Traveling through Chile & Argentina over the past few years, I’m always struck by the beauty, cuisine, and, of course, wines of these charming countries. But what has had the biggest impact on me is the South American attitude towards life. From my perspective, South Americans enjoy focusing on living in the moment rather than have their lives be dictated by a clock.
As a North American that used to be in the heart of the hustle and bustle of a large metropolis, working a fast-paced, high-stress job, and being one of those people who never used all of my given vacation days, I can wholeheartedly appreciate this kind of life philosophy. Us northerners can take a page from our southern friends and take a step back to enjoy each experience to the fullest. Now that I have my dream job where I get to split my time between the marketing of Taste Vacations and Zephyr Adventures, and guiding tours all over the globe, I find myself trying to help our guests to do just that.
There have been many times, especially at the beginning of a trip, where I’ve needed to gently remind a guest that vacation isn’t necessarily about getting from point A to point B so that you can check it off your list. But it is rather about the journey and experiences that bring you from one destination to the next, even if some of those experiences were unplanned. In fact, it’s the unplanned ones that usually end up creating the best memories!
But there are two sides to every coin. As a travel guide leading a tour through South America, it can be tricky to stay on schedule and make sure that you are delivering on the promises that the tour itinerary has laid out. Things happen at a slower pace in Chile & Argentina, which means we have to sometimes pad our itineraries to account for delays in crossing borders, the time it takes to get a lunch bill paid at a small restaurant, hotel check-in processes, etc. Though we try to predict where these delays can happen and plan accordingly, we can’t always foresee the hiccups that arise.
In my mind, a perfect solution would be to meld the two approaches together. At Taste Vacations, we actively try to blend the efficient and detail-oriented processes of North America with the South American ability to slow things down and truly savor what life has to offer. I encourage you to try to do the same, wherever your next vacation may be.