We came out of the mines grateful for fresh air, sunlight, and space to move around. I can’t say it was the most pleasant tour, but I’m extremely glad I went. It’s easy to discount stories of terrible working conditions from your couch, but meeting miners, putting on a jumpsuit, and going down to see where they work makes it much more real.
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.
There are things no one really tells you about traveling. In most blogs or travel websites you can find stories about great adventures, breathtaking scenery, language learning, making friends, getting to know new cultures, etc., but rarely does one read about the challenges that come with a nomadic life.
This is the story of two wandering nomads that made their way into the Colca Canyon, hiked for three days in the heat, made some friends, loved the scenery, but ate way too little food. After three days of hiking, our nomads found themselves happily tired, starving, and ready to hike up and out of the canyon. This is also a story of awe, natural beauty, Incan mythology, and a canyon that houses many different worlds within its cliffs.
We’ve learned that we can’t go 100% all the time. It’s important to take time now and again for a “personal admin day” when we have lots to do or a “spontaneous weekend” when we’re just plain tired.
Panama has a great mix of things to do and they’re all within easy reach of Panama City. Personally, we soaked up the sun in Bocas del Toro, got in some great hikes in Boquete, and then settled into the buzzing metropolis of Panama City for a few days.
Costa Rica is probably Central America’s most popular tourist destination, and for good reason. Although the country is quite small, it’s absolutely packed full of biodiversity, things to do, and places to visit.
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.
New Mexico was the state where I learned English, where I met some of my favorite teachers and best friends, where I discovered my love for hiking, where I lived by myself and away from home for the first time. New Mexico holds a very dear place in my heart and coming back to it felt like arriving home. I had missed it without knowing it, and realized how different my life is because of that adventure I embarked on almost a decade ago.