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It’s hard to explain my 2 year experience of backpacking across Latin America in a paragraph, but there are life changing moments that really stand out. I started backpacking because I wanted to expand my knowledge of the world. I have always been a more visual, than auditory, learner and realized, for me, actually being there and experiencing, hands on, was the best way to I was going to learn. I knew being alone, not having much money, not knowing anyone, not having a place and not speaking the language would put me out of my comfort zone, thus forcing me to change to become a more open-minded, worldly person. At first I was interested in all the beautiful landscapes and nature of Latin America but as I started traveling, the landscapes become less significant as I got to know the locals. After all, if you are traveling alone and not sharing experiences, the value is minimal. As I put myself “out there”, I began meeting locals and seeing the beauty of the simplicity, generosity, and pureness of these people. I befriended the homeless, the indigenous, children, elders gangs, prostitutes, and whoever else I came across throughout Latin America. I immediately became captivated by their life experiences, having never encountered people like them before. I found everyone had a unique story. Before starting my trip I had been exposed to crime rates and was constantly told that I would be at risk of being robbed. I have to admit that, if anyone would be easy to rob it would be me because I am naïve by nature. Although verbal language seemed to put up a wall between me and the strangers, that wall soon broke down after laughing due to the fact that we could not understand each other. I soon figured out that it wasn’t necessarily verbal communication that brought people together, but simply being interested enough to get to know others, and taking the time to build a friendship. These “strangers” are the reason that I made it through nearly a dozen countries across the continent. My journey continued through the Shuar indigenous regions of the Amazon forest, across the Mayan communities, and all the way to the Quechan people in Peru. I came to realize we live in a world full of good people. This was almost exactly the opposite of what I was used to in North American society, where the news is filled with horrific crimes, and violence. That is not to say that all my experiences were positive. I did get robbed. The robbery was publicized through media but what many people don’t know is what followed the event. When I was robbed and left with nothing, I was saved by a couple that owned a small shop. This couple then decided to give me a hand by offering food, money, and comfort. Little did I know this same couple would spend the next full year taking care of me as if I was one of their own children. I would say that of every 100 people I came across, 98 of them had good intentions. Where are the stories of the kind and generous people? Where are the stories of people who make the world a better place by living good and simple lives? Where are the stories of people who willingly take in stranger who has come upon hard times in a strange land? These are the stories I seek in the world, and feel we all need to go out and find our own stories for ourselves.
Some of the most valuable lesson I learned in life is that money doesn't bring you richness, rather things you can't buy with money.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
Met some awesome people through this!
Learning new languages! trying new food, outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, backpacking. Also enjoy relaxing by the beach and reading a book.
- outdoor activities
Music, Movies, and Books
I like all music, really depends on the day and what I am doing.
Movies:Superbad, Harold and Kumar go to white castle, Hangover, Coach carter, Marley and me, scary movie, 2012, Lord of rings, step brothers, 8 mile, transformers, yes man, i love you man, click , American pie, euro trip, accepted, the grudge, dead end, road trip, 50 first dates, happy gillmore
Teach, Learn, Share
If there is one thing I could tell the world is that every individual is unique in their own way. We really can't understand fully of each other because we didn't live their life but we can hear their story and try to understand who they are and where they come from.
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain
Countries I’ve Lived In
Argentina, South Korea, Spain, United States