No, it’s not that kind of article. I am not going to bombard you with a ton of gift ideas to buy for loved ones (although a good DSLR camera from Santa would be nice…). Instead I want to talk about the gifts that this amazing travel experience has given back to me. With the holidays upon us I thought it was important to reflect back on this incredible year. I hope to inspire you to follow your dreams and do the things you really want to do whatever they may be.
Discovering My Roots
It’s a really beautiful thing to be able to travel around South America and explore your own continent. As many know I was born in Brazil but grew up in the States. I had been back to Brazil a few times but only knew the other countries through what I had seen on television or read in books. Traveling around Latin America has really tested my perception of cultures and opened my eyes to the splendors it has to offer.
Often times there are certain stigmas associated with a country or a culture and traveling shatters all of these ideas. You become aware that the world isn’t this big scary place and that most people are actually helpful, friendly and proud that you have chosen to visit their country.
Also, South America is freaking gorgeous! From the beaches and coffee region of Colombia, the unspoiled beauty of the Galapagos in Ecuador, the stunning sight of Machu Picchu in Peru, the gorgeous scenery of Uyuni in Bolivia, the astonishing Atacama Desert in Chile, to the postcard-perfect views of Patagonia, the continent offers it all. Intertwined in all this is the majestic cordillera and the kind-hearted and hardworking people who make South America a great place to visit.
Unleashing My Creativity
Traveling and taking some time off from the routine has given me the great opportunity to get to know myself a bit more. Giving myself time has permitted me to become more creative in my everyday life and allowed me the opportunity to do the things I truly love. It allows me to be child-like at times while exploring and to me that is a lovely gift.
Roaming is Possible
Traveling has opened my mind up to the idea that I could roam indefinitely. We were not meant to be static beings sitting in an office from 9-5 in the hopes of one day retiring with a ton of money so that you could do all of the things you should/could have done in some of the most active and healthy years of your life. It has taken me a long time to come around to this idea, as I have always been a planner and saver. However, traveling has made me unafraid of living or working in a different place and has made it easier for me to embrace change.