Taking the Plunge

Well… That was probably the last post from Taiwan… for now.

Next up: South America!

South America as a continent has many of those places that have always been on our travel radar. Getting our asses to South America rates damn highly on our bucket list, so it’s actually kinda surprising that it took so long for us to get here.

One of the main excuses reasons that I gave was that it’s REALLY REALLY far away. And that means expensive airfares and very long travel time. So we figured to make the trip worthwhile, we’d need to go for a very very long stretch of time.

This little problem was solved when I quit my job and Jo decided to take an extended break from hers.

Yet, South America was not the first destination we set off for on our travels.

We told ourselves that we needed to get in the groove of travelling first. That’s why we went for a stint in China, followed by Philippines and then Taiwan with frequent visits home.

All the while, I was telling myself that South America would be next. It’s a long journey, so we really need to take our time to plan it.

Maybe we should take the time to learn a spot of Spanish, since that’s the main spoken language in South America. We could learn Spanish from an audio course while we are spending long hours on the roads!

I’m proud to say that between the (seemingly) endless bus rides and the long cruises on ferries, we now speak fluent Spanish.

Not the whole Spanish language, of course. I mean we now speak one fluent Spanish sentence, specifically:

“No entiendo ¿Habla Inglés?” (I don’t understand. Do you speak English?) (You can tell we have it down pat by the way we are able to enunciate the upside down question marks)

Number of audio tape lessons we went through to achieve this level of fluency? Zero.

Who has time to go through audio tapes when you can climb some crazy mountains, trek through pristine forests, dive in azure waters or just stone out at the amazing scenery outside the bus window???

I know now that it was just more excuses to put off this trip.

It’s strange. I know.

It’s one of those things that I know I WANT to do, but it’s been romanticized so much that I am afraid that nothing I see could measure up to what I have in my mind’s eye.

I’m afraid of being disappointed.

And then there’s the uncertainty factor. South America is not a very common travel destination among our friends, so we really don’t have too much first hand information about the place. Add to that the constant “scares” from concerned family, friends and the media about how “dangerous” South America is – definitely does not help with the anxiety factor. (at this point, I’d also like to give special blame mention to one too many viewings of City of God).

One of the first steps to resolving a problem is to acknowledge that there is one. It took us eight months of travelling to realize that we’ve been making excuses and South America cannot be put off any longer. (re: dwindling cash reserves)

There are some things you just can never be totally ready for. You’d want all the information available and all the preparations you can possibly make, but it is just not possible. There is a point where you really have to just say,”f*** it!” and go along with it. Take too long dragging your feet, and wonderful opportunities will pass you by.

So that’s how, with a song in our hearts, and a dummy “for mugging” wallet in our pockets, we bought our tickets and here we are!

We’ve been here for a month now and I’m happy to say that the song is still in our hearts. (Our mugging wallet was gone within the first week in Buenos Aires) (more on that later).

It really has been pretty AWESOME so far. We’ve seen some really incredible sights and met some of the most charming/adorable people around. Of course, there were times when we felt that maybe we could’ve planned parts of this trip better, but they are not things that we cannot get around. We are definitely out of our comfort zone, but I guess that’s what makes travelling the experience that it is.

You throw yourself in a culture/place that is foreign to you. You live. You adapt. You learn. You grow. And you have a kickass lot of fun where you are at it.

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In other news, one of our entries for Tiger Leaping Gorge “Not Easy” is currently being featured on TakeMeToTravel’s website. The blog was also spotlighted as the Featured Blog as well.

Do take some time to check out TakeMeToTravel’s website.

It’s an AWESOME resource for travelers and has some fantastic photos of various destinations around the world.

I don’t think I say this enough, but thanks for the support, everybody.

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