Life Tip #176

The next best thing could turn out to be the best thing.

Unfortunately, we can’t always afford the greatest travel destinations that we want to visit, but that shouldn’t stop us from doing the next best thing. Call it Plan B or whatever, but do it anyway. Sometimes the secondary options turn out to be just as awesome.

This happened a few times in my life, starting with my honeymoon. My wife and I got married in Paraguay during our Peace Corps time, and we wanted to go to Rio de Janeiro, in neighboring Brazil, for our honeymoon. Well, we didn’t have the money to swing it, and while initially disappointed, we found an excellent Plan B. Some Peace Corps friends told us about a beautiful seaside island city called Florianopolis (Flower City) in Brazil. It was so wonderful that we soon forgot our original desire for the more popular destination of Rio.

The same thing happened when we later wanted to travel to the popular destination of Machu Picchu in Peru. We couldn’t afford that trip either, so we instead took an incredible adventure to the southern tip of South America and the awe-inspiring Torres del Paine National Park. That second-choice destination included a 24-hour old-fashioned train ride down the coast of Chile, the beautiful cities of Santiago and Puerto Montt, the Strait of Magellan, glaciers, and the indescribable beauty of Torres del Paine (just Google it and you’ll see what I mean). And even though we were absolute amateurs trying to hike and camp in a world-class park, we had a blast. In fact, our amateurishness made the trip all the more fun—except for our crappy equipment, spilling a pot of coffee inside the tent, nearly being pickpocketed in Santiago, eating an eel sandwich without knowing it, and running out of money. Yes, except for all of that, it was awesome. Seriously though, those oddities made it all the more memorable.


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