When I planned this trip a few months ago, it was because I had United miles I wanted to use before they were devalued. The dates chosen were completely random, and seem to have worked out, because in less than a week I’m on my way.
It’s actually been a sign to me that something is different – I’m different. I just flung dates into the wind, found connections that looked reasonable and available, and booked. No planning, just doing, trusting that my instincts from now 155 countries visited would serve me well.
So, with the trip less than a week away now, I find myself feeling a bit strange about it. Why, I’m not entirely certain, but something about this feels different from all the trips I’ve taken in the past. I could be a long of things, from major ones, to trivial ones:
1) Am I getting so close to “every country” that each new trip brings a feeling of completion?
2) This will be my first continent “completed” so is that a mile marker?
3) Is it that I’m flying so far away, but all in the same day with no overnights?
4) Is it the excitement to be somewhere Spanish-speaking again, knowing I’ll be forced to practice?
5) Is it that it’s my first time in South America solo? Without it being with friends/significant others/work?
6) Is it the excitement of new airlines and a complicated itinerary?
Regardless, it’s different…and that’s exciting. After this many countries, travel can still bring a sense of wonder: new places, new people, new experiences. Even after I’ve made it to every country, there will still be exciting experiences each time I visit a new place…be it Des Moines, Iowa, or Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan.
It’s a big world out there…explore it!
“The Steakhouse” in La Paz is pretty good. There was also a nearby bar called “La Luna” with an English barman who looked remarkably like Mick Jagger.