It is hard to believe it has been 270 days (9 whole months) that we have been on the road. Nine months of moving around, nine months of living out of our backpacks, nine months of not seeing family and friends, of hostels, of street food, of meeting strangers, of making friends, nine whole months of travel. The worst for me has been the nine months of worrying about where I last left my passport.
We have definitely traveled further, taken more pictures, and had many more adventures and mishaps since our 6 Month Summary. This time around we would like to share a few pictures that you would normally not get to see, and with them some important lessons learned and travel tips for traveling around the world.
1. Never Pass Up Once in Lifetime Opportunities
When you are presented with a once in a life time opportunity, take it, even if you do get motion sickness. On my Nazca Lines flight I only got to see 4 out of 12 figures because I got sick on the plane, as I knew I would. It was a miserable 30min flight that I would do all over again if it were my only opportunity to see the famous Nazca Lines.
2. Always Carry Toilette Paper
Some hostels don’t provide toilet paper and neither do some public restrooms. And when you are doing your business in nature, remember to take your toilette paper back with you. You would not want to see other people’s TP flying around during your trek.
3. Art is in the Eye of the Beholder
You will find some strange and usually sexual things on some vendor market stands. We didn’t buy this, it was too big for the backpacks and Jason felt intimidated.
4. Be Flexible and Patient
Expect the unexpected, because things will go wrong. In Costa Rica our bus broke down, in Chile our rental vehicle almost got stuck in 2 feet of mud (that was really scary) and in Bolivia our jeep got a flat tire and the fuel pump broke during our Uyuni tour. We also lost out on $135USD worth of bus tickets when, after 9 months of reading military time, we understood 20:00 hours as 10pm.
5. Document Your Journey, But Don’t Risk Your Life
Capturing the great photo or video footage is part of the excitement during your travels, but be sure to take calculated risks when doing so. Jason has fallen endless times while filming during a trek, almost breaking the camera and his face. In Bolivia, it’s often considered rude to take photos of people and you might get rocks thrown at you.
6. Backpacking Isn’t Always Exercise
We initially thought that this trip would really get us into shape. In reality, it is hard to get exercise while you are on the road. Our treks are often weeks apart, creating new breaking in pains each time. And in Latin America it takes great effort to eat healthy on the cheap.
7. Always Have Fun
Be sure to leave room for fun and silliness and don’t take yourself too seriously. We meet travelers that have forbidden technology, are the authority of good music, know the solutions for developing countries, feel as though they are always getting scammed, negotiate everything and truly hate all Americans. Please, everyone, relax, have fun and enjoy life.
8. Never Under Estimate the Power of Nature
The wind in Patagonia can blow you over. Your backpack goes first and you follow. You can’t climb on ice with regular boots. Rain can create flash floods in minutes. Glacier water is naturally delicious.
9. Your Body is Different Abroad
I got an allergic reaction to ceviche while in Peru. I’ve eaten ceviche all my life and I have never reacted to it. Perhaps I ate to much of it in a short period of time or maybe there was a high concentration of pollution in it. I won’t ever know. Just be careful with what you eat and drink when you travel.
10. Be Patient With Your Partner
There will be good days and bad days. You are with them 24/7, all the time, night and day and the next morning. Okay, you get the picture. Just be sure to have fun together and share the experiences you both want to have.
And now for some more fun pictures just because we are celebrating our 9th month of travel! Read about our 6th month travel summary here.