Archive for Reflections

9 Month Travel Summary

| by Aracely | 38 Comments » | Reflections, Travel Tips, Trip Planning

Uyini Salt Mine Poses

Jason Jumping Over a Land Cruiser

It is hard to believe it has been 270 days (9 whole months) that we have been on the road.  Nine months of moving around, nine months of living out of our backpacks, nine months of not seeing family and friends, of hostels, of street food, of meeting strangers, of making friends, nine whole months of travel.  The worst for me has been the nine months of worrying about where I last left my passport.

We have definitely traveled further, taken more pictures, and had many more adventures and mishaps since our 6 Month Summary.  This time around we would like to share a few pictures that you would normally not get to see, and with them some important lessons learned while on the road.

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Ethics Of Tourism: Mines Of Potosi Bolivia

| by Aracely | 9 Comments » | Bolivia, Reflections, South America

Potosi Bolivia

Cerro Rico, Potosi, Bolivia

When I first heard that in Potosi there are organized tours allowing visitors to see how miners work, my first reaction was “Why?  What do tourists do there, take pictures?”

At first thought, to be very honest, I was sickened that people do this.  Imagine a group of gringos who are dressed in protective clothing, rubber boots, helmets and headlamps, which by the way are all likely better than the equipment the real miners are wearing, coming into the mines to take pictures and then getting back on the bus to continue their travels.  It sounds so wrong.  And then I heard that people bring gifts for the miners, such as dynamite, cigarettes, and coca leaves.  “Is this to make the tourist feel better?”  I wondered. (more…)

Is Guatemala Safe?

| by Jason | 10 Comments » | Central America, Guatemala, Reflections

Is Panajachel safe?

Walking the Streets of Panajachel

I was asked if Guatemala is safe by another traveler while hanging out in a hostel in Argentina.  And let’s be honest, Guatemala is much less developed than Argentina, so it’s a legitimate question.  It’s not the first time we have been asked about traveling in Guatemala, although the questions did usually come up when we were in South America.  You don’t get asked such a question in Central America, mostly because all those countries are relatively the same in terms of safety and infrastructure less Costa Rica.

This is a very difficult question to answer, not because I think Guatemala is unsafe, but rather because the answer is an opinion.  When speaking about travel safety, you want to hear facts or concrete evidence to squabble your fears.  The only evidence I have is that Aracely and I traveled most of Guatemala for over a month and were never knowingly in danger.  I am not asking you to make a judgement on the safety of traveling in Guatemala based on our experience alone, however all I can share is our experience. (more…)

All Mothers Are Not Created Equal

| by Aracely | 9 Comments » | Reflections

Street Food Vendor And Child in Antigua Guatemala

This Mother’s Day is the first I’ve spent away from my mother during twenty-eight years my of life.  I miss her very much.  On a day like today, every mother should be praised for carrying a child in their womb, providing unrelenting nurturing and for the unconditional love most mothers provide.

During my travels I have seen many mothers struggling to feed and provide for their children.  However, one particular story, which I am about to share, reminded me that being a mother is so much more than giving birth to a life.

We were enjoying yet another delicious Argentinean steak and wine meal at an outside café in central Mendoza.  Suddenly, a young boy approached our table, whom I guessed to be 5 or 6 years old.  With a soft but confident voice he asked for some of my french fries.  I immediately handed him a handful of the fries from my plate.  He grabbed the fries, put them directly into his mouth and walked away. (more…)

The Impact Of Travel And Blogging

| by Aracely | 19 Comments » | Ecuador, Reflections, South America

Monuments in Paris

Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph) in Paris, France

Ever since I can remember I have absolutely loved the idea of travel.  When I was in college I pursued a study abroad program in France and I was hooked on travel for life.  I knew then that I would do much more of it in the near future and beyond.  Nothing feels more rewarding and educational to me than experiencing a new place, language, people, food and everything that comes along with it.  My passion for travel made me want to evoke wanderlust onto others.

Travel Blogger Meet Up

The last few weeks we’ve been spending time with a few other traveler bloggers just like us.  These are people who are also traveling and sharing their experiences on-line for the world to see.  By writing, taking photos and sharing videos, we are all naturally encouraging others to travel to the places we have been or places they have always dreamed of.  The point is, the message we all have for others is to get out there and travel.

During our time together we’ve been sharing travel stories, favorite and worst places visited, itineraries and opinions.  After a few days full of conversation, I began to notice a few patterns surrounding what we were all discussing. (more…)

6 Month Travel Summary

| by Aracely | 9 Comments » | Reflections, Travel Tips, Travel by Numbers, Trip Planning

Ecuador to Peru Border Crossing

On August 27, 2009 we boarded a plane to Guatemala City, Guatemala, the beginning of our year long round the world journey. As of today we have been on the road for 180 days, half our planned trip. Below is a summary of interesting statistics and experiences from our travels through Central and South America.
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Peeing On A Sailboat

| by Aracely | 12 Comments » | Central America, Reflections

Aracely on Sailboat

The flushing mechanism of our sailboat bathroom was much too complicated for our crew to manage.  First, to flush the toilet two valves need to be opened by switching them from a 90 degree angle to a 45.  Then, a third valve needed to be changed from an upright position to a downward position depending on whether you wanted to fill the toilet bowl or drain it.  Once these three handles were correctly put in place, there was a lever that needed to be pumped at a consistent pace to flush the waste out to sea.  After the bowl was empty, all the three levers needed to be returned to their original position.  If they were not, the dirty water flowed back in and filled the toilet. (more…)