I first met Amanda upon my return to South Korea at the very end of 2008. Mike & Dave’s Speakeasy was having a black and white themed New Year’s party and I’d breezed back into town just in time to attend the event. My memories of that drunken night are largely filled with people giving me hugs and kisses to welcome me back and playing 5am Bowling Buddies in a smoky PC room with Rey and Zak because it was warmer than standing outside in the snow waiting for a cab.
I say ‘met’ Amanda like we interacted beyond being introduced and me laughing as her and our Thai friend Pong did a little dirty dancing. I might never have spent a great deal of time hanging out with Amanda – but she’s played a huge part in my life. Y’see, it was her ‘Pre Game Ho Down’ themed party where I met Fallon and this whole two year adventure began.
These days Amanda and her boyfriend Dan are traveling around South America on a shoestring and documenting their experiences in their blog ‘On the Road on a Shoestring‘. They sent me this gem from a unreliable Bolivian internet and I’ve had to populate it with pictures of my own because apparently the computer they found wouldn’t survive the upload process.
Enough from me. Here’s Aussie on the Road’s first ever guest blog from the fingertips of Amanda and Dan over at On the Road on a Shoestring.
Who Will You Meet?
We are a couple currently traveling through South America for three months. You can’t stereotype everyone you meet, but here are some of the most common kind of friends we’ve met in our travels around the world.
Oh, The People You’ll Meet
The two single drunk dudes: Typically hailing from Australia, The UK, Ireland or Germany, these fellows are out to get wasted, get laid, and earn bragging rights back home in the pub. Shorter term travelers who can be slightly single minded and may revile you for suggesting cultural or non-drinking related activities.
The independent woman: Older or younger, the independent woman traveler makes short term friends easily, but would never travel together for long. She does what she wants when she wants and rarely drinks to excess. In a situation where a man may look lonely, she looks content and at ease.
The couple in retirement: They have seen many places and have experienced what many young people can only hope to in their lives. They often have the best travel stories and don’t mind recounting them over a bottle a wine. They turn in early and see no reason to rush. Enjoying the day is their primary goal and they often make one hostel their home for extended periods.
The adventurous couple: This couple in their 30’s has the money and stamina to climb mountains and reach remote islands. You’ll easily meet them camping in Tierra del Fuego, but they’ll only be in Buenos Aires for a day to collect themselves for the next adventure. They love swimming, biking, running, and everything physical.
The hardcore druggie: Do you want to know where to get coke in La Paz? He’ll tell you before you even ask. He’s often supplying the whole hostel with the street drug of their choice and he parties all night long. A good friend when looking for a good time, otherwise steer clear!
The resident: A volunteer or low paid worker who doesn’t have a lot of money but prefers the simple life abroad. Great person to ask where to get you laundry done or the best lunch deal in town, they are often very knowledgeable about the area. They are quite used to travelers coming and going and do not get attached easily.
The hippie: Loose clothes, dreadlocks, and flexible attitude toward running water, the hippies are into art, music, and relaxation. They are often found in small beach towns where the lifestyle is slow and life comes easy.
Travels for a living: Commonly a highly educated professional, they have a successful travel blog or online business that allows them perpetual motion. They arrive with purpose and have goals to achieve. They are usually good with languages and cultural sensitivity. They are unfazed by even the wildest political unrest and are the envy of the travel community for making money while doing what we all love to do.
The youngins: Seventeen to nineteen (and not from the United States) god knows how they got out here. Eyes as big as does, they are fascinated by everything. They have the strongest immune systems, yet they are the most concerned about travel sickness. Well stocked with reserves of medicine and money supplied by their parents, but lacking world wisdom of experience, they are hard to tolerate in large doses. Always up for a good time and down for anything. Can’t fight against the youth!
There you have it!
Aussie on the Road’s first guest post all done and dusted. I want to thank Amanda and Dan for taking the time out of their busy backpacking schedule to write this for me, and I’m going to plug their blog once again. They’ve got some great stories and photos from their trip all over South America. Go look!
If you’re a reader and you’re interested in contributing a guest post, let me know. I’m always looking for interesting content for the site!