Yeah no I haven’t been traveling anywhere near Argentina, but I wish I am.
A lot of people dream of going around Europe, falling in love in Paris, eating their hearts out in Rome, shopping like crazy in Milan and all the other usual Europe stuff. That seems nice and sweet, but not really for me. Never cared for that kind of traveling. A lot of people also want to go to the States and do God knows what. I really have no idea what you would do as a traveler in the US.
I’m not saying those places are boring and that I’m judging the people who prefer those places, but what I’m saying is that those places aren’t really for me. They’re nice and worth a look, but they don’t have a hold on me like South America does.
I have no idea when it started, really. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the only place my father never really tried to explore, so I wasn’t exposed to it. I’m more attracted to a place no one talks about, is that so hipster of me? I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, something about Peru. It looked so different from everywhere else I’ve been. I don’t even know any place that looked like it. I didn’t pursue it then, though. I just thought it was beautiful, more beautiful than any other place I’ve seen or been to.
When I was in high school, I already wanted to go there. I would see South America in our world map, and I would trace where I would start my journey and think of where I would end it. Puerto Rico (even though it was in Central America) sounded like a good place to start, and then I would end my trip in Argentina, near the ice caps. Even then I saw myself doing this alone. I would ask around my friends then if they wanted to see South America, and most of them said no, that they were scared, what if they were kidnapped and all those other concerns. I found it funny that those thoughts never even crossed my mind when we were already studying the history of the countries in SA, how even now the crime rate in Venezuela and Brazil are the highest in the world (something like 11 homicides per night?). I just did not care.
Then I finally had access to travel shows, and they made my longing worse. I wanted to be there right away, I wanted to join the crowds dancing during a carnivale, I wanted to eat things I cannot pronounce, I want to be mistaken as one of their own (it happens here a lot!!), I want to get sucked into their culture, I just wanted to be part of everything they had to offer.
The longing became like a sickness, and it drove me everyday. Sometimes I would get tired of school, and then think “if you don’t finish this, how would you get enough money to go to South America? How would you enjoy yourself?” and then I would work again. It became some sort of purpose, it became my endgame. I learned how to save money so I could afford trips, I learned certain skills so I could survive (language, research, I’m very adept when it comes to plants and animals because of the Amazon).
The only question that remains is: When? I had nothing stopping me, I asked permission from my parents, I know everything I need to do to get there. The answer came in the form of the only sporting event that ever mattered to me: FIFA 2014. It will be held in Brazil, and although my plan was to start somewhere else, I can’t deny that going to Brazil first would make things easier. I know what to do now. I just need to save up enough money to accomplish everything I need and want to do, and I’m ready to go in 2014. 3 months at the least, probably.
Why am I talking about this? I don’t know, I guess I just want people to understand how I really feel about traveling. I may say that I’m okay to go anywhere in the world but to me, there is a place that would surpass every place I’ve ever been to. In the end, all the other places don’t matter, just this.
Having this obsession ( I admit I do get crazy about this) helped me a lot. It made me focus, it made me work hard. I don’t ever question what I’m doing with my life, or where does it all lead to in the end. I know where I want to go, I know what I want to do. When I get there, what will happen, you may ask? I don’t know exactly, but I think that’s the best part. I’ll let the places do their magic, and when I go home, I know in my heart that I will work harder so I can go back and never forget.
Am I alone in this? I hope not. We may not have the same place in mind, but maybe you guys feel the same way about Europe? Or anywhere else in the world, really.