I’m not sure how I expected to feel after a month of travelling – seeing and doing incredible things, making friends with people from all over the World who you may never see again, or who you may bump into a few days later in the next town.
I haven’t really had time to process what I have been doing, as there have been precious few days of ‘nothing’ between travelling, tours & activities, so I am worried that if I carry on at this pace that I won’t truly appreciate it. So I am trying to now spend an extra day or so in each location to make sure it doesn’t pass by so quickly. But at the same time I am wary of ‘wasting’ my precious time here. It is a difficult balance to strike, and I have yet to figure it out it seems.
Here are a few more things I have successfully, or unsuccessfully realised during my 30 days here in South America.
1. We rely way too much on the internet. From googling the artist of a song, to searching for the location of a restaurant, learning about our wonderings on Wikipedia, and of course the dreaded Social Media; if you take wifi away from us for more than 24 hours we start to twitch.
2. I do not like trekking. I realised this fairly early on in the trek to Mach Picchu, it’s just unfortunate that so many wonderful sights can only be reached after a few days’ walking. Machu Picchu of course is no longer inaccessible, and can be reached by train & bus – although it is a rite of passage to take some sort of trek to get there. Perhaps if I’d realised that before I planned my trip I would have done the ‘Pussy Route’ as it is known. Or perhaps that is half of the fun in visiting, to truly be able to say “I did it!” without cheating. Much.
3. Sunburn happens in the strangest of places. There is always a patch of skin you miss when applying sunscreen, from peeling tops of ears to stripes all over the body, it is impossible to avoid some sunburn without literally bathing in sun lotion.
4. Budgeting is hard. I have never been particularly good at regulating my spending, but trying to stick to a budget when you are on the trip of a lifetime is extremely difficult. Am I willing to give up on that one thing I really wanted to do and that I’ll never get chance to do again for the sake of a few £ more? I don’t think so. But hello poverty when I return!
5. Carry toilet paper & hand sanitizer with you everywhere. Getting caught unawares in a hygienically dubious latrine is not is not something one should have to experience. It does however make you appreciate a clean toilet when you find one!
6. Driving regulations mean nothing. Just beep your horn at a stop sign & keep going…. is what it says in the Peruvian highway code. Although amazingly I have yet to witness a collision, the haphazard way everyone drives here never ceases to surprise me.
8. Don’t be afraid to open your mouth. To ask for help, to try out your newly learned language skills or simply say hi to the new person in your hostel dorm room. It might make your day, and theirs!
9. Being adventurous pays. They say you should do something every day that scares you; usually this works out and you find that thing you’ve been avoiding is actually the best thing ever (think paragliding, smelly cheese, other awesome stuff)! Although sometimes it doesn’t live up to all the hype, and you should be prepared for that too!
10. I love travelling. Even when it goes wrong, or I’m scared and alone and not sure what to do next, I still love it. I am still so thrilled I made the decision to come here. There will be more adventures to follow!