I cannot imagine what life must have been like when people believed the world was flat, or that the world ended on the horizon where the sky met the edge of the earth.
I cannot imagine living with the fear that if I stepped out, I would be stepping over and falling into an unknown abyss. Luckily for us, travelling is a much easier feat in today’s world.
By Zuko Mbewu
Make your reason for travelling a calling. People travel for different reasons. Some go abroad to learn a new language; others are drawn to the element of risk. Many find value in travel by embarking on a pilgrimage. My call to travel revolves around music, food, and serving other people.
The Americas of yesteryear were filled with turmoil that included slavery and exploitation, but today, life in this part of the world is much more vibrant and rewarding. The history of the Caribbean has led to unique cultures, languages and industries that we benefit from today, particularly as travellers, and music is central to it all. As the sun slowly rises over the Caribbean Sea with shimmers of gold, the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee soon fills the air and invites you to wander the streets looking for the perfect corner cafeteria. As you watch, people begin their day with distinct activities. An old man opens his corner shop and brings out tables and chairs, while a busker tunes his instrument preparing to create tunes to carry you through the day. A woman sets up her stall and prepares to sell another deep-fried batch of empanadas.
From Trinidad to Panama City, the Latino sights, sounds and smells are similar: these are the Americas. Here are a few tips on choosing your South American destination:
1. Research Places That Are Aligned To Your Interests:
If cricket is your interest, head to the Caribbean and buy a ticket to a cricket match where you can sit and enjoy the creole in the air as the masses cheer their team on to victory, and later drench yourself in a dreamy silver sunset walking barefoot on the beach as the sun goes to sleep over the South American continent.
2. Choose a Destination by Theme:
The Pirates of the Caribbean movie, for example, might lead you to St Vincent and the Grenadines where they shot the famous film and where you can discover museums with relics from the pirate era.
3. Choose a Destination by the Type of Music or Dance that Appeals to you:
If tango is your thing, then Buenos Aires or Montevideo may be your ideal stops beginning your journey by boat from Puerto Madero and sailing across the vast Uruguay river on board the Seacat Colonia to see la Plaza Fabini.
If you like Native American tunes, then Peru and Bolivia up in the Andes might be the best places to begin your explorations. http://www.bolivia.travel/index.php.
If you love salsa, Cuba may be the place for you.
4. Let Food Take You Places:
If food is your thing – as it is mine – perhaps cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo may be calling your name. From Brazilian cheese bread (pão de queijo) to street sandwiches crammed with cold meats and abundant cheese, food will take you through unforgettable cultural immersions.