Check-ins make a world of a difference. I’ve had them come randomly at the precise moment needed. Divine intervention. Sometimes they don’t come at that dire moment when the world feels like it’s falling and you feel alone, but they remind you that yes, you are seen, the world still remembers you exist.
I spent this morning wandering around Bogotá, hoping to go deeper into the city, but my trip was cut short by an untimely digestive experience. I finally made my way back after stopping for lunch and getting mighty lost. Bogota is located about 2640 metres (8660 feet) above sea level. Combined with the hilly nature of certain parts of the city (Las Aguas, La Candelaria, etc), getting lost can give you quite the workout. By the time I arrived back at my hostel, I was worn and felt sick. Turns out it may have been a bit of altitude sickness (https://thecitypaperbogota.com/bogota/why-bogota-might-be-your-altitude-problem/12962) and a bit of dehydration, which would explain my hangover like symptoms and headache. On arrival, I changed and slept. Most people are out midday in a hostel so I had the space to myself until later.
Bruno, an Australian who I totally pegged as Argentinian at first, came in and out and turned out the light for me. When I finally awoke and was feeling slightly better, he happened to come in again rummaging around for some thing in his bag. I asked him to turn on the light and he noticed that I was finally awake.
“How are you feeling? You’ve been asleep for some time, is everything okay?”
At a time when I had been feeling a little critical of myself for coming on this trip, his kind reach-out reminded me why I love travel so much. You meet some truly kind and caring people in this world that can often feel bogged down with misery and monotony. At a hostel, you can easily pass each other by as you go on about your day, but he didn’t and today that made the difference.