It turns out that sometimes, in South America, four hour bus rides take seven hours. And sometimes the air conditioning doesn't work, and it's the middle of the day in the summer. Today all of those things turned out to be true.
Unpleasant as the ride was, I found it relatively easy to focus on the positives. We were traveling for no good reason, which is always a nice thing to do, and the memory of being saturated in sweat in a moving kiln would fade.
But, actually, it ended up being a great bus ride. Those annoying kids who were kicking my seat turned out to be a team of 10 and 11 year old Taekwondo champions. They had just finished a tournament and were on their way back home to Argentina. And they turned out to be hilarious, friendly, and really good kids. And, hey, it's not like I never kicked seats as a kid.
They asked us a bunch of questions, practiced their English, told us about their Taekwondo, teased each other, and listened to the music on our phones. I was hesitant to play Lil Wayne for them, until I realized they couldn't understand a word he was saying.
I forget a lot of the bus rides I've been on, and probably even a bunch of the cities I've been to. But I remember the friendly and interesting people.
In Valle de Anton we stayed at a hostel and ended up cooking dinner in the owner's kitchen. We invited her to eat and she told us about her old acquaintance, Noriega. The real Noriega.
In Japan there were the two happy fishermen on the train to Hokkaido who told us to go to Noboribetsu and posed for photos with us.
I'll never forget the smile on that woman's face in Cambodia when she passed her child to me through the open train window.
And, of course, the sixty year old Aussie in Qatar who unexpectedly took us up on our invitation to ride quads in the sand dunes.
In the same way that we go to dinner with friends not for the food, but for the conversation, we travel not for the sights we see, but for the people we'll spend time with. That's why sometimes I don't really care where I go. Smile at say hi to enough people, end you end up meeting Pan-American Taikwondo champions, or Noriega's old crush, or some fisherman, or...
Photo is some friends taking a picture in front of an art installation on Naoshima, Japan.
Today's my last day in Iguazu falls! We're going to try to go to the Argentinian side, which may or may not actually work.
Love this, helps me solve the issue of "where should I go" on my next level bout of travels. Now the issue/challenge is just "...go!?"Btw that Rick Ross reference had me laughing hard!
I can't agree enough with this. I live and work at a small backpackers hostel in Queenstown, New Zealand. I absolutely love my job. Not because of the work its self, but because of all the awesome people I meet every day. The majority of People who stay with us are 18 or 19 year old europeans on gap years. They're usually nice people and good fun to be around, but the best people we have stay are the crazy old guys who took too many drugs in the 70's and have been travelling the world for 40 years. Living and working in a backpackers hostel is almost the same as travelling. The only real difference is the pictures you take aren't of some awesome building you saw somewhere, but of the awesome people you meet every day.
It turns out that sometimes, in North America, four hour bus rides take seven hours. And sometimes the air conditioning doesn't work, and it's the middle of the day in the summer. Today all of those things turned out to be true.
You don't have unrealistic expectations when you travel. You take what you get and enjoy it. I know people that could travel and stay at plush resorts and always complain. You have a zen approach.
Suddenly, with this post, your photo-taking skills seem to have gotten dramatically better.
If you like that photo, you'll love this one:
Kind of agree overall, The best parts about travel are really more about the lifestyle then it is about the actual destination (going to new places, being surrounded by new scents, sights and sounds, meeting cool people, having access to experiences you wouldn't otherwise have) although when I do travel to a place I've really wanted to go to or a culture I really like I almost always have a fun time
I was just thinking about fifteen minutes ago, "I don't think I've ever personally used the word foist before". Not that I remember every word I've said, necessarily, but I think I'd remember if I said foist. Today I resolve to use the word foist at least once in a natural context - so watch out for that.
When we last left our heroes, we had just taken all of the seats out of our mighty new school bus.
To get this party started, check out the official BtyB-Time-Machine satellite photo of the bus. This is in no way blantantly ripped from google maps :
Day 1 of my experience on The Internet Freedom Bus Tour was amazing. Day 2 started with an early departure from Iowa City. The gang was up most of the night playing Werewolf (a party game similar to Mafia where someone is the werewolf and you have to figure out who it is... before they eat you!) It was a very long bus ride to Kansas City which actually took up most of the day.
Life on the bus is interesting. I now have some serious appreciation for bands that go on the road. I also understand how they can say "HELLO KANSAS CITY" when they're actually in Iowa City. The scenery of driving through the Midwest is amazing, but between the internet (ironically) continually cutting out, old reruns of MacGuyver, and just general travel exhaustion... it was pretty hard to get any work done.
I spent a lot of time talking with my busmates. I really enjoyed talking with Betsy from The Internet Association and listening to some of the embedded reporters talk about some of the crazy stories they've been pitched on.
After a 7 or 8 hour bus ride, we finally arrived in Kansas City at The Kauffman Foundation. For those who aren't familiar with Kauffman, they're a foundation dedicated to studying and researching entrepreneurship (full disclosure: Startup Weekend, where I work, is partially funded by Kauffman). They do some awesome stuff, and when we got there they had a small reception at Kauffman Labs.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The Kauffman Foundation[/caption]