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A piranha-fishing adventure in Peru

Dec 31, 2015 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

When traveler Audrey extended her tour to visit the Amazon on Ancient Peru & Machu Picchu — and tried her hand at piranha fishing—she found how travel leads to self-discovery, and that it can teach us to find joy in every moment. Here, she shares some of her amazing experiences.

Traveler Audrey goes piranha fishing in Peru

I never imagined this is where I’d be for my 33rd birthday: in a boat downstream from Iquitos, a city in Peru deep in the Amazon. But there I was.

“When fishing for piranha, you’ve got to let them know you’re there.” This was the advice from Celso, the local guide for our group of 10 travelers, on a tour along the Amazon River. As our bounty grew, my line stayed slack. Suddenly, I felt a tug. I was surprised at what appeared at the end.

Celso helped bring in my line. “A catfish,” he announced. My heart sank. Had I really traveled all the way to the Amazon to catch a catfish?

He looked over at me, as if sensing my disappointment. “This is a full-grown fish. A beauty. They don’t get any bigger—any better—than this.” Celso beamed with pride. Then, I couldn’t help but do the same.

Travel was not always part of my life. I was the first in my family to ever apply for a passport. But after taking the leap, I started traveling the world. Getting the courage to travel afforded me opportunities I only dreamed of experiencing. I take pride in my now-worn passport and all the adventures I’ve had.

After fishing, I celebrated my birthday with my fellow travelers, former strangers who now felt like close friends. We shared a cake the locals made and decorated. We passed the plate of grilled piranha and we toasted our once-in-a-lifetime trip with bottles of Inca Kola.

I think back on it now, and I’m proud a catfish chose to pull at my line—it was a fish that, in those waters, was unique. I couldn’t help but think, “I’m so glad I let the world know I’m here.” That’s what the decision to travel has done for me.

Have you ever had a moment like Audrey’s? Tell us about it on Facebook or share your story by emailing

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About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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