Friday, July 24, 2015
Around the World in 80 Days…..Okay, maybe just South America in 70 days
If you ever have the opportunity to travel, DO IT. If it means pulling 10 – 12 hour shifts at work, and being the first one to arrive/last one to leave, do it. If it means running two 4-day protocol experiments back-to-back in a week, do it. Even if traveling means sacrificing your weekends, don’t think twice, JUST DO IT! Yes, I am guilty of all three – 12 hour days, back to back experiments, and even the loss of having legit weekends. BUT, within the last two and a half weeks, I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel from Florianopolis to Rio de Janeiro (by myself to attend an international conference – a story of its own) only to come back for 3 and a half days and leave again for Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Argentina with Cari. So, even though 12 hour days, running two experiments in one week, and not having weekends sounds horrendous, in all honesty, it was worth the extra effort to accommodate for my travels.
In addition to traveling, while you are young (or not) and brave, you should at least try the hostel life. It’s incredibly different from living in a hotel. While it’s really difficult to find a hostel in The States, in South America, it was extremely easy to find good, cheap hostels. Throughout my trips to Rio, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires, I stayed entirely in hostels. I won’t even lie – going to Rio by myself had me a little nervous, especially since I had only stayed in a hostel once in my life – and that was with my mom and sister. But as I walked into the hostel lobby and my room, I was instantly greeted by friendly strangers that were all around the same age as me. Each person had their own story to tell. Maybe you’ll meet someone like Boris from Belgium – a guy who came to Buenos Aires to learn Tango. Maybe you’ll meet a woman like Shinye from Los Angeles, who quit her job so she could travel for 5 months before she “got too old”. Or maybe you’ll meet a guy like Matt, an energetic Brit who published on circadian rhythms (my exact research in TN).
Finally, whenever you travel, there is no time for sleep. There is far too much to explore and so little time. Even though time seems to lengthen when you’re experiencing new things, (http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/06/10-ways-our-minds-warp-time.php) the amount of time quickly slips. I know I’ve felt that while in Floripa. Traveling = hit the ground running and exploring as soon as you get there + no sleep + using every possible moment to experience new things. Be a tourist, but also live like a local. Try new foods, learn new skills, see the landmarks, and try your hardest to speak to locals! It’s not every day that you’re in a different city or country!
(Here's me in front of one of the most beautiful theaters in Buenos Aires AND in the WORLD :))
(And here's a group of British boys I met at my hostel in Rio)