There are voyages, there are journeys, there are travels, and then there is tourism. I am not sure which one fits the South American wanderings of my dear friends Rostom Sarkissian and Lilit Baldjyan, but it does not look to me like theirs was the last of the list.
From time to time, I post photographs from friends who are traveling in distant lands or who have evocative images close to home. Rostom and Lilit’s text below gives a nice summary of the significance and range of their adventure in South America, as do the photographs, which were taken on their phones as internet access was often limited in many of the places they landed on. The first installment is from Argentina. Others will follow.
Thank you very much, Rostom and Lilit, for your words, for the captions, for these unadorned, spontaneous images, and for your willingness to share them on this blog. Safe travels, fair winds, gentle landings.
~~Tomorrow, we board another bus, our 25th or 30th of this trip. We’ve lost count at this point. We will say goodbye to Baños in the evening and when we awake, we will be two buses away from our final destination. This is now our 33rd city, 5th country, 2nd continent.
In January of this year, Lilit and I decided to leave our comfort zones in Los Angeles to travel, explore and learn. We knew this was our opportunity and by doing so, we would be more complete individuals when we returned home. The trip has exceeded our expectations. This journey has been amazing!!!
We’ve traveled through the Conch Republic, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and now Ecuador. Our travels have taken us to some of the places that we planned to go, but have mostly consisted of detours to towns, villages and regions we had never heard of.
The road has been our guide and it has been kind to us. It has led us to some of God’s greatest creations (Perito Moreno, Iguazu Falls, the Andes, among others) and to some of man’s finest handiworks (Machu Picchu, the Basilica del Voto Nacional, the Central Squares of most South American cities). What a journey!
Our lives have become enriched in ways we never expected. We’ve made some great friends; seen the human condition (good and bad) in places that are far removed from our daily existence; and have gained a greater appreciation for the interconnectedness of people who live on this planet. It’s cliche to say this, but traveling has reinforced for us the truth that we are more similar than we are different.
From a professional perspective, Lilit has gotten a first-hand look at the medical care provided to women in the field of obstetrics. I have been overwhelmed by the knowledge I’ve gained of public policy in Latin America–from public transportation, to the importance of the public square, to monetary policy to tourism development, to much, much more.
I can write about this journey for hours on end, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Take a look at our photos; they tell some of our story. Siempre bien viaje.~~