Don’t get me wrong. I understand how that can sound ridiculous to many people. Like, “so what! You’re still traveling!” And that is very true. But the last few days have been slightly daunting. For about the very first time I am truly traveling alone. When I’ve traveled alone in the past I was always, for the most part, meeting up a friend along the way or traveling with a friend. It is a huge adjustment to travel completely alone. And not speaking Spanish. Today I arrived in Bogota from Guatapé. To paint a picture I have had freezing cold showers the past two nights and no shower in the last 24 hours. Yesterday I traveled from Guatapé on a 2 hour bus back to Medellín and sat at the bus station for 2 hours waiting for my overnight bus to Bogota that is 11hrs. I arrive in Bogota at 7:30am. I wake up on the bus and everyone is scurrying off, so grab my backpack and literally just stand in the street trying to figure out where exactly I am in Bogota and how I am getting to my hostel. Speaking no Spanish and no one speaking English I kept getting pointed to another bus stop on the side of the road. To attempt at painting a picture of what I am looking for, it is these huge busses that are completely packed with people (sometimes hanging off the side) zipping by and I am supposed to flag the correct one down, quickly jump on and pay in pesos. Which by the way are in the millions. So when the bus driver is yelling how much I owe him, in Spanish, in millions, I usually just look like a dear in headlights. This really sweet local girl helped me and flagged the bus down and I hopped on for another hour ride to the part of town I am staying in. I am the last person on the bus and the driver as polite as possible tells me to “vamos”. So I grab my bag and again stand in the street trying to figure out how to get to my hostel. I’m carrying my 35-40lb backpack with me everywhere I go I might add. I type in my maps the hostel and walk uphill a little over half a mile. As I am walking there is this homeless guy who clearly is on drugs holding a blade standing in the middle of the street yelling and sliding his blade on the concrete… and I need to go that direction. I wait until I see another man cross so I can cross with him. At the same time the police come and take care of the situation. As I keep walking there are 5 men pinned against the wall as more police officers are patting them down. I promise you I do not feel unsafe. Mostly because it is daylight but I do feel slightly overwhelmed and just want to get to the hostel. I finally arrive to the hostel but my dorm room won’t be ready until 2:00 and it is now 8:45am so I need to kill some time. I am dying for a shower but can’t until I get to my room so I walk around town. The woman at the front are anything but pleasant or helpful so I just google things to do and start walking.
As I am walking I’m already feeling totally drained. I am exhausted. Yesterday was Mother’s Day and everyone spent time with their families and I really missed that. I am really missing home. I am really missing my friends. And for the first time in a while I just feel totally lonely. It’s raining and 60 degrees and I am no where packed correctly for this weather. I turn my data on my cell phone so I could post some snapchats I took after my walk around town and get a call from my storage unit company back at home telling me my unit has been vandalized and broken into. *que the tears* I walk behind these trees in the park I am at and have a small pity party. No more than 3 minutes… I do not know what has been taken, if anything at all or what this means going forward.
I’m sure many of you probably are reading this saying, “cheer up! You’re still doing the coolest thing ever!” And I so agree. Don’t get me wrong. But I think it’s important that I don’t just write about all the cool shit I do but also some of the more challenging times. I also think it’s another great opportunity to highlight that before I left the states the almost 80% of people told me how awful Central and South America is. “It’s so dangerous. You will be robbed.” And so forth… that has not been the case. EXCEPT for back at home in Houston with my storage unit. Bad things happen everywhere. And fortunately I have not ran into anything like that during my travels. I tend to think that more “bad” things are happening in America than anywhere I have been.
I chose to travel accepting that bad things can happen. There will be tiring days. There will be days I feel challenged on why I am doing this. And for the other 95% of the time, it has been the best damn thing I have ever done!
This baby bump in the road isn’t anything that can’t be solved with food, hot shower and wine.