As the sun rose, I was filled with a simple, unqualified joy. I inhaled, exhaled, and said thank you for the day, for the chance to be there, and to be alive.
It’s not much for them to live on. It seemed like a hard life to me, but I also realized that they are further away from the cycle of consumerism that defines so many of our lives. They’re always with family and spend time with each other instead of looking at screens. Maybe it just seems hard to me. When that’s all you know, why would you want anything else?
So what does it feel like to hike at 5,000 meters? Slow, mostly. We were all breathing much more heavily than normal and Andrea got hit with a big headache. At one point, Andrea even said that she felt drunk: she was processing information more slowly, felt uncoordinated (try to put foot in one place, her foot ends up somewhere slightly different), and couldn’t think straight.
We love the change, the challenge, and the variety that comes with constantly being on the move, but we do occasionally miss knowing our way around. Stumbling upon this family-run restaurant in Quito helped us feel grounded. We found comfort in their food and their company and felt truly welcomed. Sometimes what seem like the most banal, everyday moments, like having breakfast, can become some of the most powerful memories, if you’re open to it.
Before we cross a border, Andrea and I always take at least a few hours to get our bearings and plan for the next country. We do research online, but also rely on word of mouth.
We really enjoyed exploring Nicaragua and recommend it to backpackers. It’s very easy to navigate and you can see everything from colonial cities, to volcanoes, to lakes, to great beaches all within a few hours. Travel is affordable and the people are welcoming.
Since Andrea and I have started this journey wandering through Latin America, we’ve gotten used to making new friends on the road. In Nicaragua, we were lucky enough to spend time with some old friends.
After a strange 18 hours in Las Vegas, we woke up and set our sights on Zion National Park in southwestern Utah. Andrea’s stomach was a bit upset that morning […]
After a nice, prolonged morning in Sonoma/Novato, CA, we set our sights on Yosemite National Park, a name we’d each heard years ago. Unfortunately a few wrong turns and some serious […]
Most of all, we’ll miss our friends. They say Seattle has a “freeze” and that it can be hard to connect with people, but it wasn’t very true in our experience. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and hope to return in the future!