Traveling is an experience that can change your perception forever.
After racing to the bus terminal, waiting for half an hour the bus finally pulled into the station. Luckily, I already had a seat assigned for my journey to Copacabana, Bolivia.Travelers from all walks of life lined up to board the rickety bus, that would carry us to our newest adventure.
As the bus drove out of La Paz the weather got colder and the altitude got higher. The first town seemed like a village at the end of the world. It’s dusty streets lined with vendors and shoppers that most likely will never have an online shopping experience. As our bus bounced through the cracked and broken roads I couldn’t help but think about how drastically different their perception of life is then that of my own.
I was fascinated to learn that the local custom for showing one’s wealth is to build an apartment building, and then build a full-sized house on top of it! The family resides in the house on the roof and much to my surprise the building is left completely vacant!
As we continued along our way to Copacabana we passed more unnamed agricultural villages that seemed to be locked in the distant past. Houses that are made from hand crafted clay bricks dotted the hillsides. Carefully planted patches of crops tended to by hand, and using only the most basic tools. Livestock such as sheep, lamas, and pigs are kept in rustic hand-made fences. These people awake every morning and continue their lives just as their ancestors had done thousands of years ago.
Traveling is an experience that can truly change ones perception of the world around them. Do we, who live in a modern world really appreciate our most basic appliances? Do we grab hold of the unique opportunities that come our way? Most of all, it’s important to remember the simple beauty and knowledge that exists beyond the modern world that we have become accustomed to.
In reality, the towns that I drove through are not the end of the world, they are, and always will be where it all began.