Friends of Emilime: Hanging with Monkeys on Board
Tribe. Squad. So many words have become trendy hashtags as of late to describe a bond between women so tight that it mimics sisterhood. So when that close relationship of “your problems are my problems” and “your sweater is my sweater” is shared between two actual sisters, it must be that much stronger, no? Michelle and Elaine are two sisters who share it all: clothes, travels, concern for animal welfare, a near insatiable craving for bananas, and an adventure blog called “Monkeys on Board.”
Don’t get us wrong, they definitely have their own projects and responsibilities, with Elaine studying graphic design and Michelle working full time. “But that’s the boring part!” says Elaine, only half-joking. The young women crave the outdoors and exploring every nook and cranny in their native Peru. We’re just happy that they give us a look in on their adventurous family affair!
What’s behind the name?
Elaine: We really are like monkeys! (laughs)
Michelle: Yeah, we’re always trying different things, like adventurous things. Like monkeys!
E: “Monkeys on Board” is a combo of adventure, fitness and travel. We love the the healthy lifestyle. We are always doing sports because our whole family is involved in different athletic activities.
M: It’s also about showing the different parts of Peru that aren’t typically shown. There are plenty of places in the country that even a native Peruvian would be surprised to see! Traveling has really become part of our lifestyle.
When we reached out to you, your first concern was whether or not our products harmed the alpacas and sheep in any way. This left a great positive impression on me! Is animal welfare something you are both passionate about?
M: Definitely. We’re both vegetarian. We are always rescuing animals; cats, dogs…
And you bring them all home?
E: Yeah! But we have a rule: whenever we bring home a rescue, we have to find it a home as soon as possible. But it’s not easy to find people willing to adopt animals.
You post consistently, which makes me think you must travel quite often! What are some of your favorite places in Peru?
M: There are so many places. I could probably live in Tarapoto, a city in the jungle. The food is amazing – they eat bananas with everything! And in Ayacucho there are some beautiful bright blue lakes that are unknown to a lot of people. They’re called Lagunas Naturales de Millpu. The water is freezing though, so I’d recommend a wetsuit!
E: Chachapoyas, it’s beautiful. There are some great caves to explore, and a lot of history. While you’re there you can admire one of the longest waterfalls in the world, Gocta. We try to travel once a month, if our personal schedules aren’t too complicated.
We’re heading towards the end of the year, and some important festivities are coming up. What comes to mind when you think of the holidays?
M: For me, it’s the perfect time to start traveling.
E: I think about food! (laughs) But yeah, the weather in Peru is starting to improve at this time of year, so it’s a great time to get outside.
M: November for example is the month to do some whale watching in northern Peru. In fact, that’s going to be one of our next trips.