As you may know if you’re following my fledgling blog, I’ve started publishing my travel bucket list, organized by continent. Today, I bring you South America, by which I mean everything south of the USA border.
Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire)
Parque Nacional Torres del Paine
Perito Moreno Glacier
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Machu Picchu, Peru
Lake Titicaca, Peru
You may have noticed that only a few very specific places made this list. While I would love to give myself several months to explore South America in-depth, the truth is that my health and my physical constitution would not allow it. Or I could push both, but at great cost to my overall well-being. Even some of the places that made the list are very prohibitive to me (Perito Moreno, Lake Titicaca, even Machu Picchu) and would require months of preparation and physical training beforehand, not to mention carrying along a supply of pharmaceutical products that would put your local drugstore to shame.
And while I agree that human beings should push themselves out of their comfort zones in order to get a taste of real life, this is not about being physically comfortable and enjoying various amenities or being afraid of unknown surroundings, but about not being physically able to handle certain aspects of travel in third-world countries.
And no, this is not to say that I fare better in “civilization.” I got diarrhea from the water supply in Paris, and a severe stomach bug (with diarrhea AND fever) in London. In Jordan, I had such severe diarrhea that I had to be hospitalized for dehydration. (Maybe I should’ve named this blog “The Crappy Traveller.”) And these were all very “civilized” places, with all the amenities I could wish for, and well within my comfort zone.
What can I say, there are ramifications to travel when you’re not in perfect health. But there are places on this planet that are worth the pain and discomfort. And that is why hiking the Perito Moreno glacier made my list.