The problem with the travel bug is: once you get it the itch doesn’t go away, the more you travel the worse the itch to travel gets. The further you go, you learn about more places that you just need to explore. Now that we’ve been in Chile and Argentina, I feel that Patagonia is calling to me. The only problems with Patagonia are: it’s crazy expensive, and far, it’s very far. If you look at a world map you think, yep, Patagonia is a ways down there, but once you start looking at hours on a bus, it’s absolutely ridiculously far.
We have come to a point in our trip where we need to make a decision. We had planned for our trip to be about 6 months. We guestimated that this would be when the money would run out. (And finally I was right about something!) So now we’re low on funds, but 4 of us are having the time of our lives and don’t want to stop exploring. We have been thinking hard since I first arrived in Santiago in January to formulate our next plan. We went to Mendoza to think and work, and then we found this housesit which bought us some extra time to ponder our options further.
We had it narrowed down to two options, continue on south to Patagonia where we would stay stationary for 6 months or so while getting our business off the ground, or go back to the States and get full time jobs and put the kids in school. You can guess which answer Israel and I were leaning towards. But. . . Patagonia not only is on the other side of the planet from the U.S., but it’s incredibly expensive. So, while it’s a great location to be in for a nuclear holocaust; if we really do get into money trouble, or if a loved one were to get sick, it’s very challenging and costly to get back home.
To add another element into the equation, the owner of the website that I have been writing for recently came to me with a proposition. He is going to live in Europe for a year or more, so won’t be able to run South American Outdoors from there. He offered to have me run the business for a year and is giving me the freedom to take the website in any direction I choose. This opportunity also calls us to stay here in South America awhile longer to see if we can make it work out while testing my business, marketing, and travel skills.
Recently we came up with a third option, sort of a middle ground. We’ll head back north, to Peru, where we stay stationary for about 6 months to try our hands at this whole business thing. Peru is much less expensive to live in than Chile or Argentina, it was on our list of places to go, and flying out of Lima is much more practical than either Santiago or Buenos Aires.
We walk along the rocky shore here daily. It’s a bit like hiking, but even more challenging. You have to carefully check which rocks to step on. Are they flat enough? Are they large enough? Will they move when you step on them? Are they slippery?
I do my best thinking when hiking, and walking along these rocks today got me thinking. Climbing through these rocks is just like our journey through life. There are many ways one can take to get to the final destination and we all take different routes. The little boys are always confidently leaping easily from one rock to the next without any worries or cares in the world. They hardly look up to see if they’re on the right track. They just go where the rocks take them or bound ahead to see the next interesting thing. Israel is always sure-footed, he seems to know the best way and always offers me a helpful hand. Then there’s me. I don’t like following in anyone’s footsteps, I have to find my own path, and I often reject Israel’s kind offers of help. Sometimes my path will take me a long way, or through slippery rocks, sometimes I just have to jump from one rock to the next and hope I land well. Occasionally I take his hand, and he helps me through the difficult parts. I have never wanted to take the easy way through life. Never mind that there was a nice, easy trail along the beach. I have always wanted to climb the rocky shore to see what I could find. I am confident that I am heading in the right direction, I just hope I don’t fall and bust my ass along the way. But even if I do, I know that my husband will bound over countless rocks to get to me and help me up.
So, as we take this leap, I hope not to fall on my ass. But if I do, it will be ok, I’ll brush it off and get up again. I know I can’t take the easy way. I can’t just go home and work a mind-numbing, soul-sucking job, pretending to fit in with the rest of the world, where I never have belonged. I have to forge my own way. Even if there are giant boulders ahead, I would rather face them than the easy, effortless stroll down the beach.