Salar De Uyuni: It’s About Perspective

Perspective shots that is.

You’ve seen them, drooled over them, dreamt of what you would do if you could have the chance to stand upon the endless white salty expanse.

I mean, I know I did.

When I put my “bucket list” together last year, visiting Salar De Uyuni was at the top of it.  Then, last May I decided to move to Bolivia to spend a year volunteering…

Hello, prefect chance!

Although I knew funds would be low I also knew I had to do all I could to try to get to Salar while I was here.  And, honestly I didn’t have to try very hard.  Literally a chance fell into my lap within my first week in the country.  Who would have thought?

So, 7 days after touching down in South America I booked a three day tour throughout the Salar and the SW corner of Bolivia.

Unfortunately we missed the rainy season by a mere couple weeks. It would have been amazing to see the infinite mirror caused by a thin layer of water settling on the salt, but from the first second we drove onto the flats I was awestruck by the contrast between the unearthly blue sky and the pure white salt.  Rainy season or dry, this place is incredible.

After a 15 minute drive we stopped at an abandoned salt hotel for lunch, where by the way every other tour and their uncle also stopped.  The place was freaking packed, but we managed to find a little spot of salt without french tourists in the background posing on top of Pringles cans, and take our fill of perspective shots.

There was of course the stereotypical dinosaur shots…

And a stomping shot…

Then we got some other ideas…

And later on, as we were waiting for the sunset we decided to take some more, just because we hadn’t taken enough already right?

And then I had to take some non-perspective shots too, just because the place was so darn beautiful…

All in all I was pretty impressed by the first day of our tour.  Aside from a flat tire (this tour involved some serious off-roading, it was bound to happen), we had no problems.

At the end of the day I dreaded leaving the salt flats.  It was like standing upon the white clouds of heaven only to be reintroduced to the brown grime of earth, but there were some pretty awesome sites up ahead…

Stay tuned for part 2!


Identity: Travel Blogger


I’ve had a lot of trouble blogging lately, have you noticed?

Not for lack of material, that’s for sure.  I mean, I live in Bolivia and it’s freaking amazing.

Over the past few weeks I’ve started many blogs, only to stop and never get back to them.

Why did I do that?  Waste of time.

If I were being a good travel blogger I would have already written about the 3 days I spent in the saltiest place on earth, or the day I faced death head on when I biked the road literally named after the event that occurs so often on it.

But I haven’t been a good travel blogger. Apparently I’ve been lazy, and I blame this almost wholly on the fact that recently I moved to a new country, on a different continent where they speak a language I don’t, overwhelming no?

However, I think the biggest problem when it comes down to this little blog of mine is the big box of comparison I’ve been living in.  I’ll start a blog only to think oh so and so could write a much better blog than this, or this travel blogger had much better photos, or even let myself get discouraged by the fact that I have such a small audience at the moment.

It’s easy to forget that at one point, each and every travel blogger whose blogs I admire started off right where I am.  They simply grasped their dream and ideas, ran with it, and in the end made something out of it.

So now’s the time.  If I really, really want to do this I have to figure out who I am, define my voice and be happy with it.

No more comparisons, because at the end of the day I’ll never be like Legal Nomads, SpunkyGirl Monologues, A Dangerous Business,  or any of the other bloggers I admire…

And that’s a good thing, because one is enough, and I want people to read my blog because I am the only one like me, not because I’m like everyone else.

So here’s to new beginnings and new attempts at this little thing I’ve played with for years called travel blogging.  The beginning may be a little rough, but I know that eventually I’ll establish a rhythm and then all I can say is watch out world, because here I come!

Doing what I do best at Salar De Uyuni

Packing Up, Shipping Out

It’s true, I’ve been a really, really bad travel blogger lately,  but I have a really, really good reason!  I’ve been packing, planning and preparing.  Let me explain…

There are few moments more exciting for a traveler than the moment an adventure commences.  With a world full of dreams and possibility ahead of you, it’s a pretty cool place to stand.

October 11, or 10/11/12 as I like to refer to it because the date is just that cool, will be that moment for me, or at least it should be, if American Airlines can bolt their seats properly to the floor (trust me, I wouldn’t fly them if I didn’t have to).

My next adventure you might ask? Bolivia.  That’s right, the Andean country where cities are so high they take your breath away and highways have llama crossing signs.

I got a glimpse, a taste of Bolivia when I was there last fall on the World Race, but for me a taste just wasn’t enough, so that’s why, not only am I going back to Bolivia, I’m moving there.

Uh huh, moving.

With all of my belongings packed into two rolling duffels and a carry-on, I’ll have significantly more than I did this last year when I traveled around the world with only a backpack, but the idea that I’m going to be constructing a life for myself somewhere makes me want to take so much more!  Needless to say I’m really, really trying to work on my overpacking problem.

However, my motivation for moving to Bolivia isn’t only because I love it, it’s because I’ve found a place where I think I really can make a difference.  I’ll be spending the next 10 months volunteering with Hospitals of Hope, and American run hospital just outside of Cochabamba.  I’ll have many “jobs,” my primary one being to run the hospitals coffee shop, but the one avenue I’m really excited to partner with is called Moviemento Sonrisas, an organization based in the pediatric unit of Cochabambas main public hospital.  There I will get to visit kids in several different units, playing games with them, watching movies and just trying to put smiles on their little faces, and it’s awesome!

For the traveler inside of me that continually lusts for adventure, loves experiencing new things and can’t stop moving, these next 10 months are going to be different. There’s so many places in the world I want to visit, but this next year is devoted to Bolivia.  To helping the people there and exploring every little corner when I can, and I’m so excited to take you all with me!

Bolivian Visa

It may be the strangest looking visa I’ve ever seen, but this Bolivian visa is like gold to me right now!