The phrase “widely travelled” has too often been loosely used by those who have explored a handful of countries in their lifetime. Not so for American travel blogger, Brittany Boroian, the 24-year-old who has travelled to over 30 countries in a short span of four years! For the past year and a half, Brittany has been living in Paraguay as a Peace Corps volunteer. The enthusiastic avid traveller describes her passion for learning new languages, trying out different foods, and exploring foreign cultures.
When did you first decide to travel around the world and what inspired you to make that decision?
My first experience travelling to a country outside of my own was when I did a gap semester program with Carpe Diem International. Travelling throughout rural India was such an eye-opening experience to a world so different than my own, and I was forever changed. I love that everyday is an adventure, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and growing as a person through my travels. And I love making new friends all around the world!
Do you travel alone or with a group friends?
I’ve done both, but most of my travels through South America have been by myself. It’s definitely doable to travel alone – you just need to follow a few simple common-sense rules and you’re good to go on the adventure of a lifetime!
When was your first trip to South America?
I first stepped foot on Paraguayan soil in September 2009 as I was doing an internship in Paraguay through my university, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! To date, I have been to Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
Which South American country is your favourite of the list and why?
Definitely Paraguay! Perhaps it’s because I have lived here for a year and a half, but I believe that it is definitely a place worth visiting. Paraguay is a beautiful country, full of kind and wonderful people that will always invite you to drink tereré (the national drink of Paraguay) with them. There are also plenty of places to explore in this off-the-beaten-trail country.
What were some of the joys and challenges you faced in South America?
Some of my biggest joys in South America have been making lifelong friends in my community in Paraguay, and learning to speak Spanish and the indigenous language of Paraguay, Guaraní. My biggest challenges have been adjusting to the pace of life here, which is a lot slower, and the summers- it is hot down here!
Name your top 5 things to do in South America?
- Go to a national soccer game in any country. Latin America is crazy about its soccer, and it’s definitely an event worth seeing!
- Get yourself invited to a ‘quinceañera,’ a giant Latin American birthday bash for a girl’s fifteenth birthday. The rituals and ceremonies are different in each country, but it’s a fascinating and unique event to witness!
- Iguazu Falls are some of the world’s most incredible waterfalls on the borders of Brazil and Argentina. This is definitely a place worth visiting- I’ve gone three times now!
- Stroll the streets of Buenos Aires in Argentina and explore this European-esque city of wonder. With its incredible art and museums, leather valuables, tango-filled nights, and restaurants that serve world-famous beef, you will be sure to fill your days with adventure in this incredible city.
- Don’t miss out on Easter Island (or Isla de Pascua in Spanish) off the coast of Chile. This incredible island boasts crystal-clear oceans and white-sand beaches, volcanoes, and their famous moai monumental statues.
Before you travelled to South America, what were some of the misconceptions you had of the continent?
I expected South America to be much more rural than it actually is. South America is actually quite modern and is commercializing very quickly. I also expected South America to be perpetually busy and teeming full of people, like it is in Asia, but South America is actually a very tranquil, relaxing place and the pace of life is much slower here.
Any tips you can provide to those who are thinking of visiting the continent?
South America is a beautiful area of the world, and definitely worth visiting! The best times to visit are August-October (Spring) and March-May (Fall)- the weather is gorgeous and the temperatures are warm and sunny during the day, and cool at night. If you’re looking to make new friends, bring a few simple and cheap gifts from your country to give to people you meet. And definitely leave some extra space in your suitcase for all of the gorgeous clothes and cheap indigenous artifacts you can buy!
What are your plans for the next 5 years?
I plan to live in Paraguay until I finish my service in the Peace Corps in August 2013. I hope to return to Asia for a year through a Fulbright grant, but all my future plans include traveling! I would definitely like to explore more of South America. My goals are to visit Christ the Redeemer in Brazil and climb Macchu Picchu in Peru, both two of the seven wonders of the world. I would also like to visit the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela. My plans for the next five years are to continue to travel around the world and get a master’s degree in business administration, where I’ll hopefully be able to start a career in international business.
Travel with Brittany on her rich expansive list of adventures at http://brittanygoesglobal.com/
This article was published on Vida De Latinos’ online magazine, 1 December 2012.
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