I consider myself a quiet character; some travellers and friends might think otherwise, but in general, I'm a man of few words. Since my beer exploits in New Zealand, I haven't had too much to say. Why? No idea. I've taken in a lot and fed my brain the intricate delights of new environments. I do love to write, but I also love being lazy!
Chile was good, but not great. A grander New Zealand at times, but also very different. A beautiful country with outstanding beer and wine - rich and poor at the same time, interesting and yet frustrating. This is the essence of travel, however, and Argentina has given me a new buzz. In the one week that I've been here, I already feel more at home than previously this year. The hostel owners have been super-friendly, welcoming us with open arms and infiltrating a warm atmosphere. The shop owners, while speaking English, have let us struggle with Spanish conversation. People in the street quickly identify us as "gringos", but go out of their way to help us. And that's how I like it!
In New Zealand and Chile, it was sometimes hard as a couple in the hostel setting. Lots of people may disagree, but when I was single, I don't remember meeting quality people being that difficult. Part of it is obvious; you are forced to engage more often if you don't want to spend your days writing witty quotes and laughing to yourself. You share dorm rooms, which turns simple bedfellows into potential best buddies. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss those days. I had plenty of time doing the work/travel thing and while it was outrageous fun sometimes, it was a time for my 20s.
I'm turning 35 later this year. That's not old, but it's old enough for rough-housing in hostels. I'm still a man of simple pleasures - beer, food, sport (if possible) and a comfy bed usually suffice. I've encountered some despicable people and their behaviour boggles the mind at times. I'd love to smack every single one of them in the back of the head, Homer to Lenny style. But I'm a lover and not a fighter, so you've just got to keep on truckin'.
We've just left Patagonia and the Argentine part was especially wonderful. The weather has played a major part in that, but the people we've met (locals and travellers alike) have ensured a great time. I feel refreshed. I love nature and trekking is great, even if my knees and feet protested vigorously. But I'm really looking forward to seeing the cities and towns further north because everything just feels easier here. Time moves fast so you must enjoy every experience and savour the memorable ones.
Have you ever visited a new place and felt immediately invigorated?