The best education ever may not come at school
I have been amazed at the number of young people travelling. 18-25s make up a huge amount of the people I am meeting and often it is young girls on their own.
What a set of balls they have, not only to travel alone, but to come to South America on their own, or with a young friend.
They seem totally confident, cutting about like pros. Facing the fears, because they have some, but doing it anyway, Goddessing it right up.
The last time I travelled we had internet for email, but no smart phones.
They makes a huge difference.
You can be contacted, and you can keep in contact daily, just to soothe worried minds, especially if its your first time away from home.
Uber, Hostel World, Booking, Workaway, Help X, Maps me, Google translate, Spanish apps, to name but a few of the brilliant ways to book ahead, find out how much it costs to get places and generally leave an online trail.
But none the less it is still a big step.
Moving out of your Country and your Continent.
Its tough for Guys too, but females have added fears and perhaps not the physical strength that some guys have.
Its easier if you speak Spanish, no doubt about that, but not everyone does, certainly not on arrival.
The Hostels are the best way to meet others, especially travelling alone, and I am sure for couples too.
Some Hostels really nail it, great social areas, meals together, roof top hang outs, tours in the area, all go to create another Community within the travelling Community, an opportunity to meet like minded peeps.
The camaraderie is truly remarkable.
My age never stops me getting invited out to join the young uns, even travelling with them for days at a time, and having a real laugh.
It is like one big family, with others more than happy to help you if you ever need it.
Really brings out the best in humans.
When I was on Finca Sagrada we had two young girls from Germany who have come right out of school at 18. They talked their parents into letting them travel before they start to study.
They have been using Workaway and been all over Chile, Boliva, Peru, Ecuador and are on their way to Colombia.
They picked up trash in the desert, worked at reception, in a Hostel in another one making breakfast and cleaning and flyering in one place, the only thing they did not really enjoy.
They are now on their way to a Vegan Restaurant in Montanita.
They have come to this farm in the middle of nowhere, moved out their beds to accommodate us, pitched right in with all the chores, happy to be helpful and useful even outside volunteering hours.
I asked them a few questions as I had a captive audience.
Here is what they said.
What made you decide to travel?
They did a student exchange when they were 15 to Chile and they wanted to come back.
They had Spanish in school plus on the exchange, so they are fluent and can communicate easily.
No boyfriends back home to hold them back and ruin their lives lol.
Did your parents, family and friends have any concerns?
One of the girls is an identical twin, her sister chose to go straight to Uni, while she decided to come to South America. Her mum and dad have been split for years and she had never had a run in with Dad, until she told him about the travel plans.
They argued it out and she held her ground, and now he is seeing how strong and brave she is, and is proud and supportive. The other girls parents travelled a lot but were not keen on the South America idea, suggesting Australia, but she too was determined.
They made it happen, despite all the fear. Awesome.
It seems that everyone who comes here gets concern from those who have never been.
But here they are, travelling, volunteering, learning, bonding, its incredible.
What do you like most about travelling?
Meeting and getting to know a lot of other people, cultures, Countries. Really enjoying the bus and seeing the different landscapes, which are incredible here.
What is the biggest thing you have learned?
To be open and dont judge.
Wow that is what they said.
To respect other cultures, they do it differently here, and to respect that too. And to be patient, now that is a biggy. Remember these girls are 18!
Life is good even when things are going wrong, because you dont have much else to think about. And you cannot plan, things change all the time, so be spontaneous.
Sounds like a great life lesson.
What do you appreciate more about home now?
Washing machines, bread, peace, going out without worrying about getting robbed. To be able to go out in the dark without being scared.
To get back to a life structure.
And the kitchen at home, not having to go shopping for every ingredient you need.
And to be able to eat your parents food.
And the pets and family ofcourse.
Will you do it again?
And we will tell everyone about it
They would encourage all young ones to travel and to volunteer too.
It gives you a sense of purpose through the days and you learn and meet interesting people.
Its a journey just for you.
Another super intelligent perception I have never thought about.
Not for anyone else. You have a lot of time to think and get to know yourself, finding solutions for problems. Even when you feel lost you find your way out of it.
It feels like living, like really living.
Huge thanks to the girls for indulging and sharing with me, I look forward to following their life adventures over the next decade or so.