Thoughts from Cordoba: Goodbye South America

September 11, 2014. “As I finish my deluxe jamon y queso sandwich (con tomate y lechuga!), sip my Stella (tastes so good after so much South American beer), and enjoy the brisk spring air at an outside table in Cordoba, I think: ‘I am ready for Buenos Aires.’

For me, BA means a few things. It is a big city, and I have lived in big cities for the past 5 years. I find comfort in them. I like them. More than the city, BA is finally my time to stay put. I will be in the city for 2 weeks, my longest time since Rio. Ok I messed this up a bit with booking 2 different hostels (to get to know different parts of town) separated by 2 days in Uruguay, but at least I don’t feel rushed to see and do everything so quickly. I have time. I will get to know BA – its barrios, its public transportation system, its energy.

It feels like I’ve been moving towards Buenos Aires. ‘Just keep going, you can slow down in BA.’

BA symbolizes the end to my South America portion. It is my final destination before I go to a new continent. It is Part 1 completed.

By the time I leave BA, I will have been traveling for over 3 months. It’s hard to reflect on that. It flew, yet Saõ Paulo feels like ages ago. These months in South America were and weren’t what I thought they would be. For starters, I didn’t mean to land cross every border, but I did. Plans I set out with changed along the way, and in some cases (Ecuador) changed back to original plans. In the end, I think I actually did the South America that I meant to back when I started planning this RTW trip over a year ago. It’s funny how that worked out.

I have been to incredible places, and added even more to a mental list of next trips. I have met incredible people, ones who I hope I don’t lose from my life. I have survived in a language I don’t know in places where they don’t speak English. I have slept in bunk beds, real beds, hammocks, buses, airplanes, airports, and one tent. I have eaten all manner of meat from Brazilian BBQ to alpaca to a termite (does that count as meat?) and celebrated any time I got vegetables. I have tried the local spirits from Caipirinhas to Aguardiente to Piscolas and had memorable (and occasionally forgettable) nights with them all. I have encountered the cultures of 7 different countries across this content. And all of this still feels like just scratching the surface of South America.

But it is almost time to experience all new things in an all new continent, and I guess I’m ready. So with Buenos Aires I will say goodbye to South America. Thank you for the best start to this adventure that I could have but also never could have asked for.”

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