Santiago, Chile – June 14th, 2015
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro
-Hunter S. Thompson
Has it really been a year? I never thought it would last this long.
The original plan was only three months. I was going to attend the World Cup, spend another two months in Brasil, then return to the United States to teach high school again.
Then, as seems to characterize the faultline events of my life, I had a very frank exchange of ideas with someone “important.” I decided that teaching wasn’t for me… at this point in my life. And suddenly my schedule after Summer 2014 was open.
After my Brasilian visa expired in September, 2014, I chose Ecuador over a return to the US. I worked there for several weeks before finding a more stable job in Chile, with a short stopover in the Colombian Amazon between the two. After the job in Chile became stale, I quickly found another in Peru.
I realized that this was sustainable. I’ve had many jobs with many adventures in between, but those are other stories and shall be told at other times.
I should probably be feeling nostalgic right now, but all I can think about is how lucky I am to be able to do all of this.
Five years ago I was sitting in Georgia, unable to leave while waiting to figure out what the “unexplained mass” in my brain was and why I was having seizures. Three years ago, I was working 50+ most weeks while taking night classes and trying to push through family problems. One year ago, I boarded a one way flight to Brasil without plans on where to live or what to do. I shouldn’t be here. Life shouldn’t be this good.
Let’s go exploring.
And now, the obligatory list:
Favorite Country: Brasil
Favorite Memory: Couchsurfing Argentina
Favorite Job: Working, living, and playing at Açai Hostel in Brasil
Worst Part About Travelling: This.
Countries Visited: 15
Countries Worked In: 8
Jobs Held: 11
Friends Made: Countless, but at least 10
Languages Learned: 1.5 (Spanish, basic Portuguese)
Public screaming matches in languages I don’t speak: 3
Money Spent: Much less than you think, slightly more than I hoped to spend
Times I’ve awoken in public with no idea where I was or what I was doing: 4
Frank Exchanges of Ideas With Airport Security/Immigration Officials: 2
Electronic devices crashed: 2
Inadvertent Drug Overdoses: 1
Bank Cards cancelled despite official travel notices set & previous correspondence with bank: 2
The article and slideshow were a brief recap of the previous year. Next Tuesday comes a more detailed photojournal of every job I held and everywhere I went during the trip.