Unfortunately, Joylani’s still pretty sick and stayed inside for most of our last day here. So I ventured out alone this morning. I visited the Basilica del Voto Nacional and climbed up to the very top of its gothic spire. The 360º views of the city were well worth the climb. Afterwards, I stepped into a KFC-type place for some fried chicken, fries, and a Coke- the quintessential South American meal. I sat in the Parque Alameda afterwards to reflect and write a little bit. I’m not nearly as reflective as I thought I’d be, although I hope that those thoughts and emotions will come with time. But I do have some thoughts today.
Today is our last day in Quito, Ecuador, South America, and as international travelers. It also marks the end of our longest overland journey ever. From Buenos Aires to the southernmost point on the South American mainland and then north along the entire Andean range to Quito. Glancing at a map right now, I estimate that we travelled about 10,000 miles over the past 3 months. From Antarctic to Equatorial, it was an amazing journey through five countries. Yet, I am happy to be leaving tomorrow. We’ve seen a lot of amazing things and have had some good times, but we’re both definitely ready to leave the continent for a myriad of reasons. Although not our favorite region of the world, we’re both thankful for the experiences we’ve had. Travel, and life for that matter, is not always comfortable or enjoyable, but valuable and meaningful experiences can still be had. If nothing else, we learned about South America, saw how life is down here, and broadened our perspectives. Although we’re both ready to leave South America, only Joylani’s ready to go home. Me? I could keep on travelling for awhile, but I don’t know if that feeling will ever change.
We do still have a couple weeks in Hawaii before going home home, but we both see that as more of a transition period than part of our trip. It’s taken me awhile to fully comprehend and process many of the big transitions in my life and I doubt this one will be any different. I hope to do a lot of reflecting and writing in Hawaii and I hope to blog at least some of my thoughts in the coming weeks.