Ups and downs. Realities and perception and privilege. At times I don´t know what I am doing here. And feel more lost than ever. And at others the feeling of not wanting to leave. A feeling that I honestly didn´t expect to feel. Because I didn´t believe a place could feel like home so quickly.
Today is one of those days. Because today I move on. Buenos Aires is a place that I could spend the rest of my trip at and have no regrets. But still I leave. With more goodbyes. Luise and Claudia of Argentina. Alex of Brazil. Emer of Ireland with her door-to-door lip piercing. Betto who loves me. Martine the wise who we smuggled to the rooftop. Brian the friend. Mercedes is not Mercelles. Or is she? One person that at times seemed like two. And Anna of Brazil met at the pizza place. If a Brazilian girl tells you that she doesn´t really like dancing that much just nod your head and humor her.
I find it strange that I have only been gone six weeks. Because I have seen and done so much. The Galapagos. The jungle. The 60K bike ride. Climbing down waterfalls. Rafting. Iguazu. And wandering around and drinking in Buenos Aires. In six weeks, I have met people from over twenty different countries. And so many stories. Marie´s family and boyfriend in Australia and Greece. AIDS in South Africa. And the politically murdered in Argentina.
But my own stories as well. Wearing the same thing for days because everything was wet. Pulling the same shirt over your head hoping that somehow that it will smell better today. Traveling with the “M” crew. Marie, Mike, Mark and Megan and for a moment Marije. Being mugged and seeing poverty that made me think I deserved being mugged. Because the young girl begged for my half eaten sandwich and the boys came asking for our bread rolls. And they were on me like a pack of wolves. Clawing and pawing. But it´s hard to find fault with wolves preying on someone who lived the life of a cat. And the blur of Buenos Aires. 5 a.m mornings and Super Panchos.
The memory of when this all started. An email and a friend saying, “You don´t love this.” Thanks for those words. For those considering a trip like this one. Words from another friend, “You gotta go.”