Challenging yourself… and failing

While traveling, I’ve tried hard to keep challenging myself. Whether it was constantly ordering from non-English restaurants in China, walking up monuments instead of taking the tourist-friendly gondolas, going to a bar by myself, scuba diving, getting on a motorcycle, trying out Muay Thai, learning Spanish, etc.
And while I may not have totally enjoyed all of my personal challenges, I accomplished them knowing more about myself, and feeling good that I had risen to the challenge, albeit a self-made challenge.

So when we were looking at treks to Machu Picchu, another perfect challenge opportunity came up: the Jungle Trek. Biking, rafting, zip-lining and trekking. Would I try it? Of course, because it was something I knew I could succeed in, despite my dislike for hikes and my severe fear of heights.
Or so I thought.  So what happens when on day two of four, you end up failing?
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Summary of Bolivia

Bolivia was a bittersweet adventure.   I’ve had some of my worst travel moments in Bolivia, including a terrible home stay, food poisoning (twice), blockades, and not successfully conquering some fears in a mine.  The freezing nights and the high altitude usually didn’t help the situation either.  Neither did watching endless amounts of soccer (so glad neither Canada nor Bolivia had a team…).  I even got offered my first South American cocaine (say NO to drugs, everyone!).


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My not-so-sweet start to Sucre

I have been avoiding this post because I keep hoping for things to get better, and it has taken a while.  Today is the first day I can say that my stomach is okay! Yay!  I even managed to venture out of the hostel for the first time in almost a week, without worrying about my distance from the bathroom.  Too much info? Yes, but that’s kinda been my experience in Sucre. 

So let me begin.

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The time I watched 6 bulls die (aka bullfighting in Madrid)

I had never considered going to a bull fight.  And then I found myself in Madrid being invited along with two new friends to go experience part of Spain culture.  So, without doing any research on the subject, I said ‘yes’ and went.

I wouldn’t say it was a mistake, but I definitely would never ever go again.  But, that’s the thing with new experiences – now I know what a bullfight is.  And now I know that yes, bulls really do die.  Six of them.  Every show. 


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Windows of Venice

So I have a new obsession, and I bet you can guess from the title of this post that it is the windows in Venice.  I have spent three full days walking around Venice, which is a beautiful city.  One thing that stood out for me was just how gorgeous the windows are! From the shutters to the iron work to the flowers, the windows really made an impression on me. 

Here are some photos, to give you an idea of what I mean, and hopefully you will agree with me that Venice has beautiful windows!

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Downsizing… My new packing list

So, I finally did it.  I have downsized from two bags to one bag (and one purse). 

Lugging my big bag around has been frustrating, so I have taken the leap into “I don’t care what I wear” freedom. 

I now have about 9 kg of stuff with me.  A big change from when I left home with about 17kg.

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Why have I never had Turkish food before?

So it turns out that Turkish food is amazing. 

It basically takes all of my favourite ingredients and puts them together.  Except, it’s better. Even tomatoes taste better here.  Seriously, if you ever come to Turkey YOU NEED TO TRY THE TOMATOES.  They taste like summer.  Seriously.  If you remember one thing from this post, it is to try the tomatoes. 

So what is Turkish food, you might ask?

Only the best cuisine ever. 

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