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Reflections

So I’m back and settled into a routine.  I’m in a Marketing Management program that’s taking up a lot of time projects-wise, but it keeps me busy.

Now that I’ve settled down, I’ve had a little time to reflect on the experience.  What did the trip teach me?

… Well that’s simple: A bacterial-infection (via bad Moroccan food) taught me that’s its actually physically possible (and not just a running joke) to shit and vomit at the same time!

All kidding aside, this trip more than any before, taught me things are never as bad as they seem.

We pretty much went into this trip expecting something bad to happen (because everyone we talked to assured us it would happen) and it never did:

-Expected our Cliffside bus to fall down a mountain… Didn’t happen

-Expected to get eaten by croc’s when we jumped in the river… didn’t happen

-Expected to get picked up by a ‘Death Cab’ and driven to the outskirts of town in Arequipa, Peru and robbed…never happened

-Expected to get mugged every time we stepped out in Brazil… never happened

-Expected to get my laptop stolen … never happened

People always warn each other via ‘the worst case scenario’ which rarely happens.  Sure you need to be prepared for it, but you should never EXPECT it, because you end up feeling guilty having these preconceived notions.  Put some trust in people to be good people.

The other morning I flicked on ‘Departures’ while I downed some cereal.   It was the second last episode – season 3 ep. 16 “Indonesia: A Home Away.”  They were wrapping up their journey, and Scott had a quote that says it perfectly:

“What’s changed since I first started travelling?  At first when I travelled I saw the differences between people.  Between back home and where I was.  Now I see the similarity in people…in all of us.”

I feel the same way to.  It’s not just on the surface: the westernization of the globe, but something inside people.  A genuine ‘good’ characteristic within humanity.  It’s something profound to be able to feel that in someone who you may not even be able to speak with due to language barriers.

This trip also reaffirmed by belief that Canada is truly the best country in the world.  I know alot of people say that about their own countries, but it’s mostly a blind assertion.  Americans for example love to say how they live in the best country in the world… and it’s so sad when then do.  The rest of the world facepalms at them.  America is clearly not the best country in the world to live in.  There is still so much hate/discrimination/greed still within that country.  I think Canada has the MOST ideal balance between freedom, equality, prosperity, health…etc. of all the countries in the world.  The trip just made me all the more patriotic.

FYI: Body weight.  Remember before I left I was 177 lbs.  Oddly enough I actually dropped weight on this trip.  Now I’m at 167.8 lbs…Like I said close to a 10 lb fluctuation in weight.  I actually thought I was destined to gain weight back on this trip, which is weird.  Normally backpacking you loose weight due to three things:

1 – Carrying a 50lb bag around from Bus Terminals/Airports to your hostel

2 – Hostel breakfasts: (Coffee + Bread)

3 – Generally not eating well: e.g. on a 24 hr busride, consuming 1 roll of Oreo’s and some water.

I expected all the weight I’d lost from this to be voided by the 10+ days I spent in Santiago where I basically had lunches and dinners exclusively at McDonalds and KFC.  I figured since McNugget combo’s were like $2.50 less there, I might as well indulge!

But no, I did drop the 10 lbs as expected… back to the gym

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