This post was written by Dory Benami, co-owner of Fortress of Inca. 

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

Growing up with gypsy-like parents who worked in the film industry I was exposed early to travel and having to adapt to different cultures. I think it gave me a well-rounded background and a lot of tolerance growing up. More tolerance than others my age group had perhaps because I was multi-cultural, having been born in Israel and immigrating to the United States around the time I was two years old, but it was ingrained in me that travel was important.

Recently, actor Bill Murray ‘crashed’ a bachelor party in Charleston, South Carolina and was caught on video giving the young men around him the following advice after they find the person they fall in love with: “Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if, when you come back to JFK, when you land in JFK, and you're still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”

I couldn’t agree with Bill Murray more. Traveling is the best way to find out more about the world, yourself and also about the person or persons you choose to travel with.

One of the most exciting destinations to travel to is South America. I consider myself a well-traveled person but I hadn’t hit the South American continent until 2012 when I made my first trip to Peru to scout fair-trade factories and find artisans to help make Fortress of Inca shoes, bags and accessories.

South America has really come a long way in terms of being a safe and desirable travel destination and Peru is perhaps one of the most diverse and interesting countries in South American to visit. Lima, an underrated city of about 10 million people is located on the Pacific Ocean and is a culinary capital known for having some of the best food on the planet and also the freshest produce as well as delicious and plentiful seafood.

It’s no secret that one of the best things about working at Fortress of Inca and creating a brand that puts the rights of workers high on our list of priorities is the ability to forge friendships with people throughout Peru and to experience Peruvian culture and appreciate the skills, creativity and craftsmanship in our collaboration with locals throughout the amazing country.