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#TBT: Priscilla Faia

The star of You Me Her shares her favorite travel memory

A synopsis of the show You Me Her reads a bit like a TLC reality show: Izzy (Priscilla Faia) is a graduate student moonlighting as an escort. Jack (Greg Poehler) and Emma (Rachel Blanchard) are a seemingly typical Portland couple who hire her to spice up their lackluster marriage. Throughout season one, both Jack and Emma struggle to accept that they each have real feelings for Izzy. So far in season two, which premiered on Valentine’s Day, the trio is truly dealing with the day to day struggles of being in a polyamorous relationship. Izzy has moved in and Jack and Emma are fielding some uncomfortable questions from friends and neighbors as the three of them live as a “throuple.”

Off camera, Faia’s romantic reality is a bit more ordinary—she’s monogamous, but says the show has made her able to understand the polyamorous lifestyle. When it comes to travel, however, she’s quite daring, and she shared a moment from an unforgettable trip with DuJour.

#TBT Priscilla Faia

What are you doing in this picture?

I’m sitting at the top of the Andes mountains in Peru. When I was 26, I did a charity challenge trek with UNICEF. We had a guide, but I really felt like, spiritually, this was a trip for myself. I spent a lot of alone time walking. We hiked for four days through the Andes mountains. I think the hike was two and a half days, but we had bus rides up and then we would hike. We had a day in town and then we hiked up Machu Picchu and up the Inca trail, which was, for me, the most terrifying part of the trip. I had thought that the scary part was over, so I had some pisco sours the night before with my cast mates. We started hiking Machu Picchu and the Inca trail, which I’m incredibly grateful that we got to go because they’re closing it down. It’s just got a lot of wear and tear. So there’s only a few tickets that they’re giving away every year that you can go up and do that trail. The Inca steps are very small and they’re polished stone and you’re in the jungle so everything is wet and slippery. It’s just mountainside. Death is on one side and mountain face is on the other. It’s terrifying, but when you get through the top and you see Machu Picchu, it’s like nothing I will ever see in my life ever again. I will never forget that moment. It’s insane. I wept like a baby.

Were you an experienced hiker before?

I was living in Toronto at the time and Toronto is very flat, so there’s not a whole lot of [mountains]. You’re supposed to go on training hikes. So we did our best every weekend. We would just go on these practice hikes for a few hours in our shoes that we were going to take to Peru to break them in. Once we got to Peru, we had a couple days so we could acclimatize and you know, altitude sickness hits anybody. It doesn’t matter what shape you’re in. It just happens to you if it happens to you. I got quite sick.  What they say is when you get off the plane, it feels like you’ve had a couple beers at lunch. You’ve kind of got a little bit of a buzz on. You’re so high.

Did the sickness go away?

They gave me cocoa leaf tea to help with any nausea, and I just thought this is how I’m supposed to feel, but it turns out that I was quite ill. You have to take this pill that helps put oxygen in your blood. I’m one of those people that when I take antibiotics or whatever, the side effects always happen to me. The side effects are that you get pins and needles in your hands and feet, which are what I got. The worst when you’re hiking six, seven hours a day.

What was the most challenging part of the hike?

Overcoming my debilitating fear of heights. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. Now I’m able to look down if I’m on the balcony. Before, I couldn’t even be on a two-story building balcony and look down. I was really afraid of heights. So I had no choice. I had to descend down these mountains or else there was no choice. There was no one coming to get me, I couldn’t turn around. I had to go. I had to use my willpower and power through. I would put my hat on and put it down really, really low so I couldn’t see how high we were. I could just see the step in front of me. That’s how I got through.