Being More Open to New People
There's no better feeling as a solo traveller when you're invited to join a new group of people. It can be anything from a walk through the city to a casual beer. It's simple, the more open you become to meeting new people, the more people you will meet. Working in a Hostal Bar the last week has given me plenty of reasons to interact with other travellers. I've also found myself at street food stands happily chatting to Bolivians, or sharing stories with the locals on the local 'Trufi' minibuses. People have been the richest part of my travel experience and I've learned how important it is to use every opportunity to share a conversation with a stranger who could become a friend.
One of my New Year's resolutions was to not stress about any situations beyond my control. Ironically, this came in useful when my flight from Sydney to Buenos Aires was overbooked! In South America things move a little more slowly: buses, people and life in general. Generally, a lot more patience is required for most things. It's important to look on the bright side of things – like thinking, 'I'm travelling around South America for a year!'
When you smile at people, they smile back. Imagine a world where we just paid for everything with smiles…
Especially in Bolivia, I've been surrounded by people who have a lot less possessions than I do. People ten years past retirement age labour in the streets, old women sit on the cold ground for hours selling their wares. But they're happy. When I've spoken to these people they're generally pleased to talk about their lives; they laugh and make jokes with me and among themselves. Poverty can be misconceived.
Live In the Moment
At the beginning of my trip I caught myself looking back at my photos of incredible landscapes, places I'd been and people I'd met, realising that I hadn't taken a moment while I was there to appreciate what was around me. Always take a deep breath, be thankful for what you have.