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I get scared each time

I get scared each time I do something new.

I get scared when I change countries or take a bus for the first time in a country or when I have to communicate with people and we don’t share the same language or sometimes even when I change towns.

church in Jujuy

But once I do that new thing, once I take that first bus ride or figure out directions on my own, it as all ok again.  Until the next new adventure, of course.

hiking in the rain

So, the other day when I left Mike and Beth and took a 21 hour bus ride north to Jujuy, I was really nervous.  This was my first solo experience in Argentina.  My first solo bus trip.  My first foray into Spanish.  I had been hiding behind Beth big time, on the Spanish front — having her do all my communicating!  But now, it was all up to me….

It is the little things – the little steps that feel like big accomplishments.  For instance, I had to make a transfer on my bus to get here (Jujuy).  I was not sure of what the bus guy said (they speak so damn fast) and so I asked my bus neighbor.  I found out I had to transfer buses at that moment.

Another accomplishment:  I took the public bus to Lagunas de Yala — these three lakes that I hiked up to.  I found the bus, took the bus, asked for directions and caught the bus back.  All by myself.

one of the three lakes

I have gotten food in the market, ordered coffee and translated a whole newspaper article (that took me a long time and had to look up a lot of the words!).

main building of the plaza in jujuy

These might not sound like a big deal, but with each success I feel more comfortable and confident.  Sometimes traveling by myself, I spend a lot of time by myself and in my own head (especially with the language barrier).  It is hard to not psyche myself out sometimes.

So — now I am feeling like I can make it on my own again (of course I knew that I could but….  like I said, sometimes I get scared….).

Tomorrow, I head north to Tilcara which is on the way to Bolivia.  It is suppose to be a beautiful area that is just an hour and a halj north of here.  I am not sure how long I will stay there, though I imagine that I will make my way into Bolivia around the first of the month.  And I am sure that I will get scared once again.  But until then, I think I am ready to tackle the challenges in front of me.

the view from lagunas de yala

Oh, and did I mention that I am here during rainy season?

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mary Lou Reid #

    I’m so curious as to how you will be learning Spanish. After I left SRS, i began my quest to learn Spanish. Now three semesters into it at Greenfield Community College, I have the opportunity to study for a month in Ecuador in November. I’ll be so interested in your experience. Let me plan to buy you dinner when you get back and have a l-e-i-s-u-r-e-l-y time.

    February 23, 2012
    • Sounds great Mary Lou — I will take you up on that! 🙂 and you should definitely go to Ecuador! what a great place….

      February 23, 2012
  2. I travel to Bolivia about 3 times a year and it is a lot safer than Mexico or Brazil for example. If you take the precautions described above, you should be fine.

    The problem with demonstrations is less the violence than the fact that they can lead to road blocks. If you are on a tight schedule and are traveling by land these “bloqueos” can lead to 1-3 days delay. That can be a problem. Things are a little tense right now because of the row over the new constitution,

    I would be aware of the situation in Cochabama and Santa Cruz if you are going to either of these locations because these are the places where protests could end in violence–the rest of the country should be fine. The major tourist sites (madidi, Tihuanaco, potosi and the salares de uyni) should be all right. Bolivia now requires a visa from American citizens that complicates entry and that will cost you about $100.

    Found this online in case you were not aware of the visa fee. I didn’t know you went to Ecuador already. I was there 2 years ago and loved it. Can’t beat the food prices.

    February 23, 2012
  3. Please por favor take care cuidate . It is great that you are sharing your experience. One that you will never forget. Argentina the land of Ernestor Che Guevara. , the land tof the gauchos, the land of the steakes, Bolivia land of Maria Menchu . People that made history just like you are doing.

    February 23, 2012
  4. If you can go to Ecuador ,the galapagos,

    February 23, 2012
  5. Kenn Kushner #

    Ah, the rainy season. You sure are making the most out of your year in climate changes. If you do end up in the Galapagos you will make it back to summer again (an excellent idea). Via con Dios my dear!

    February 23, 2012
  6. Kim #

    You are brave!!! Many people would let the fear stop them, but you fight through it and you are rewarded with these amazing experiences. Such an inspiration 🙂

    February 26, 2012

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