that is the Hispanic-Quechuan culture that the Team was graced to visit.
Oh yeah, why Peru !?! Why not !!!!
Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca. Its construction appears to date to the period of the two great Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–71) and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1472–93). It was abandoned just over 100 years later, in 1572, as a belated result of the Spanish Conquest. It is possible that most of its inhabitants died from smallpox introduced by travellers before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area. Although it was located only about 50 miles from the Inca capital at Cusco, the Spanish never found Machu Picchu and so did not plunder or destroy it, as they did many other sites. The conquistadors had notes of a place called Piccho, although no record of a Spanish visit exists. Over the centuries, the surrounding jungle overgrew the site, and few outside the immediate area knew of its existence. In 1911 American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham travelled the region looking for the old Inca capital and was shown to Machu Picchu by a local farmer. Bingham brought Machu Picchu to international attention and organized another expedition in 1912 to undertake major clearing and excavation. He returned in 1914 and 1915 to continue with excavation. In 1981, Peru declared an area of 325.92 square kilometres (125.84 sq mi) surrounding Machu Picchu a "Historic Sanctuary". In addition to the ruins, the sanctuary includes a large portion of the adjoining region, rich with the flora and fauna of the Peruvian Yungas and Central Andean wet puna ecoregions In 1983, UNESCO designated Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site, describing it as "an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization", OR an ideal place to be spoiled by a Mike and Bone Campaign!!!!
Prepping for a Mike and Bone Trip ??!?? Really !!?!!
Unlike most Mike and Bone trips, Elizabeth, prepped the Team with as series of Team and personal coaching sessions: She started with working with every one's BIG (Big Insistent Goal) or the big questions and ideas each Team Member had in their life and your work. Some had huge BIG's based on traumatic life events, others on career milestones. Mike's was thinking about life after his career, Bone's was how to focus on the Trip and not work.
Next over the she organized a series of calls to make sure that every person on the Team will fit and enjoy the experience. The Sessions started by gathering virtually with a series of four recorded calls two months prior to the trip. She used the meetings to get everyone to know each other and learn the elements of leadership needed to achieve the Team objectives and bring everyone's BIG to life.
It was also meant to be a "giveback", each of the travelers were successful in their own way and were expected to contribute (minimum $200) to a general pot that would be donated throughout the trip.
The plan was to meet in Cusco, where as a Team they delved into the culture and start to physically challenge themselves with hiking at altitude.
Each Team Member as expected to co-lead one day with Elizabeth (which was expecting a lot from Mike and Bone!!!) in order to personalize that days experience. A part of that experience included meeting with local Quechuan scientists, business and non-profit leaders, cultural ambassadors and teachers joined the Trip at certain points where the Team Members would share their BIG's in context of a topic. Elizabeth organized cultural ceremonies as well as a few serendipitous happenings that were both planned and expectedly spontaneous.
The planned Journey started in Cuzco and hiked from lodge to (freakin' awesome nice) lodge along the Insights Trail with awesome accommodations and wonderful cuisine, that took the Boys and Crew up and over the frigid Andes and down into the hot, humid Amazonian basin, and on to iconic Macchu Pichu.
So with an incredible opportunity for adventure, Peruvian culture & cuisine, history, and geography, Mike and Bone flew to Peru, joined the Team and got their BIG's on!!!