Sometimes in life you don’t know what you are capable of until you actually do it or you see someone else do it. That is how we ended up in South America. We had numerous friends who had been to South America (and been for a long time) that convinced us we could complete and enjoy a long holiday on the continent.
Our inspiration has grown since we’ve been in South America. So many people that we meet have an interesting story. So many people have done things we have not and have experiences to share. Our journey through South America has been enhanced by these people who have inspired us:
Jose Miguel: Our guide from our Amazon trip, Jose Miguel was full of energy and knowledge. He also had a wonderful story of how he had turned his life around to focus on what he was passionate about: preservation of the Amazon.
James and Briony: We met a couple of Aussies while traveling. They turned out to be doing a similar sabbatical to us. James and Briony are doctors who were backpacking and trekking their way across South America. We shared stories and goals, usually over a couple beers.
Nestor: Nestor was our guide throughout our trek into Colca Canyon. Nestor had been formally educated in the larger city, but he had returned to lead tourists into his native part of Peru with a point towards assisting the people who live there. He was in amazing physical shape, and he could run in and out of Colca Canyon in an hour and 45 minutes. Us tourists took over three hours just to get in it.
Petero: We rented a small cottage while on Easter Island. Petero was a ball of energy and positivity. He was the owner of our cottage. He was one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and his view on life made us feel miles from home.
Andrea Connelly: We met Andrea immediately after she had been robbed. The poor girl had had a shocking day. We were impressed with how she pulled it together and recovered from the traumatic ordeal. More importantly, Andrea had been living outside the USA and traveling for 19 months straight. She would work remotely to earn money and that allowed her to live abroad. She had lived in amazing places all over Europe, and she was currently touring South America. Andrea demonstrated what was possible by ‘living abroad’ and how to overcome adversity.
Nils and Ilona: Another couple who turned out to be very close friends, Nils and Ilona were traveling and eating their way through South America, much the way we were. They were very practical; saving money and planning their travels well. They had completed the Trans-Siberian Railway and had nothing but encouraging things to say about it. We shared many of the same views on life with Nils and Ilona. We found ourselves intrigued by their travels and wanting more.
Bob Fetterman: We rented an apartment in Rio de Janeiro from Bob. Bob was a nice guy who had moved to Rio and was loving the place. He had a positive attitude toward life and Rio. He seemed to be living his dream and enjoying the wonders of a new and different city. Bob dismissed many of the fears we had about safety in Rio. He was proof that life can be what you want it to be.
We could go on and on about the people who have touched our lives throughout our travels. We’ve had to focus on the highlights to keep this blog post reasonable sized. Many people have our thanks for their support and assistance during our travels. We were touched by many.