I have never been fond of the cold and dark, so almost as soon as I knew I’d be coming to Dublin I started thinking of ways to escape winter. Fortunately, one of the great things about the Foreign Service is having friends all over the world, and at any given time a good number of said friends are likely to be in warm sunny places. I persuaded two friends, one in Rio de Janeiro and one in Montevideo, to let me come crash with them for a few days last month. And because I wasn’t going to go all the way to South America for a few days here and a few days there, I added in some solo travel time in Argentina for a a 16-day vacation extravaganza. It was fantastic.
I did a lot of things on this vacation. There was hang gliding and molecular gastronomy and hiking and a boat ride under waterfalls and museums and shopping and parties and a Carnival parade. Of all of this awesomeness Iguazu Falls may well have been the highlight of the trip: I spent almost three days there and never stopped marveling at the beauty and the sheer power of all that water. I HIGHLY recommend it.
I did a lot of nothing on this vacation as well – long luxurious hours on the beach drinking out of a coconut and watching the waves turn from aqua to teal to seafoam green as they rolled in to shore. As fun as all my activities were, the nothing time might have been the best part. I didn’t realize exactly how much I had missed the sun until I walked out of the airport in Rio and was suddenly immersed in it. For days I was almost delirious with joy, drunk on sunshine as I put down a base tan and cranked out some vitamin D. I am truly made for the tropics.
Now that I’m back it might be time to start planning next year’s winter escape. This was definitely a good idea.