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Published: January 13th 2016
Mom was standing over me with a cold sober look on her face. Her sunglasses were on, so I couldn’t tell if she was angry or sad. Given the circumstances, I didn’t address it. This is how I woke up this morning. Turns out it was the latter of the two, yes she was sad. Very sad. All morning she was looking at me like it was the last she would see me. By putting me on the plane, surely she would be putting me to my grave. She really believes everyone in South America is out to get me and my possessions. I blame American news mostly. Oh well, I guess it’s just #worriedjewishmotherproblems? She asked me to text her everyday a purple heart emoji, our secret symbol of safety.
Who am I? I am a 25 year old American girl who spent the last three years working at a company that I was very good at, yet very unhappy with. It was very difficult to leave the position I was in, because the money was good, I was learning a lot and I had made many of my friends through it. I liked what I was doing too, it wasn’t all bad. I was selling Solar, which is a great product to sell if you have
to sell something. I even got to the position where I was training others to sell too. There are so many doors you can knock on before all you want to do is lie yourself down on a set of train tracks. So, this past December I quit. It was tough, but I realized that life is too short to be that miserable this young. I’ve been trying to suffocate my worry and stress about what it is I’m going to do next. Social media isn’t helping any, broadcasting images and statuses of my well-to-do successful peers. I mean, when my sister was my age she was already starting her own marketing company! I would love to have an idea of what I can do, career-wise, that makes me happy, financially content, and makes me feel I’m contributing. But does that even exist? I’m hoping this strike of wanderlust will help me figure something out. Anyway…
Today is the big first day of my two month exploration of Latin America! After a full month of planning, I have set off on a trip where I will explore Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, and Guatemala. All of this and I will be back just in time to play Maid of Honor for my sister’s wedding. I have set some ground rules for this journal. My goal for this is to be turned into a blog. However, I find that once I begin typing, I go back and edit it over and over again, deeming it unauthentic. The art of handwriting robs you of the “backspace ability.” Here’s the rule: my only job for this blog is to transfer what is written on these pages straight to the computer screen, verbatim, minus any spelling errors of course. Goals for this Journey:
- Find inspiration to ignite my creative and artistic side
- Cleanse my soul and mind by partaking in an Ayahuasca ceremony
- Video this experience to the best of my ability
- Blog/Write my heart out
- Avoid altitude sickness
- Try something new
- Keep up with my Polaroid Gratitude Project
- Lose weight in order to fit in bridesmaid dress (currently 110lbs)
- Write a list of values
- Not get robbed and/or mugged
- Not die…this one is for the parents.
My agenda for this trip is as follows: I start in Peru. I spend four days in Cusco to adjust, then upon the fifth day I start the four-day hike on the Inca Trail. Sometime in between though I will find an Ayahuasca ceremony to attend, because hey…when in Rome? After the Inca Trail, I have six days to make it down to Buenos Aires to meet Jon. My extensive research tells me that Lake Titicaca and Salar de Uyuni are the sites to see in between those two locations. I’m not too sure how exactly transportation will happen to get to these places, but that’s where the adventure comes in. After Jon and I spend some time in Buenos Aires, we will make our way up to Bahia in Salvador, Brazil for the legendary Carnival (aka the biggest party in the world) they have every year. After that, I’m leaving plans pretty open in case we are inspired to go somewhere last minute. And to end the trip, I will fly to see my best friend, Mari, in her home country of Guatemala where we will frolic and explore. Then off to my sister’s wedding.
Who is Jon you may ask? Take notes Nicolas Sparks, because here is the story: It was six years ago when I first met Jon as well as six years ago is the last time I saw him. I was a junior in college, it may have been summer or spring because it was hot out and we were all at the pool. Jon and his friend, Tristen, were backpacking the east coast of America, stopping by all the big colleges. It was a Thursday, I believe, and they were ending their trip Sunday, flying out of JFK in New York to get back home to Wales. Oh yeah, did I mention they were Welsh?
The moment Jon and I met there was that stereotypical cosmic connection that any romance cynic would roll their eyes to. We couldn’t get enough of each other. The one night they were supposed to stay in Florida turned into three, leading them to almost miss their flight home entirely. So there we were, tears in our eyes saying our goodbyes. Promising each other that this would not be the last time together.
We kept in touch for awhile after, but being separated by the Atlantic takes its toll and eventually we went on with our lives. Every so often we would reach out to say hello, but nothing more. Recently, I reached out to him thanks to good ol’ Facebook and I was telling him about this trip I was planning. Being the adventurous romantic he is, he was on board immediately and here we are!
Now my flight is boarding, the next time I write I will be in Peru!
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