Over the course of our almost 4-week trip, we listened to the same songs on my iPhone about 300 times each. Poor R, who makes mix tapes in his head of artists that don’t even exist yet.

 We lip synched to Taylor Swift while hiking and being in awe over llamas. We ate our mountain mint Oreo snacks to Counting Crows and giggled at night in our tent while jamming some Balkan Beat Box. I suffocated in the altitude while Nina Simone crooned me to life. Jay-Z kept me company while I stopped for the 234th time to coax my thighs into climbing more steep inclines to see some ancient ruins that they didn’t give a shit about. The only time I beat everyone else to camp, I celebrated with some old school Lauryn Hill, and when no one was looking I may have c-walked a little to some Snoop Dogg. Kanye West forced my feet to brave the final glaciers and then we climbed our last steps to Macchu Picchu to Beirut.

 We stared out train windows to Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. We survived 8 hour long bus rides to rhythmic Rodrigo y Gabriela mixes, and in the morning we watched the sun rise to K’naan.

 I cried out my broken heart to anthems of Arcade Fire. I fell asleep to Regina Spektor and held one-person dance parties to Shakira.

We shot Pisco to Peruvian folk music. We karaoked with Peruvian locals to some old school Mana and danced cumbia to bad Juanes remixes.

The Canadians showed us how to polka dance to a song from Cirque du Soleil and then promptly schooled us Texans in how to two step to Tim McGraw. Who knew that Canadians two-step?

 In the end, the music held me above water, but the mountains and the people saved my life.

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