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Travel Adventure - Backpacking Latin America's Gringo Trail Backpacking Latin America starting in Cuba, then travelling from East to the west coast of Mexico before making our through Central and finishing in South America.

Flying home from Santiago and the end of our amazing adventure

CHILE | Wednesday, 30 September 2015 | Views [386]

I just woke up from only having 4 hours sleep. We booked this hostel because the beds looked good and private so we could have a decent nights sleep before our flight today. The beds are good, although a little springy but private but our room is situated at the front of the house on the road, right next to the entrance. Because they have wooden floors you could hear everyone walk past, there were people drinking and laughing outside our window, cars driving past, doorbell and phone ringing at reception, a loud snorer and people coming in to our room our room at 1am, talking and watching videos or playing music on their phones. I don't understand that. It's 1am people are clearly sleeping, why would you start playing things loudly on your phone? Don't they have consideration for others? Anyway I guess not. I didn't get to sleep until around 2am and woke up a 7am :-/ as Matt said, sleeping is for when we get home haha well that's one thing I'm definitely looking forward to is sleeping in my own bed and having my own space! Majority of our hostels have been amazing and I don't mind sharing but whenever wee had private rooms it's been so nice, mai ly just to have our own space. We just got an emAil from the tenant in our unit yesterday. She was looking at extending for another three weeks, but she just found a new place so we will be moving back this weekend. Soo excited! I love our little unit and can't wait to move back in there. It will be summer too so a short walk to the beach and although I haven't mind living out of just one bag, with minimal possessions (I've realised how much stuff we all accumulate and how much we only need, fits in to a backpack! I did not think at all, oh I wish I brought this, I barley wore make up, I think I wore it 5 or 6 times the whole trip and kind of couldn't wait to get it off my face)  not having to travel from place to place constantly on 8-22 hour long bus rides or lug around an 18kg backpack plus hand bags and getting lost with terrible directions and getting the shits at each other trying to find our accommodation haha. It will be good to just breathe and relax in one space and have something to come home to. I can't wait to have a shower that I know will run hot water and not have to share it with other people. It will be so good to have things that just work and flow and be organised in Oz. Latin America still has developing countries and it's definitely a more basic and half done way of building things etc. I guess just coz they don't have the economy for infrastructure etc. it will be so good to drink water out of the tap for free! Instead of spending money on it every day as it adds up. We probably would have spent $300 just on water! It will be good to speak English and people actually understand what we are saying. Not having to converse in Spanglish and know exactly what we are ordering from the menu.  
In saying that these things are minor to the big crazy/fun adventure we've had and I wouldn't change any of it. Change is good for us and being in these situations help us grow. The 'bad' things at the time (which were really not at all bad and just a part of travelling and life) we will learn from and grow stronger from and the good/amazing/breathtaking/incredible/fun far outweigh any of it. I am going to miss the cool hostels we've stayed in, getting free buffet breakfast made for us every morning, meeting new people along the way and hearing their stories, feeling like its a holiday ever day, things costing so cheap, not worrying about going to work, not knowing what day it is, the excitement of going to a new country and City and exploring and taking in all it has to offer and seeing doing some of the most amazing things. We've definitely become used to traveller life and have loved being a nomad for the last 4 months.
I can't believe that we discussed this idea probably 2 years ago that we wanted to travel and do a big trip. So we started saving for a year not knowing exactly where we would be going or where this would lead us. We were considering Europe as my brother, his wife and nephew were living there at the time so we could visit and Matt has a British passport and had always wanted to go. I had done Europe twice so was indecisive. A roadtrip across the USA was high on the list, I would have loved this but again I had seen some of US and once we got talking to my cousin who's husband is from Brazil and they were going there at the end of the year, the timing all worked out and our money would go further in South America meaning we could stay longer. We had both never been and Macchu Picchu etc has always been on my bucket list. It would be an adventure and I think a good place to go while we are young. It started that we would go for two months, then we extended to three. Then Matt said he always wanted to do Central America and I had wanted to see more of Mexico. OK we'll do that too and go for 4 months! I finish my graphic design course (which I ended up having to extend for 6 weeks when I get back) mid year and that's when it will be quiet in matts industry to take time off work. It quite possibly might of extended longer, even lived for a bit somewhere but I had a friends wedding I needed to be home for. Ok so Latin America it is! We booked the flights at end of 2015 and couldn't wait! We needed to start saving more. I quit my job and was earning cash in hand at a cafe but not enough so got a second job. Although I felt like I missed out on social things sometimes it also stopped me from spending money as I worked all weekends pretty much for 6 months before we left. We started organising everything, visas, needles, travel money cards, booking Macchu Picchu and mapping out the route we would go and things we definitely wanted to see and not miss out on. It was a crazy time as I was also studying by correspondence and had a few events I was organising on the side and I have a wedding when I get back so was trying to pre plan as much of that as I could as I only get back 6 weeks before to finish everything off! My head was all over the shop. I couldn't wait to go away. So it didn't just happen over night, it took a while to save and organise but I'm so happy we made an idea come to life together and worked hard to make it happen. I can't believe after all the months of planning and saving when I looked at our itinerary and map and all these places and countries were yet to be visited and all the possibilities and adventure that lay before us, we have now visited them all and our adventure is now complete. I'm so happy to have experienced it as places are never as you imagined in real life you have a thought about what they will be like from the pictures you see and the stories you hear but you never get the real impression until your there. Some places I liked more that others and some where way different to what I expected them to be and everyone's experiences and opinions of them are different. I can't believe it's over but It's weird because Cuba, the first country we visited feels like a lifetime ago and Mexico, just a distance memory even though it was only a couple of months ago. I can't believe how much we have seen and done in only 4 months time! It was a lot of travel and we covered so much ground. When we spoke to people they were gobsmacked by how much and how far we were travelling in just 4 months. We were on the go the whole time but I would not change the way we've done it as we saw so much and did everything we set out to do. I have also loved the way we've done it, without much of a plan only a route to follow. It's made it more exciting not know where we'll end up tomorrow and more freedom to pick and choose where we want to go and staying longer places we like and leaving places we don't. It was so easy just to chat to other travellers and get there recommendations and hear there stories to decide what we want to do next, it was usually the best way of finding a good place to go and stay etc. it all just seemed to unfold as we went along and we saw everything we wanted plus more! I have absolutely loved this unforgettable journey. 
Although I am a little devastated for this journey to end as it's definitely been a trip of a lifetime. I'm also a little nervous to be going back to reality and not getting stuck or stressed from societies pressures. But we all must go back to our jobs etc at some point along the way but I hope I have learnt a few lessons and can take a few things back with me on the way I live my life and how I want to live it. I definitely want to live a more focused, relaxed, flexible, mindful, heart filled life when I'm home, still with plenty more overseas trips and adventures included! I'm excited for the future that lays before me. I'm also excited to share it with Matt. If we can survive this, we can survive anything right!? Haha I am most excited to see all my friends and family back home and catch up on all that I've missed in the last 4 months and share stories. I also can't wait to finally meet my new nephew Felix! 
 
Last Facebook post:
Wow! After 4 months backpacking through 13 different countries in the diverse and absolutely impressive Latin America and covering a distance of over 50,000km of travel... we're finally coming home!
What a truly incredible and unforgettable adventure we have been on! We have visited so many amazing places, seen so many amazing things and had so many amazing experiences, there's too many to count them all. It's been unbelievable! From hiking mountains through the Andes in Peru to snorkelling through shipwrecks with colourful fish in magical turquoise water of the San Blas Islands in Panama! We've created some wonderful memories and met so many kind and fun people along the way. Thank you to all who have made our journey come to life, it's been an absolute adventure of a lifetime and something we'll always remember and keep with us for years to come!! 
 
A massive thank you to my favourite travel buddy Matt! I wouldn't have been able to do this trip without you and even though we've faced some slightly difficult situations (travel is never always smooth sailing in foreign countries, especially not being able to speak the language) we've got through them together and now we have so many great/funny stories we can always look back on. Most of all I've had the best time travelling and exploring the world with you. I'm so happy for this amazing journey we've been on and I hope it's the first of many more to come. Thank you for being my personal bag putter onerer when it was too heavy to lift, taking charge of asking 'cuanto?' and paying for things with our money coz I never understood the amount they replied and the conversions and currencies go straight over my head, making me laugh on delirious 20 hour long bus rides and just being by my side the whole way. It's definitely one of the best things I've ever done and I'm so happy I could share it with you. 
 
A little sad that the trip has come to an end but I can't wait to see family and friends when we arrive home. See you soon Sydney! Xx 
 
Thank you for following my blog. I hope you have enjoyed following our adventure and reading the stories! I can't wait to read back over it when I'm home to jog the memory and in years to come to remember all the crazy and amazing things we did.  
Also anyone who is thinking of travelling to Central or South America... DO IT! It has so much to offer with breathtaking landscapes, animals, people and a huge diversity of things to see and do. We did not feel in danger at all, our whole trip! We didn't even get mugged, unlike when I went to Barcelona and New York! You hear stories about this part of the world and yes I was even a little apprehensive before leaving but things can happen anywhere. It's safe if you are smart and sensible and we certainly didn't miss out doing some of the most amazing things! Travel is one of the best things you can do and you are missing out if you don't. You only live once so go out there and experience this great big world we live in! 

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