Lindsey Chapman's Travel Blog

“The More You Know the Less You Understand”
August 1, 2010, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Chile | Tags: , , , , ,

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tse once said,  “The more you know the less you understand.” It’s sort of a beautiful yet annoying paradigm.

This philosophy has never rung more true in my life than over the last week. I am on vacation from volunteering in Santiago right now, traveling through Peru and Bolivia. Lesson of the week: the more you see the more you realize you haven’t seen.

I have truly developed a new passion for traveling and seeing what the rest of the world has to offer, for better or worse. Originally the trip was going to consist of one destination, the infamous Machu Picchu. But I was going to be so close to the Uyuni Salt Flats, and to not stop would be a travesty. (Of course I wanted to get the oh so coveted pictures of the vast salt desert with the distorted depth perception.)  Then one traveler recommended a couple of beautiful cities on the way to Machu Picchu that are a “must see,” Arequipa and Cusco in Peru. Another traveler recommended a stop in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, on our way to Uyuni. Of course, there was a multitude of other suggestions but we had to be realistic with our time and money constraints.

Traveling to developing countries doesn’t come without sacrifices to your health, your pocket book and your well-being, but it is most definitely worth it. So far I have had bed bugs in Santiago, elevation sickness in Peru, and food poisoning in Bolivia. That alone sounds like enough to make someone run like Forrest Gump in the opposite direction to the conveniences and pleasantries of home in America. But it’s not. And let’s not forget the pleasure of drying your clothes after they’ve been washed, or a consistently hot shower. Or indoor heating. Or the convenience of putting your dirty toilet paper directly into the toilet. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy these things, but it is still not enough to deter me from wanting more: the joy of helping people less fortunate than yourself, the rush of skiing in the Andes, the accomplishment of climbing Machu Picchu, and a view from the top that is more than enough.

It looks like my time in Chile, Peru and Bolivia is only the beginning of new discoveries.


2 Comments so far
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I’m so jealous

Comment by Luke DeBoer

Lao Tse was absolutely right! The more you travele, the more you realize there is to discover… Want to share a site with great pics and reviews of Machu Picchu ruins and Cusco city attractions:

Comment by yacaree

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