If only there was this much leg room. [Source]
All these months of saving and shopping clearance racks only have paid off nicely in the form of a round-trip ticket to South America. I'll be shipping out to the southern hemisphere tomorrow for 3 blissful weeks. I feel just like Don Draper when he escaped to California from Manhattan.
Although this is a much-needed vacation, I hope it won't only consist of me lying on a beach with a book and a tall cool drink in hand. I can do that in Hawaii. When I travel I need to get out, see everything and fully experience what a new culture and people have to offer -- even if it comes sans cabana. I used to travel abroad at least once every year; I suppose that's always easier to do when you're in college and get summers off. But the last trip I took was to Italy when I got married (and was between jobs) in the summer of 2007. It was one of the best trips of my life, but ate up most of my savings (which was fine, I had saved for that specific purpose anyway). Two years later, though, I am chomping at the bit to get out and see the world again. I blame my parents, who instilled the travel bug in me by age 3.
My husband won't be coming along (sigh), but I'm meeting my mom, dad, and sister in Rio de Janeiro. There I'll be staying in a 2-bedroom apartment with them across the street from Ipanema for two weeks (words cannot begin to express how excited I am for this). After that we're flying down to Buenos Aires where I'll stay for another week before I head back to America's armpit, DC.
My parents, on the other hand, are both on sabbatical and have planned the mother of all roadtrips, where they'll start in Argentina, go up the length of Chile and then on into Peru. Think Motorcycle Diaries, except in a comfy rental car and without the whole being-Che-Guevara bit. Since my sister just graduated college and wants to become fluent in Spanish, she'll be staying with them through early November. I'll miss them a lot, since the only way to get in touch with them will be email. They asked if I wanted to come along the whole way -- and I almost said yes (after all, I can write from anywhere) -- but in the end decided 3 weeks was good enough. The overarching reason: I'd miss my husband too much (as pathetic as that sounds). I figure we'll take our own adventure through South America soon enough.
Anyway our apartments will have Wi-Fi so I'm bringing my iTouch and hope I can blog about some of my adventures while I'm gone. At the very least I bought some snazzy moleskins to jot my journeys down in and make sense of when I get back (con pictures).
What I'm looking forward to...
- Excellent food (I find street carts always have the best food a country has to offer).
- Meeting new people.
- Listening to Astrud Gilberto's "Girl from Ipanema" while I do some laying out on the beach (it's already queued up in the ol' iPod).
- Visiting Eva Peron's grave (I know she was corrupt as all hell, but I loved reading her biography and know all the words to the Broadway musical).
- Learning how to properly tango.
- Having a legitimate Caiprihna.
- Being a stranger in a strange land.
- Tasting native Malbec wine in Argentina.
- Taking lots of pictures (Note to self: Actively use your camera while you're out instead of remembering when it's too late!).
...and what I'll miss when I'm gone:
- My husband
- Mad Men Season 3 premiere (DVR, though, is set and ready to go).