Whenever someone asks me what they should do and see in a place I’ve been to, I always say: it depends on what you like.
There are always people telling you what you “must see”, leaving most people with a sense of not having been to a place if they have not ticked off certain boxes. Like you haven’t been to Paris if you have not been up the Eiffeltower.
I’ve kind of dropped that when I travel.
In 2014 I travelled for 28 hours on a bus from Bariloche to El Calafate just to go horse riding. I didn’t visit the glacier Perito Moreno. I watched bus loads of tourists have coffee at the simple estancia – Estancia Rio Mitre where I was staying – as it was only a few kilometres from Los Glaciares National Park. As they hurried off to the glacier I always thought, completely subjective of course: they are missing the best bit of this place.
Gallopping on the fields outside of El Calafate in Argentina, surrounded by the mountains felt like me. Sleeping alone in a dorm under a fluffy duvet as the wind was howling outside felt just like the ting I wanted to do in this part of the world.
Arrving to Brazil last year I stayed one night in Rio, at a hotel a five minute drive from the aiport just to make Campo Grande and Mato Grosso do Sul my first stop. I’m sure Rio de Janeiro is beautiful, but I didn’t feel like staying longer.
I stayed two weeks in São Paulo going to yoga, sitting for hours in Tívoli park looking at the trees and people walking their dogs. I only left the neighbourhood of Jardim twice; once to see the Japanese Town and the other to go to a friend’s place.
Many people would probably wonder why I even bothered going to these places. How I could decide to go to Brazil and not see the statue of Jesus in Rio or how I didn’t go to any of São Paulos museum or how it’s even possible to go all the way to El Calafate and not see the glaciar.
It’s perfectly possible because I think life is too short to listen to what people think you should do and see. Go with what interests you, what makes your heart beat and I’m sure you’ll end up having the best of travels.