In Russia when a bird drops a deuce on you it means you’re going to be rich. In Chile, it just means your pants are dirty. Which is awesome (sarcasm) because I’m about to get on a series of buses for just about the next 24 hours in attempt to border cross.

Indeed, I am leaving Chile. And I can’t say I’m necessarily that happy about it, mainly because I feel my work here has barely begun. I feel like I just arrived. More importantly, because of a customs snafu that I will write about when I leave the country and hopefully not get arrested, I didn’t have as much time to travel here as I had originally planned on.


But to be quite honest, backpacking kind of sucks. I’ve never done it before and it’s a very dirty, kind of shambly way to travel. I can see it working out if you had an unlimited amount of time, but considering I have a reservation to hike the goddamn Inca Trail next week, I have no choice but to scurry ahead north and start crossing some borders.

It also sucks when you’re alone, as I’ve recently found out. I was Skype-phoning with someone the other day who told me after he let me complain for a good hour (thanks, by the way) that some people actually “crave” this type of lifestyle. “Yeah,” I answered back. “Dirty, socially inept hippies.”

Seriously, what I’ve been able to non-scientifically conclude is that backpackers, for the most part (although not the few who may read this blog), are a bunch of douches. A bunch of dirty douches who care less about where they’re going, what they’re seeing and who they’re meeting  (that is, interacting with the local culture), and instead seem to care more about just pushing pins into a “Look where I’ve been!” map. The more pins on your map, the more dirty hippie douche-cred you have, it seems.

Technically, I suppose I could run for queen dirty douche, as “the sh*tholes I’ve seen,” as my friends and I affectionately call our former-Soviet territory adventures, would top most of these peoples’ forays into Western Europe. But, unfortunately, it seems the one position I’m qualified for (besides President of Awesome, that is) is the one I really have no inclination toward.

In all honestly, being a “backpacker” is just not me. I don’t like hopping in for a day or two. As my friends and family know, I prefer to overstay my welcome. I guess that’s why when I go abroad, I prefer to live in the place I’m going to rather than just visit. And if I’m vacationing, I want to have some good friends, a smaller bag of more fashionable outfits and a base to which to return when it’s over. Because right now, I’m more or less just a well-off homeless person with bird sh*t on my pants.

And that’s why I’ve made the executive decision to detour for some time in Cusco before and after my Inca Trail experience. And if my latest cockamamie (that word is totally underused) plan works out, until mid-December when I have other plans afoot, I’ll be living once again with a host family and taking more Spanish classes, this time four hours of private lessons a day. I’m hoping by the end of this stretch of lessons I’ll be able to curse to the heavens in Spanish next time a bird soils my pants. Because, goddamn, if anyone’s going to soil my pants, it sure as hell better be me! Seriously, f*ck you bird.