The vast majority of my writings on Bolivia have been some genre of negative.
I've felt pretty awful all month, whether physically or mentally or both. My stomach aches daily, my head throbs from the thin air, my sinuses burn from the pollution. And I've been stressed out, all the time. Anxious and drained and just not happy.
I write this blog with one main goal: honesty. I tell you when nomad life feels like hell, like it does right now. But I also believe in intentional optimism, finding joy, and gratitude.
In that spirit, here are the moments in Bolivia where I felt alive and my smiles were anything but forced (in no particular order).
1. Climbing the mountain to El Alto in the cable cars, a breath-taking way to see the city.
2. Sipping Pisco Sours with seven friends, at the end of a food tour through La Paz.
3. Our first dinner here. I ordered a duck stew, served over mash potatoes, and it was tastier than anything I'd tried in South America (Luis' steaks excluded).
4. Hugging an alpaca on an island covered with giant cacti, thousands of years old.
5. Walking home with Jeff from a quest to find electronics. We strolled through markets and saw an entirely different side to La Paz.
6. Indulging in a 7-course tasting menu at Gustu, where we accidentally ordered the non-alcoholic juice pairing instead of the wine pairing and weren't upset at all (because it was insanely good... oh, it was good).
7. Cartwheeling and kissing on 10,000 square kilometers of salt.