In case you missed it, I submitted my entry for the Biggest Baddest Bucket List Contest last week. It’s too late to vote now, but it’s never too late to check out my submission. One of our tasks was to write a short blog post about one of our most memorable travel experiences. Lolabees started out as a travel blog, and I’ve been so focused on the adventures of my career change that I haven’t written about my travels in a very long time. So why not share the blog post about a fantastic adventure I had in Valparaiso, Chile here?
Also check out my video below. If you’ve ever seen an episode of the Bachelor or Bachelorette, I think you will appreciate it. If you haven’t, well then, just know that I was making a spoof of that cheesy show we all love to hate.
When it comes to travel are you a planner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
I’m definitely a planner. I spend countless hours obsessing over where to visit, where to stay and eat, and what activities I want to do. I genuinely enjoy that process. It’s almost as fun as the trip itself. But you can’t plan everything, and I’ve learned that some of the best moments unfold from the most unexpected surprises…
It was our last day in Valparaiso, Chile. By now we had seen everything there was to see in the city. We had already wandered the streets, taking in all the sights; eaten our share of Chorillana; and even hiked the nearby La Campana, a grueling trail Charles Darwin had once explored. I’m embarrassed to admit now what I refused to acknowledge at the time: we thought we had nothing left to do, and we were getting bored in this captivating city!
Being the active types, we had spent our days navigating the steep hills of the city, resisting the allure of the funiculars that Valparaiso is known for. I mean seriously, taking an elevator to go up a hill? Not us! But since this really was the one thing we hadn’t done yet, we convinced ourselves we had to do it just once. I worried I’d regret going home without experiencing such an important quirk of Valparaiso’s character. Who knew this somewhat obligatory and spontaneous decision would launch one of my most favorite adventures ever?!
The ride up was pleasant, and we could now say we had been on a funicular in Valparaiso. But as we exited, an “amazing” surprise greeted us at the top… The Amazing Race! Surrounded by contestants trying to carry out their ridiculous challenges, my husband’s superhuman internal GPS system in his brain came in handy. After an hour of running around this labyrinth city helping a team solve their clues and guiding them to a second place finish, we forgot that we weren’t really ever part of the race. We enjoying nothing but the rush of feeling like part of the competition, and we felt exhilarated! We saw the city from a different angle and felt so grateful that we could simply enjoy the adventure. There was nothing at stake for us in this competition. Without a prize on the line, we were able to enjoy the moment for what it was, sans any arguing or any stress. The experience was the prize. We left our new friends on a high, and that quickly, the day that felt destined to be spent just killing time, became one of our most exciting days ever.
You never know… some of the best Bucket List moments are those that make the list after we’ve experienced them, with no planning at all. And as with many things in life they don’t always look the way we expect, but that’s what makes them so unique.
Compete on The Amazing Race? Check.
Oh, and by the way… I’m really not a reality TV junkie. I swear. Really.