Don’t call it Frisco. The fog is named Karl. You can be naked in public. There’s a herd of bison on the park. There are so many weird, unique things about San Francisco that totally threw me when I moved to this odd little microcosm, expecting to find some kind of cross between New York and Los Angeles (lol, no). I could not have been more unprepared for the culture shock I experienced: San Francisco is a city unlike any other in the United States. So I thought I’d take a stab at depicting this amazing place in the only way I know how: with a mildly helpful guide to random stuff nobody tells you about San Francisco.
It’s been 1 year since we quit our jobs, hopped on a plane, and left for our year-long honeymoon. For years, all I wanted to do was leave my job in corporate America and go off an an amazing journey, traveling all around the world and having incredible adventures. I daydreamed all day long and planned all night – and by that I mostly mean I spent a lot of time on Pinterest pinning travel inspiration – and finally I set a date to realize my dream. By 2016, I told myself, I’m going to quit my job and go travel. And then it was time. The date had arrived. We quit our jobs. We went traveling. And you know what? I don’t think we’ll ever do it again.
When we started planning our year-long extended honeymoon around the world, we didn’t really know what to expect. We had a lot of hopes and dreams: we wanted to become wiser, healthier, better versions of ourselves. We wanted to become the sort of people who climb mountains regularly and do yoga at sunrise every day and read books rather than surf the internet and write deep, meaningful things about the life, the universe, and everything in our leather-bound travel journal. We wanted to be the kind of travel couple you see on Instagram, their blissful lives centered around nothing but looking attractive in different places each day. Well, none of that happened.
We spent 4 months backpacking in South America. Although each of the countries we visited was as unique and different from one another as can be, we did notice a few universal truths about backpacking in South America… things nobody told us about before we left. In no particular order and in various degrees of usefulness, we’ve compiled our observations into this list of 30 things no one tells you about backpacking in South America!
From the creepy clown trash cans (seriously, Ecuador, WTF?) to Cheese Soup to friendly llamas to the Galapagos Islands, we had a fantastic time during our month backpacking in Ecuador! Here are 30 things no one told us about before we visited Ecuador….
If you’re going backpacking in Peru, chances are you’ll hear a lot about Macchu Picchu, something like “don’t spend any time in Lima” (we disagree), and some generic advice about acclimating in Cusco for a few days before doing anything athletic, like getting out of bed or walking up a flight of stairs (we agree). And that’s about it. We arrived in Peru with very little idea of what to expect. After a month of backpacking in Peru and figuring it out as we went, we’ve cobbled together some observations from our very gringo perspective, with varying levels of usefulness and in no particular order.
It has officially been 1 month since we took off for South America with only what we could fit in our backpacks. Our first destination? Colombia. We got a lot of weird looks when we told our friends and family we were starting in Colombia; looks that said things like “but you know there’s plenty of coke in San Francisco, right?” Well, friends and family, our month in Colombia was spent coke-free, but we did end up with a lot of questions. Like, why are the coins all random sizes? What’s tranquilo? And what’s with all the honking??