Monthly Archives: May 2013

South America Travel Diary: Personal Reflections and Conquering Challenges

Every time I come back from a long trip (okay, I’ve only done two in my life, but STILL), I’ve found solo traveling to be a great time for reflection and realizations. Each trip has had its own themes. My first trip to Southeast Asia was all about learning how to live in the moment, accept the present, and have faith that I can make things work (my motto from that trip became: “F*CK IT! Who cares!”).

South America was a very different trip for me, however. Just a year after my last trip to Southeast Asia, I found this trip to be all about becoming a more resilient person. I also learned how to be successful with whatever challenge or hardship that came my way. Traveling’s also great for gaining a better perspective on your own life at home.


Despite all the great, life-changing, and downright AMAZING times that I had during my travels throughout Peru and Bolivia, my trip to South America wasn’t easy at first. NEVER assume that you will have fun. Traveling can be  hard at times. It can get lonely, it can be overwhelming, it can be dangerous – just like anything else you experience in your own life back home. Traveling, however, at best, is all about gaining a better perspective and understanding, and being grounded – in all senses of those words.

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South America Travel Diary: The So-Called “Dangers and Annoyances”

(I got this title from the Lonely Planet books because that’s what they called this type of travel advice.)

So far, all I’ve written about are all the amazing things about certain countries in South America. This blog post, however, will be about some of the things we can do as travelers to be more mindful. There are many reasons why various social problems exist in other countries (especially those in the Global South, AKA “developing countries”), and most of the time they’re rooted in various political and economic issues on different scales (let us not forget the deep legacies of colonization or the impacts of unfair trade agreements). Most travelers have an incredible amount of cultural and economic privilege that gives them the ability to visit other countries – which often creates certain dynamics that may even be the reasons for the types of crime that may occur against us.

Of course every country, every city, and every situation is very different. Half of the time it’s about prevention and awareness, and half the time it’s just about luck.

Shopping all day in Las Brujas, La Paz

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