Aventura en el mar

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What would you do with a free trip around the world?

Last year, I gave away a trip around the world. After going through thousands of entries, in the end, Heather was the winner. Her story was powerful. She’s been on the road a little over a month now and it’s time to catch up with her and find out about her trip, how the budgeting is going (is she doing $50 a day?), and the lessons learned.

Nomadic Matt: Heather, congrats on winning! You’ve been on your trip for about a month. First, how did you feel about winning?
Heather: Thanks, Matt! Winning was, in a word, surreal. I’ve never felt so dazed in my life. I’ve never won so much as a raffle prize before, so I didn’t actually believe you for at least a solid week. I kept thinking it was a dream, and I was scared to tell people in case it was. My little sister asked me if I was sure it wasn’t a human-trafficking scheme!

Overall, I feel so loved and supported by my friends and family and extremely, extremely lucky.

I’ve been trying to imagine what my mom would say if she were here to see this. I don’t have much of a frame of reference, since I only really started traveling after she passed. However, I’m sure she would be shaking her damn head at this trip! She would definitely think I’m crazy. And I know she definitely wouldn’t understand leaving my stable job to do this. In the end, though, I know she wouldn’t try to stop me or dissuade me. She would be happy for me; it just might not have been her first reaction. “Stop talking crazy” might have been the first thing!

Where are you going on this trip?
I’m spending the next few months in South America. I originally planned to stay in Peru for three weeks, but I might end up staying for six because there is so much I want to see here! I chose to spend a lot of time in South America because it’s been my dream to backpack here for so long.

I also just love the huge diversity of life and cultures here, and the interaction between indigenous cultures and Spanish colonialism. There are also so many amazing sites (such as the Galápagos, the Amazon, Machu Picchu, etc.). There is so much to learn and soak in.