"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
- George Harrison (from the song Any Road)
Just a day before we sail from Panama to Colombia, I can't help but feel madly excited about the upcoming continent and all the adventures we'll have. The lure of South America has always been in me; even as a little girl I dreamed of the Brazilian amazon. Now with hours until we sail, and just days until out feet find solid ground on the Cartagena beaches, I'm thrilled.
Our plans for Colombia - and the whole of South America - are pretty vague. We do have our general direction, and certain cities we won't miss. But when it comes to how long in what place, we are intentionally keeping our plans open.
The road is nothing if not unpredictable. Embracing the unpredictability of the road means being open to all people, and all places. It's easy to end up in a place you never intended to visit, simply upon the recommendation of another traveler. I learned that first-hand when in France in 2006, and I ended up unexpectedly doing the first three days of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela upon the recommendation of a friendly girl I met in the hostel. Destinations become fluid and so do the reasons for visiting.
The photo above is from Cahuita on the east coast of Costa Rica, after hearing that it was "beautiful" from a girl with whom we shared a short bus ride. We hadn't even heard of the city, and within 24 hours we were there.
The joy of motion, being en route, and just simply not knowing is a big part of what makes traveling so immediate and so rewarding. You find a place to go, and then you get there.
For us, right now that place is South America.