Every trip brings with it a series of experiences, mostly good, but not always. And with those experiences come opportunities to learn. To learn new things about a culture, about history, the people, and sometimes even yourself. This week’s Discover Challenge is about learning and so we figured it would be a timely opportunity to consider what we learned from our travels within Bolivia. We certainly learned a great deal about the Incan culture between our visits to Incallajta, Tiwanaku, and the islands of Lake Titicaca. We also found that our grasp of the Spanish language was not nearly sufficient for a country where people who spoke English were few and far between, but we also learned that push come to shove, we were able to communicate effectively enough. Whether spending the night in jungle, zip-lining in the canopy, riding cable cars above the city, or going into caves filled with bats, we discovered that we even more adventurous than we previously believed that we were.
There is a saying that you learned everything that you needed to learn in life in your first years of school. In many ways we believe that this is true. You learn how to interact with other people, follow rules of society, and most importantly learn how to learn. Once you learn how to learn, learning becomes second nature and you’ll spend the rest of your life looking forward to learning new things. We were so fascinated by the history of Bolivia, and specifically the Incas, that we’re looking to buy a couple of books and delve even deeper into those subjects. We usually do a lot of reading in advance of heading to someplace that we haven’t visited before, but we didn’t do as much preparation for this trip. In some ways that made each discovery during our adventure that much more enjoyable as we literally learned something new every day.
With every trip that we take, we come home feeling more enriched than when we left. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from many different people during our travels. If you have the opportunity to work with guides while travelling within a country, you will often get to learn even more than if you just explore a country on your own. We like to do a combination of the two, exploring on our own and working with guides, trying to get the best of both worlds. Life is a constant learning experience and if we ever stop learning we will stop growing and travelling.