After two months of living in Bolivia, I packed my bags and left on December 24th, arriving in the United States on December 25th.
Hey! That's Christmas! Why would anyone fly on Christmas!?
I don't know why people fly on Christmas. In a perfect world, everyone should be at home spending time with their families. But, surprisingly, there were plenty of people flying on Christmas. Why? Because they're satanists. And, also because airfare is cheapest on Christmas.
After two months in Bolivia, I was glad to finally get home. Setting all "politically correctness" aside, Bolivia was hella ghetto, and I wanted to come home. To come home to clean streets and people. But then again, I knew that I was going to miss Bolivia. I had made close friends and gone on awesome adventures there. Bolivia is by the far the most unique country I've ever visited, with it's very distinctive topography and culture. La Paz had begun to grow on me, too. A part of me began to love Bolivia. But still. I was glad to go home
Here's a photo of Bolivia as I flew away.
Now here's a photo flying into Miami International Airport, MIA.
The contrast between those two photographs could not be bigger. Now everyone can understand by I was pretty glad to fly into a country where roads are paved, the streets cleaned, and the laws enforced.
I can't help but think of the friends I have in Bolivia. Or China. Or Ukraine. Or other friends that live in third-world countries. They didn't choose to be born into a corrupted nation with significantly less opportunities than me. And then, it begins to dawn on me how unfair the world is. How unfair it is it that I was inadvertently handed the longer end of the stick of life, while so many people have the short end. What is it that I can do to help them?
The answer creeps up on me like the cover of darkness. Nothing.
I'm not influential, successful, or overflowing with bundles of cash that I can just hand out to everyone who is poor. I just came back from spending two months in Bolivia, volunteering at a hospital for burned patients, at a children's home, and at an organization that helps kids living with cancer. Two months had passed with me volunteering my ass off, only to realize that there isn't much that I can do to change the situation of the world.
What if I was a kabillionaire and gave all the poor kids a big bag of money? Well, that wouldn't work. As everyone knows, anyone who receives free money obviously is going to spend it on booze and end up worse than before, right?
Okay, what if I took all of my energy and spent it on ONE poor child in some third-world country. One kid. Taught him how to be hard-working, kind, just, successful. Then he can grow up and inspire others, just like I inspired him, and that way we can change the world, right? Well, realistically, that being third-world country, more than likely that kid is going to get involved in some drug related crime and get shot and killed by some gang member. And all of my inspiration and hard work will be dead. Just like that kid.
I'm tired of playing this charade that "anyone can change the world, if they really want to." It's too late to brainwash me with that idea now. I've been out and about and I've learned that the world is ginormous, with more people living on it than my brain is capable of imagining. And if "I can make a change, no matter how small," who do I go to help first? Because obviously, I can't help everyone. Where do I start? Who will be the lucky ones that get my assistance? What organization do I start volunteering at to make me feel as though I am making a difference in this huge-ass world, so huge that most of the people on it don't know who I am, and will never know that I volunteered and tried to make the world a better place. The world is so messed up that I don't even know where to start to help fix it.
Here's my resolve:
All I can do is continue to live my life, and pretend that those poor people who've received the short end of the stick in life don't exist.
Hell, that's what everyone else is doing. That seems to be the easiest solution.
(Until, of course, they cross illegally into your borders in droves, looking for a better life and opportunity. Then, Houston, we have a problem.)
On a much brighter note, here are a few pictures of me in Miami. I met another solo traveler from Germany named Mortiz, on his way to Peru, and we had a nice time hanging out in the city.
Its really amazing how quickly you become friends with other travelers while traveling. I was actually going to use this post to write about how cool it is that backpacking allows complete strangers to become instant friends, but I got a little carried away, and spilled out my deep feels instead.