It has almost been 4 years exactly since my husband and I took an excursion to South America. I find myself dreaming of another faraway adventure. I think this wanderlust is just apart of me. We aren’t able to head overseas right now so I am going to relive our South America travels. We had been dreaming of this trip since we were first married. Almost 4 years after we were wed (his medical education got in the way), we set out on our adventure. On March 31, 2011 we boarded our plane for a 10 hour flight from Houston to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We visited Argentina, Chile, and Peru during our 6 week holiday.
The whole trip we stayed in hostels and ate cheaply. We traveled across 3 counties all by bus. It was simply amazing. I am so thankful we got to do a trip like this before we had children. I did see several families (mainly from Europe) traveling with small kids. That was encouraging because I do want to travel with my boys. I want them to see other cultures, other nations, and other ways people live.
Our first destination was Buenos Aires, Argentina. BA for short. It was beautiful. We stayed in a neighborhood called San Telmo. Back in the 1870’s it was were the elite lived, but after an epidemic the upper classed moved north and left San Telmo to the immigrants and lower class. It was charming. The buildings were beautiful with so much detailed work. There were a lot of cobble stone streets that gave it an old feel. We witnessed couples dancing the tango (BA is the home of that sexy dance). It was enchanting. We ate amazing food. We woke up late (11am) and stayed up late. Dinner was around 11pm most nights. Actually our first night there, we showed up at a restaurant at 8 and almost no one was there. That was a little confusing because it was a place that had a great reputation. By the time we were ending our meal, people started showing up. We were just a few hours early. We survived the subte (subway). I actually caught a man stealing from me. Stephen scared him off the train! I was so mad i could have slapped him but thankfully he didn’t grab anything. Besides that guy, the people we encountered were sweet and beautiful and always wanting to help. We would use our broken spanish and they would try and speak english. It was fun and challenging. My husband’s spanish was much better than mine. I did however fit in better. Several people stopped to ask me for directions! I think he was just too tall to look the part of an Argentinian.
The following is a portion of an email I sent to friends and family about one of my favorite South American adventures.
One experience in particular was unforgettable. It was a local futbol match. We watched La Boca Junior´s play El Estudiantes. The game was in La Boca (a blue color neighborhood) which we arrived via bus filled with people from hostels. We were escorted in by some locals who drove the bus and told us where to go. We sat in the south end behind one of the goals. We were packed in like a can of sardines. During the match, I actually had to work on holding my own ground. The stands put any crowd in the US to shame (granted I’ve never been to an NFL game). The fans didn’t stop singing/cussing/yelling the whole time. When we scored I was pushed down two rows… not a scary thing just crazy and funny. Stephen was embraced by all the locals when we scored and i think they didn’t know if they could hug me so they just gave me enthusiastic high fives. ha. we won (La Boca… yes we rooted for the home team bc we´re not idiots) in the last minute of the game. It was the perfect ending of the game. We learned one of the songs and tried not to look completely like fish out of water, but i´m afraid that was unavoidable.
The above picture is from our last day in BA. It was a glorious afternoon spent at a Sunday market. This sandwich was delicious and cheap.
I thought maybe writing about our travel experiences would quench my thirst for travel, or at least help a little. But I think it is doing the opposite. I am however so thankful for the trips we have taken and where we are in life. I love Ann Voskamp’s words on joy and gratefulness. “Being joyful isn’t what makes you grateful. Being grateful is what makes you joyful.” As I continue to write about our travel experiences, I will keep those words in mind so that I do not take for granted this life I have been given.