WARNING: This blog contains no climbing–just a few ramblings from my first days of traveling to Argentina.
1. Always talk to cheerful elderly men at airport bars.
In my experience 2 out of 2 times they will tell you fantastic stories about their lives. I met a man two days ago in Houston who told me about how he taught himself to program in the early days of computers. In the summers, to help pay for college, he would do research in Mt McKinley, which involved cross country skiing through the park to tracks bear migration patterns for weeks at a time. What a badass.
2. Don’t smoke on airplanes.
My first flight was stopped at the gate for 20 minutes while an airport security official walked around the plane trying to figure out who had smoked in the bathroom. The flight attendant asked over the speaker for the person who had smoked to raise their hand so that they could get a stern talking to by the security official and pilot and receive a $10,000 fine…OR if no one raised their hand, he announced that we would take off. The plane took off 2 minutes later.
3. Why did I learn French in high school?
When I had to pick a language to study at school I was only 16. I will never forgive my mom for letting me make that decision on my own. My parents forced me to learn the piano against my will when I was young, but apparently they had given up by 16 and let me make this huge life altering decision by myself. I know deep down in my heart that if I ever have children they will be forced to learn Spanish. (Unless I live in Canada, in which case, French would be a reasonable choice).
4. Pack like you know your checked bags will get lost.
No one can predict the odds of when your checked baggage will mysteriously be lost by airlines, but the odds definitely increase when you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language (because parents let you learn French) and have no way of obtaining information about your bags. Luckily my mom did teach me to always overpack, so I brought all the necessities in my carry-on. (And by necessities, I mean a harness and climbing shoes, of course)
5. Some things are more dangerous than climbing.
For example, being a passenger in a taxi in Argentina.
That’s all for now. Will and I are about to some climbing at Piedras Blancas today. Pictures to come soon!