My trip is officially on. Evi and I purchased our tickets to Costa Rica – We will be leaving LAX on June 21. Evi’s flying out of Panama on July 11. At that point, I am on my own. Eeeek.
While my blonde hair, fair skin, and blue eyes might serve to protect me in the states, especially in Sanford, Florida (too soon to make this joke???), they certainly won’t help me blend in Central/South America. I have about a 0% shot at being mistaken for Colombian, Peruvian, Argentinian, etc.
What I do have on my side, though, is an enormous amount of traveler mistakes that have taught me a few lessons.
The following is a brief list of what I learned not to repeat:
-Dancing with boys at a Spanish-only club in Barcelona will result in getting hair pulled by angry Spanish girlfriends.
-Not checking weather.com might mean you end up at Oktoberfest in the pouring rain with only a flannel to keep you warm.
-Trying to sneak 5 people into a 2 person room at hotel that only has 15 rooms probably means you will get caught and charged a hefty fee.
-If you don’t check the hours of operation, you might just miss the Sistine Chapel during your only day in Rome.
-LeAnn in Vegas is never a good idea. Quite simple.
Despite these embarrassing mistakes, I also learned a few things along the way that will help me in South America:
-Speaking the local language (even if it’s embarrassingly bad) always means people will be kinder to you.
-Making friends with locals might turn into the best night that could include Salsa dancing at a hidden club in Barcelona at 6 in the morning.
-Stepping out of your comfort zone will always make for a good time, or at least a great story (i.e. being pantsless in a bar with my new rugby friends)
I am not exactly sure how relevant any of these life lessons will be in the Southern Hemisphere, but they can’t hurt. Plus, I’ve been watching Weeds which is catching me up on some Spanish not taught in Rosetta Stone…Who knows, I might need the phrase “Chinga tu culo”