Whenever I tell a friend or family member of my 2013 solo travel plans to Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador (date TBD) I usually receive a range of responses along these lines:
“Colombia.. ALONE.. Are you crazy?!”
“Why would you ever want to go there?”
“I hear they have Army dudes with guns in the street there.. be careful.”
My personal favorite I heard this week from a close friend:
“In case you die you should have in writing who will take Lexie (my dog).”
The last one made me laugh initially, but then I realized that I actually have no clue who I would leave my dog with. I should probably have that in writing anyway, right?
Ever since my first two-week solo trip abroad to Europe in 2010, I’ve been plagued with Wanderlust. Growing up in a sheltered Southern Baptist family in South Alabama, I haven’t had much experience with International travel until recently. My first flight was at the age of 18, when I took my Senior Class trip to Cancun, Mexico (no judgments please?). Even that trip scared the sh*$ out of my parents, and my dad continually warned me that I’d be kidnapped and sold as a sex slave. Thanks for the support guys 🙂
The South American trip plan all started in February of this year while I was in Mexico pool-side with a close friend of mine. He owned a restaurant here in San Francisco, and after selling it, traveled around South America, Europe, and South East Asia for several months solo. I envied his courage, traveling around South America without being fluent in Spanish.
If he can do it, why can’t I? Traveling to Central and South America has been a dream of mine for years now. I’ve always loved the Latin culture, the colors, and the food. Latin American really has something for everyone: beautiful beaches, rain forests pre-Columbian ruins, and cosmopolitan cities. What’s not to like?
I’ve decided that life is too short to live in fear. South America scares me, and I’m ready to conquer my fears. Bring it!