Beautiful landscapes, diverse wildlife and exotic foods are all terrific reasons to travel, but our favorite is always the people we meet along the way.
We have fun everyday interactions, like the cabdriver who is also a popular local futbol player who was mobbed by some rowdy, drunk fans at 10:30 a.m. last Sunday morning as he was driving us to town. They insisted we toast his victory from the day before, so we all had beer – in the cab stopped in the middle of the street.
Somehow things that would seem odd or even outlandish back in Seattle seem perfectly normal here. I’m not sure if it is the setting or our mindset, or perhaps a combination of the two.
In addition to the everyday interactions with interesting strangers, we’ve had the good fortune to meet some really great people so far, and I have no doubt we will continue to do so on our trip.
Below is a list of a few of them, and we’re thinking of creating a separate page to list the ones who have blogs so you can follow along if you like. Would you like that?
One thing I’m realizing is that there are as many ways to travel as there are destinations in this world. Isn’t that a great thing?
Odile from France
We met Odile and her friend Gerard at Casa Mojanda. Odile did the same thing we did and sold everything to travel around the world. The difference is that she is 15 years older and soon to be a grandma again, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at her (or trying to keep up with her!).
You can read about Odile’s adventures in French on her website, and if you look closely you can see pictures our epic card game of Cuarenta with Odile, Gerard, Catherine, and Fernando. Imagine a fast-paced game, 3 languages, and lots of wine and you can imagine what a fun evening we had. (I can’t help but mention – for the sake of complete reporting, of course – that Gerard and I won, despite the language barrier).
the motorcyle gang
While walking to a restaurant in Otavalo we came upon five huge BMW motorcycles with metal saddlebags on each side. These guys were obviously doing some long drives, and we asked where they were going.
Several of the men were from Canada, and they were riding as a group from Alberta down to Ushuaia, Argentina, which is the southernmost town in South America (and also the starting point of our cruise to Antarctica in February). They met up with Francisco, who is from Santiago, Chile. He shipped his bike up to Seattle, rode it up to Alaska, and then started his journey all the way down to Ushuaia. He met up with the other guys a week ago and they traveled this leg of their journey together.
The other guys don’t have a blog, but you can follow Francisco’s journey here. He plans to finish back in Santiago around December 15, and we just might see him again when we make our way to Chile. How cool would that be?
how you can travel with them
Don’t let the fact that some of these blogs are in other languages keep you away. If you use Google Chrome as your browser you can translate pages with just one click of a button, and with other browsers you can simply copy the contents of the blog post and paste them into Google Translate to read them in English.
Let us know in the comments if you’d like us to post the blog URLs of the travelers we meet along the way. We’ll be keeping up with them, and we’d love it if you did, too. (and we’ll become better at taking pictures of them, I promise)
To our fellow travelers, we wish you bien viaje, and we hope to cross paths with you again.