(Wow, I cannot believe I spent that much time in two countries. I do like slow travel and enjoy the pseudo-expat life.)
I started my travels in poorer countries with less infrastructure, more hassle, and more crime. I even got robbed the first day of my travels.
I want to experience Bolivia.
I want to learn about the indigenous culture.
I want to see the mountains. I want to see the salt flats.
But I am afraid.
What I Have Heard About Bolivia
I have first-hand accounts of bus crashes due to either the ridiculously narrow passes and/ or the drunken bus driver.
I have heard that the bus journeys are miserable (you know, if you don’t fall off a cliff).
I have heard that everyone gets horribly sick from the food.
And sometimes you can get stuck for days in a town because there is a strike, and the roads are blocked. Days! That is ridiculous!
I have heard that robberies and theft are common.
I booked my flight to Bolivia anyways.
Here I am, two days into my stay in Sucre as I write this.
The city is beautiful.
My hostel rocks. Way better than I expected to find in Bolivia. In fact, it is one of the best hostels I have stayed at during my entire trip.
But I am still nervous.
What I Am Actually Experiencing in Bolivia
Nearly half of the people in my hostel have some form of terrible food poisoning. They are dropping like flies. The vomiting I heard last night from a fellow dorm-dweller can only be described as “violent.”
One girl is in the hospital with salmonella. (I need to look that up and figure out if it’s contagious.)
Another girl just went into the hospital because she has appendicitis. I know that appendicitis is not Bolivia’s fault, but it is just another reminder that nobody wants to undergo emergency surgery in the poorest country in South America.
(Update: She survived surgery, and awoke to find her appendix in a jar on the nightstand.)
Two girls just got back from an overnight trip to Potosi and were robbed by a taxi and someone posing as a cop.
For the first time, I am jealous of the friends and couples traveling together.
It is so much easier to deal with difficult travel situations when there are two or more of you to deal with the stress and look out for each other.
So what now?
I have to remember….
… bad things happens anywhere in the world.
… I have already been through difficult travel and sketchy situations.
… most people are good.
… some things are worth the trouble to experience them.