Entry #1: A Simple & Sweet Start to the Year

Praia de Villas in Bahia

The cool breeze is blowing across my face, helping to alleviate the sun’s grasp on my body. I hope I get some color today (I can’t leave Bahia without a tan)!

It’s the third day of the year, and life is as simple as it gets. We wake up, have breakfast with Guil’s aunt, uncle and cousins, and head to the beach.

We’ll be here for another three days. Another sweet, and simple, three days. Tomorrow we plan on visiting the Praia do Forte (Fort Beach), which is supposedly a scenic locale and must-visit for first-timers like myself. I hear there are sea turtle nesting sites there, too. On Friday we’ll have a traditional churrasco (barbecue) at the house before leaving to Rio de Janeiro early Saturday morning.

But we know the comfort won’t last for long.

On Jan. 10 we leave Rio for Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We haven’t planned the rest of our South America route yet, and we just started researching for our next destination.

The research I’ve done so far has shown me that backpacking through Bolivia won’t be an easy feat. While the country used to be considered safe for foreign travelers, crime has risen in recent years. Pickpocketing is common and even kidnappings occur — the kind where a taxi driver lets in another passenger who happens to be an accomplice and they drive you to an ATM to steal your money.

Transportation can be unreliable, uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. The food, while a unique and a fantastic cultural experience in and of itself, can make you sick.

The good news is it’s one of the cheapest countries to backpack in South America.

At least, this is what I’ve read so far. We look forward to exploring Bolivia and facing these challenges together.

2018 is off to a peaceful start. Let’s see how long that’ll last…

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