Published: June 28th 2007June 28th 2007
So I have arrived home in one piece, I apollogize for the last blog I was just rampantly writing to get it all out.
I flew out of Buenos Aires :( at 8:30pm. I was questioned until I was blue in the face about my connection when I got to Seattle. Turns out you have to have proof you are leaving the US once you arrive. They also thought that my passport was fake.... seriously? Thankfully I had my BC ID with me. Ridiculous. I went through customs and got to my boarding area, only to have my stuff checked through again. Some would call the Argentinians thorough I would call overly paranoid.
I boarded the plane and met a guy from Denmark, he was reading a book about Rum so I mentioned the gem book that I was reading "Cocaine - an authorized biography" amazing book, I referenced so much from that book. Anyways, it turns out that he did his BA on the "War on Drugs" ... really cool. He did research in Bolivia and met a girl there, now he is trying to get her to Denmark.. our romance in South America. We chatted for a bit and he owns a resturant/bar and I was getting the low down, on the place and how to open wone (it's a dream of mine). The best part is that is a spot for celebrities to go to get away.... JT and Nelly Furtado were planninga party there, but the agents thought it wasn't well known enough. Anyways, he gave me his business card, so if I am ever in Denmark you know where I will be hob-nobbing.
I managed to sleep a bit, my nose stud caught on the blanket and came out, when I tried to put it back in the hole on the inside had closed so I had to make a new one. Surprisingly, it hurt more than getting it done the first time, I almost threw up from the pain. Not cool.
We arrived in Atlanta, and I got to hang out there (only after watching Borat the night before did I realize that Atlanta was on the east coast and in Georgia, I guess Atlanta just doesn't seem like a typical name for a Southern state capital). I had to go through US Customs again, get my passport stamped, get all my stuff checked, I even ahd to take my shoes off. They took my honey from BA away, I was sad :(
I survived only mildly steaming from the ridiculousness of US Customs.
I had about an hour and a half in Atlanta I called my mom, and woke her up at 4 am. Killed some time on the phone. Then plugged into the Ipod and waited.
Onto the plane destined for Seattle, for the first time I was asked to change seats by some guy that wanted to sit RIGHT beside his wife not across the aisle. To bad his spot sucked and was in the middle. I put on a scared face and said "I feel better by the window" it's true though, I much calmer on a plane by the window, plus I sleep well there. 4 hours, a few cat naps, and some snacks we arrived in Seattle.
Everyone thought it wasso bizzare to see a girl trekking around with a backpack as big as her, weighing 3 times as her and other bags. I just thought I was doing my thing, the reality doesn't hit you until you pick up your bag and slug it on your back and then walk around a bit. I thought there was a dead body it was heavy... but I managed to walk in all the wrong places for about 20 minutes with all my gear, and then... I found the coach bus desk to by a ticket to Langley... whew that took a while. Then I tried to change my Argentinian pesos but they don't take pesos from Argentina, it turns out they still don't trust their economy after the collapse 6 years later... too bad. I would have got 4 dollars back...whoooeee. :P
So I killed some time with the Economist and then finally headed out to the bus to cross the border. 3 hours later I was sitting in the car with mom and sister. I was really back, how weird is that. We went for sushi....so good. I was so happy for sushi. ( oh I have the tango cd I bought playing.. to really maintain that South American feel, despite it being from Argentina).
So my reflections.............................
-Well I have a new appriciation for buses and lengthy ones at that.
-I will pack much less and bring more money (although I managed quite well this time).
-People are going to have to live with postcards as their gifts on my next trip, it's too stressful worring about all the gifts squishing and getting wrecked or stolen, and having to lug them all around.
-Vitamins are key when travelling.
-Don't drink when you have altitude sickness (if you know you have the symptoms, and if you don't know but you have had a rapid ascent and not enough time to acclimatize don't drink)
-I really love Ecuador
- Volunteering in another country you should try once, it is an amazing experience. My volunteer work is much different from the work I do in Canada. But I have a greater appriciation for projects that are asking for support related to the rainforest and even related to kids in developing countires. I have a more intimate relationship with these projects and I want to contribute and support these projects.
-Also, ALWAYS go through the foundation/organization itself, if you go through a company that will set you up with a project they will rip you off, and all the proceeds or even a 50/50 split will not always go to them. More like a 40/60 split, and you'll pay out of nose.
- If you have a tattoo design they are really cheap to get done in Argentina, just check out the place first. I saw some decent ones I just didn't have the perfect deisgn...it was like 160 pesos. Ridiculously cheap.
-Travelling alone is not that scary, and I suppose it takes a bit of "bravery" but the way I look at it, if you want something you haev to go after it. I wanted this trip and I went after it. I met so many people on the way that I wasn't neccessary to have someone with me.
You can meet people that you can tag along with and the main point of the trip is the same for you that the minor things you may disagree on are where to eat.
-Pirated videos are rampant in South America and they work.
-Quito is a fabulous place to visit, it is also a good grounding point where you can then branch from. If you go, stay at the Secret Garden.
-Travelling is an alternate reality, there are so many things that you don't have to worry about and you make such a different home for yourself than the one you are used too.
-I think there should be more cafes where you can sit outside and drink espressos or cappucinos in leisurely way, more independent ones.
-To compliment that more independent bookstores...with books from all over the world that have been translated from authors of different countries, that may not be on the New York Best Sellers list.
-I really got used to travelling around, and it really did become my home for a bit there. If I did it differently I would have gone for longer.
-Despite the debt I'll be in it is worth every bit of it, no regrets.
VISIT SOUTH AMERICA