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Final thoughts on this long South American trip

Posted by on August 6, 2011

To me, this trip, this adventure was truly worth doing.

south america travel map

Route map of where I went throughout Latin America on this trip.

I had a lot of things to do on my bucket list and this trip helped me cross off a lot of items off that list. Such examples would be checked off and now gone were:

-going to the Galapagos Islands

-getting my drift diving certification

-climbing a volcano, going to a soccer game in Brazil

-see Lake Titicaca

-eating Brazilian steak

-long backpacking trip

-and much more

That made my list a little shorter which I’m glad to know now because most people will probably never get 5 items out of 100 off their list especially in this world of gophers, sheeple, and lazy people, all content on being the on hamster wheel for life.

Herding sheep in Uruguay

Sheep or Sheeple?

I did on this trip many would not do as I was the traveling scuba diver, traveling fisherman, traveling mountain climber, traveling eater, traveling horseback rider, etc. I did activities where you need to have some kind of courage and some type of technical training in some aspects especially for scuba diving which requires taking a class in order to get the scuba diving certification. And of course, I got the usual comments of:

-“aren’t you scared?”

-“I could never do such a thing!”

-“I couldn’t eat the food”

-“I can’t speak [insert language here]”

-“that [insert country or place] is scary!

-“you sure you want to do that?”

-“couldn’t you do that in the US?”

-“don’t you want to work?”

-“I would rather stay warm and safe at home”

Rio de Janeio favela, bad neighborhood

What? You didn't think Rio's favela wasn't safe? It wasn't. Trust me on this but I still went!

But you know what? I did it anyway. There was no way I wanted to stay home and experience from someone else’s point of view. I wanted a real experience, real memories that were mine despite any problems or issues that come up regarding fear, misery, violence, bad food, or whatever they might be. I wanted to make sure that the time I spent, good or bad, were going to be unique to where I could remember them like it were yesterday, that they were so visceral, so real that I was the main character of my very own memory movie.

Scuba diving in Colombia's waters

Going deeper in the water of Colombia

I can still remember walking on the sands of the Galapagos Islands and seeing all the wildlife, going to my first professional soccer game in Argentina and the second one in Brazil where crowds were loud and proud to sing and chant about it, going scuba diving old-school style in Chile, fishing on a very difficult day in Argentina where I was the only one to get a bite where everyone else didn’t, riding horses in 3 different countries, eating guinea pig in Peru, crawling around through the mines in Bolivia imagining how miners in the past sweat and shed blood to get precious metals for the crown of Spain, eating the best meat in both Argentina and Brazil, being amazed by the grandeur waterfalls of Iguazu, riding all those buses all across South America and boring myself to sleep, getting stomach issues in Colombia and fighting through the pain while scuba diving and eventually earning my Drift Diving certification, and much more.

These were all events and experiences that happened to me, not to someone else.

Riding a boat in the Galapagos, Ecuador

That was me in the Galapagos! Just chillin' on the boat.

If I were to die tomorrow or even today, I would have no regrets because this trip let me see and do more than most people will ever do in their lifetimes or even several lifetimes. That’s what’s great about traveling and doing the unusual versus staying home and doing the boring routine. What’s funny is that a lot of people think that staying home and buying things will achieve the same kind of fleeting high feeling like traveling does. No, sorry, but trying to substitute materialistic things do not cover the same memory banks. Doing something for the very first time always leaves such a mark that it will generally stay there for life. As for me, I went out and did the unusual and I achieved something very different but very rewarding that I can recall for the rest of my life whereas I cannot say the same for something that I bought for materialistic reasons. Sure, a house or a fancy car might be interesting enough but even then, their appeal fades but the trip, the adventure of a lifetime, will continue on especially if the foundation is set which in my case it has – the marks bear deep grooves leaving long lasting impressions until my eventual death. This trip will be the layout for many good trips down the line which I expect to go on that might even exceed the greatness of this trip, but no one knows for sure until I get there. The important part was that I did it and it was all meeeeee! And not somebody else on TV or someone I read about in a book or magazine. The memories are mine and they will continue to do for life.

Laguna in Bolivia near Salar de Uyuni

At a Laguna in Bolivia while posing long enough in the cold, gutsy winds.

The overlying idea is that adventure should end even after a long trip. You cannot pin your hopes, dreams, and happiness on things when they should be goals. Even for me when my trip ended, the adventure never ends and I hope that it never, ever does because without excitement of going into the unknown, there is no fun, there is no life. Life is not finding oneself, it has always been creating yourself. I definitely feel as if I created myself to be the person that I wanted to be. The best part about all this is that I have just begun. The adventuring will continue on and on until the end of time.

Before that time comes, make sure that you have enough personal movie clips to be spliced together to make that last movie worth watching.

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