I’m sitting on a rooftop in Quito wondering what the hell I want to do in this place.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been on what some call the gringo trail – hopping around somewhat touristy areas in Ecuador with other North Americans and Europeans and doing what one would do in South America.
Such as this:
But, now it’s time to wander off that trail and do my own thing for a little bit.
Tomorrow, I will start my work stay on an organic farm in the countryside. Here I will spend my time working (obviously), learning Spanish, and attempting to integrate myself into this culture.
And here’s what I have to say to everyone about this. It’s not going to be easy.
Before I left, most people made these statements:
- Don’t get raped, please.
- Ugh, I wish I could travel too. You’re so lucky.
- How do you have the money for that?
Those are the most common reactions I got, and let me tell you, it was a little disheartening. What very few realize that when you travel you are forcing yourself into a different culture, a different language, and a whole new world of surroundings. What people also don’t realize is I don’t have much money. At all. Traveling is about intense budgeting – more than I’ve ever had to do before. Just to get by day-to-day as well as continue to think about my bills from home (to hell with you, student loans).
And in the midst of all of this, I will be by myself. Sure, I will meet plenty of people, but those people will know nothing about my past or who I am as a person. Everything about my life is going to change entirely.
It’s not a vacation. It’s work, it’s school, it’s a learning environment in a whole new way. And yes, at points it will be really fucking fun too.
Why am I writing this? Because I want to be selfish this one time and let you all know what’s up. From here on out, I plan to challenge myself to do something new and out of my comfort zone each week in my travels. I also plan to create at least one photograph or work that I consider thoughtful/artful/kinda neat each week which I hope to share with you in this blog.
So there you have it folks. My introductory post for this new segway in my life – South America.