I am very aware of how fortunate I am to be able to say this: nothing awful has really happened to me while I’ve been here in Latin America. The worst thing I can report is that I had my beat up iPod and about 70 USD in Argentine pesos taken out of my backpack in Sao Paulo but that’s the worst thing I can think of right now. I have been very, very lucky; and I know it. Or perhaps the “bad” things that have happened to me never turned out to be that horrible.
Like the time my best friend, Vivian, and I were almost stranded on Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. We had entirely underestimated how long trekking the whole island would take and were also lied to by the people who were stationed at the checkpoints of the trek: 3 hours? Yea, right. It took us 4.5 hours and I promise, we are by no means slow walkers. Anyway, the thing that was looming over our heads the entire time was that the last boat left the island at 4.30pm. We started at 12pm, thinking that even if it took us 3.5 hours, we’ve have some buffer time. We did not. We were running to catch that boat and literally jumped on as it was leaving the dock, it was just like in those movies except this was our reality and that made it so much worse. Another thing that proved the movies are a lie is that we definitely weren’t camera-ready when we got on the boat – we were sweaty, dizzy, and sore. While we were running across that island, we were swearing our heads off and complaining to the high heavens about how much we hate nature but now in retrospect, it wasn’t really that bad. Yes, it was stressful and yes, I would like very much to never do it again, but we got on that boat, we weren’t stranded on an island, and everything was okay in the end.
Or the other time we were in Florianopolis, Brazil over Carnival and missed a Steve Aoki concert because the roads were all jammed up and we couldn’t make it into the city centre to pick up the tickets we had bought earlier. Even reading that back now, I realise how much that really wasn’t a big deal.
There was one time I took a bus in the wrong direction and ended up in a really shady part of Buenos Aires. But then I got off and took the bus back in the right direction.
Or that time we wanted to go ice-trekking on Perito Moreno glacier but it was fully booked. But that was pretty okay too, we ended up having a lovely time anyway.
There was one time we almost missed our flight to Uyuni from La Paz but then we made it because we didn’t have to check in our bags.
This post isn’t going the way it’s supposed to be going, I’m well aware. I’ve just been very, very, very lucky and I don’t take that for granted. I still travel everywhere with a healthy dose of fear and caution and I’m not a particularly religious person but some travel god must be looking out for me or something and I thank whoever that may be.