Having been able to reflect on my trip, I’ve discovered some learnings. Some of them are useful for other travellers, whereas others … are probably not. But, here they are anyway!
1. Always trust a man in a funny hat with a fanny pack. He will (probably) return your passport to you.
2. Napkins are very small. So are the people.
3. All over the world, older people all have one thing in common- they like yelling into cell phones.
4. Whenever you can, buy water.
5. Whenever you can, use the bathroom. You never know when you will have to Inca-loo in the Bolivian rock formations ….
6. Sometimes closing your eyes is better than watching your bus drive through Peru. This means you’ll probably sleep for 24 hours straight.
7. It’s likely that you will hit your head at least 5 times per day. Especially on small boats in the Galapagos, or on all the bunk beds, anywhere.
8. The amazon river begins in the Chila range mountains, near Arequipa, Peru.
9. Cactus fruit is amazing. Eat it.
10. 20% alpacas live in Peru. Their meat is low in cholesterol and their bones are used for musical instruments! Ole!
11. Car alarms sound the same, all across the world.
12. Everything can be fixed and reused, and pay phones still exist.
13. Always barter. It might be $2, but that’s 1/4 of the way to a night’s stay. So.
13. You will meet hippies who say the tap water is safe to drink. Uh, don’t.
14. You will leave the jungle with at least 100 bug bites. Enjoy that.
15. South America is a beautiful, welcoming, and lovely place. Plan your trip now, and relive your stories for the rest of your life.