How I got here...

Mumbai Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries

I ask too many questions and my parents were smart enough not to get me any of those “Tell Me Why” books. They knew that for every question of mine it answered I would raise another 100! Something similar happened during the course of my Spanish lessons. After exhausting the patience of my tutors I would come home and surf the net for hours looking for answers to some very interesting and some absolutely stupid questions of mine.


While browsing around I came across a language learning site called Livemocha. To begin with it looked like just another networking website with almost the same features you find on a social networking site. Nothing special here, I told myself but registered there all the same. As I was already part of a structured Spanish course I did not enroll into a course on the site but tried my hand at helping other members with their English. I would specifically look for people who could help me with my Spanish and in the process I got to hook up with some amazingly helpful and friendly Spanish speakers.


Within a few days I realized it was a genuine site with real people having a passion to learn new languages. I also discovered that the grammar revision I did while learning my Spanish was helping me explain the English language nuances and differences to Spanish speakers. It was fun and the appreciation I got from fellow members was priceless.


It’s been about 8 months since I’ve been on that site and have had some amazing experiences. The fondest one that comes to mind now is how Silvia and I worked on her C.V. in English when she wanted to apply for a job at an American MNC. We went back and forth writing and rewriting her CV in English and were thrilled to bits when she got the job. I now await my treat from Sil when I visit Costa Rica.


That said the task on hand for me was to start browsing the web in order to plan my dream holiday to LatAm. That was easier said than done. So many countries to choose from especially since all of them are so very beautiful and unique. Costa Rica was easy to choose. Silvia lived there plus everyone I asked were of the opinion that CR is a must. Among the bigger countries I had to choose from Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. The swine flu scare meant that Mexico was ruled out and I was left with Brazil and Argentina to choose from. The choice was very easy now ��" my vote went to Brazil! A big country meant more time and I could  now accommodate only one more country. I chose Peru having heard so much about Machu Pichu.


I had enough time and resources on hand and the one thing I didn’t want to do was to make my trip the stereotyped touristy one where you just get in and out of coaches ticking off the list of things to do and see.


Theoretically it was exciting to plan the long 8 week trip on my own but the practical side of it posed a lot of issues to be looked into. Local help was the one thing that could make things easier. I started networking on LiveMocha sounding out my friends, that, I was finally coming their way.


The response was overwhelming. They said there was so much to do in each country that it was up to me to select what I wanted to do and they could then guide me around. The general suggestion was to strike a balance between using a tour company and doing it on my own. Security in the interiors was to be considered as I was traveling alone and in Brazil I was not familiar with the language as well. One of them suggested that I do the cities on my own and the far off places using the help of a tour operator. The busy season also meant that going on my own wouldn’t be that easy when it came to getting hotel accommodation and tickets for internal travel.


There were so many websites to explore and save as favorites that I wondered if there was some kind of a limit on the number of favorites I could have on Internet Explorer! Just when I was warming up to the idea of setting a detailed time line for my travel I realized it was already time for my holiday in Singapore and I had to work on that before completing the LatAm research. Somehow LatAm seemed to be so exciting compared to Singapore! It was more of a pre-cursor to the big dream holiday. The first time on my own in Singapore was well worth it coz I met up with my friends brother who was a veteran in visiting almost all countries in LatAm. The first advice he gave me was to take a three month course in Spanish. I proudly announced I already have! He knew I was serious and told me that the first thing I need to do is to replace Peru with Chile. Other than Machu Pichu there wasn’t much of interest to me and I could always do it later. I took his advice also coz of the added attraction that he had a very close friend in Chile who he said would genuinely help me with my trip.


I came back from Singapore happy.... I had a local contact in Chile and in Costa Rica. Could I find one in Brazil. Lets see…


More browsing and looking for any travel companions was fun but also rewarding coz that’s how I landed up at TravBuddy. Once again didn’t know if it was a good site but a few hours of discovering the site convinced me that it was great place to hook up with like minded travelers from around the world…


So that’s my story of how I ended up here…what’s yours?


My blog of my journey to my destination in LatAm continues….





sylviandavid says:
nice blog... good job on your dedication to learning a language...
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links
photo by: vvicy1