adventure

Where the Green Dress Travels: With Strangers in Patagonia

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I’ve read The Secret, understand the law of attraction, but also simply believe in being a good and friendly person. Someone who hopes most people live the same way, but understands and isn’t deterred by the ones who don’t. I think it is important to be ‘open’. Open to new friends, open to new experiences, and open to the opportunity to improve your or someone else’s life. You don’t have to constantly seek these things out, but simply consider the things that could change if you were more open (which usually translates to vulnerable).

I think this concept of being open relates even more when you travel, and can seriously enhance a trip. Some of my favorite memories and experiences I’m very thankful for happened on the fly. I.e…

-The very interesting retired sommelier for Walt Disney World and his wife who invited me over for dinner. I met them chatting about wine at a Bonefish grill bar.
-A Canadian couple who I’ve visited 2 continents with.
-A French/Texas man who has hosted myself and friends in Monaco and Amsterdam that I initially met via Facebook.
-An adventurous German girl met in Belize who has kept in touch for years now.
– A Harvard professor with an archeologist mother who gave myself and a friend a 3 day tour of Guatemala… without being creepy until the very end.
– The Argentinian local who a day after our meeting drove me around the highlights of Bariloche and took my green dress pictures for this post.
-The stranger met in the boarding area who kept me company for 4 hours in a cafe between flights that works from around the world, and I’m sure I will see again somewhere.
– Countless travel friends who give great travel tips.

Travel is uncomfortable and outside of routine, & it would be easy to close off and never be vulnerable while somewhere new. But, I implore you to try something that’s uneasy for you and notice the satisfaction you get after the ‘scared’ wears off.

I just got back from an uncomfortable trip for me. It was an impromptu trip to Bariloche, Argentina that stems from a man who I was put in touch with 2 years ago. Back then I was going to Buenos Aires and our mutual friend who lives in Texas told me to add him on Facebook for recommendations. He was very helpful, and we have kept in touch here or there since. When my friend and her boyfriend decided to go to the town in Patagonia that he has a hotel in, I immediately reached out to this man who I have never met.

4 days later after very little convincing on both of their parts, I boarded a plane for my first solo adventure (only until they met me there a day and a half later), and put faith that this stranger would have my room reserved and hopefully we would be able to meet! He met me immediately and we went to lunch, and was a big part of everyday I was there.

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Aldea Andina Resort

I went to a small concert at his hotel, Aldea Andina, and ended up meeting some of his friends and family that evening. Actually, I met the runner-up for the Argentinian version of American Idol, Johnny Susini, who is amazing! Additionally, A guy who was back home visiting offered to take me on a tour of the local sights the next day. Again, agreeing to get into a car with a stranger by myself was a little unnerving, but it was a great afternoon and I saw places a tour would not have taken me to! He turned out to be quite the green dress photographer and was supportive of this post too. I’m hoping he will meet my girlfriends & I in Spain this spring as well, as he lives nearby. Our new Argentinian friends cooked an authentic Argentinian BBQ for us, drove us around, and took me out for a night as well. Really, It was best case scenario and I hope some day I can return the hospitality.

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I know the majority of you are thinking how unrealistic or how hard for you this concept is, but you’re who I am talking to. I’ve been called naive, gullible, & too trusting.  But with the good outcomes far outweighing the bad I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t expect everyone to hop on a plane and visit a stranger, or get in a car with someone you just met. But, follow your instincts and simply be open to more possibilities.

I know I’m not the only one with tales about random adventures that stem from this, and these are some of my favorite stories to hear.

So, what do yall have for me? What kind of memories have you made from being open and out of your comfort zone?

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