Valparaíso, 31 January 2020
“Can I call you? This could be important!”
It all starts with a phone call, a job opening on the road. The Trip. You have six days to organise it, you have been dreaming about it all your life. South America, we leave on Wednesday. And how can you say no to two months on the road? I send a copy of my passport. Now there is no turning back.
The adventure begins even before you leave your homeland because leaving my south is always an adventure. I find myself grinding the first kilometres with makeshift companions. Elvira, 74 years old and a 3.5-kilo frozen octopus in her bag, chats so much that the three hours on the train go by. Amin, 27 years old from Tunisia, the night in Rome at the airport flows between laughter and coffee. In Paris, meeting with the group, boarding at the last minute. I am calm, happy and also a little scared. In 12 hours I will be overseas and from then on there will be endless more stories.
I open my eyes, the plane has been flying for 13 hours, the night is clearing and an upturned sun is peeking through the clouds. The snow-capped cordillera runs underneath us, it almost feels like we can touch it 30,000 feet above the ground. We are in Chile, our first stop. The landing is fast, maybe too fast, my head is spinning, and not just from excitement.
The smell of Latin soil is as I imagined it. We have arrived, and the road opens up before us.