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