The Truth about Traveling

Valpara í so, Chile

Valparaíso, Chile

Over the last six weeks, I've traveled throughout Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile. I've slept on airport floors (as I do tonight). And in buses. So many buses. I've struggled in another language in different accents to get from here to there and back again. I've worn the same clothes for over a week. I have 4 currencies in my wallet but no clear idea how much money is actually in there. I've developed tendonitis in my right foot and been colder and dirtier than I've ever been. I've fretted over spending too much money on this or that. I've stared hopelessly at maps trying to remember street names and bickered over the best route. My pants are too tight from eating whatever is cheap and convenient or too magnificent to pass up...which once was guinea pig. Usually the wifi is so bad wherever I am, I can barely upload a photo or catch up on the news, let alone try to FaceTime with family or friends. I've slowly been learning to forgive and accept the fragility and imperfection of everything, including - most importantly - myself. I haven't written much down because I'm too exhausted at the end of each day...but I can't wait to write my future post: "I Peed My Pants in Patagonia," which is a hilariously true story for another day. In the words of Anthony Bourdain, "In the end you're just happy you were there - with your eyes open - and lived to see it." At least, I'm really hoping that's how it ends. 


Ashley Peak

Teacher & traveler seeking bright sides and adventures. I recently left my position as a Title 1 middle school teacher in Spokane, WA for a position in Manizales, Colombia teaching English and Geography at a bilingual private school. I'm passionate about education in action, the power of literature, and traveling the world. Optimism Rampage is a place for me to reflect on the adventure. “Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. see the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that . Shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.” -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451