We’re back with round two for Alyssa Richter, a fellow nomad and world traveler. After having given us useful tips and lessons learned from life on the road, we decided to check in to learn more about her favorite experiences as a traveler. Enjoy!
As someone who is constantly on the road, we are curious to know which place or places have had the greatest impact on your personal development and why?
Choosing to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina and then slowly travel around the entire country was one of the best decisions I made for my life. I moved to Buenos Aires just two months after graduating from university. The city had had this image in my mind as a romantic and electric cosmopolitan city where I would start off as a post-grad nomad. Being that it was the first and last stop of my trek through lower South America, it’s solidified as a place where I found peace and vigor to keep working hard. Between leaving and returning to the city, I grew up a lot, making peace with parts of myself and my past that had yet to be reconciled with. And while in the city, I worked hard to figure out how I wanted to make this fit into the bigger picture of my life. I met like-minded go-getters who inspired and comforted me in knowing that I’m not alone in this search for a more impactful life. Without the idea of a life in Buenos Aires, I never would have ventured off to that part of the world and wouldn’t be writing about my experiences today. People have asked me if I fell in love in the city because of how fondly I talk about it. You might say that in falling in love with the city, I fell back in love with my life.
Which city or cities are your favorite and why?
Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro both have my heart! They both have incredible energies that pull someone in and make it hard to leave. I’m a big fan of music and love to have variety in finding things to do. In Buenos Aires, there’s something different happening every night. The city seems to thrive on a prominent music culture that keeps its’ people dancing well into dawn. The European-style architecture only adds to the romantic charm of the city while melding seamlessly with modern street art and electric style.
While Buenos Aires lives for the night, Rio de Janeiro thrives in the day. The iconic, sun-splashed beaches and jungled mountains that lie scattered throughout the city are some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. To me, it feels like there’s an infectious, happy energy flowing through the city and its people. The laid back, blissful nature contrasts with rhythmic chaos in a way that it seems only Rio can harmoniously achieve. The ever-present music culture differs tremendously from Buenos Aires but doesn’t fail to keep you on your feet as you try and keep up with the rapid Samba steps.
What are your best traveling memories so far?
There are too many to count, so I’ll share one that really sticks out whenever I think back on my favorite adventures:
When my mom came to visit me down on the Southern Hemisphere, we hiked around Torres del Paine, Chile. The park is famous for three flat-faced rocks that jut into the sky like towers. We woke up at 5 o’clock in the morning when the light of dawn was just starting to crack through the night. Instead of camping in the park, we would take a bus back to a hostel we stayed at in a nearby town, so we would have to hike up and down the mountain in time to catch the last bus out of the park. The path is pretty strenuous, with a good amount of rock scaling towards the end. We wanted enough time to enjoy the view at the top, so my mom and I set a quick pace that made our muscles burn for the rest of the week. But this made the end result so much more worth it. To see the Torres del Paine stretched up behind a green, glacier-made lake is a sight that will not soon leave my memories. The raw, natural beauty of the mountains almost hurt to stare at. For a moment, I was overcome by the endorphins and an existential sense of awe at how lucky I was to get to see that. Being that I shared the experience with one of my favorite hiking partners makes the memory even more special.
After nearly running down the mountain to catch the last shuttle out of the park, my mom and I collapsed from exhaustion into our seats. While my mom slept, I stared out the window to watch the Torres del Paine envelop into the horizon. As the sun set, the sky melded into brilliant hues of fiery orange and soft pink, illuminating the landscape in an otherworldly beauty. The hazed mountains beckoned against the horizon before disappearing into the sunset.
What has been the most fascinating thing(s) with your lifestyle so far?
The people that I’ve met since starting out on this journey have been some of the best parts about choosing this lifestyle. Of course, travelling around the world and having the opportunity to live in beautiful and different places brings about its own fascinating features. However, the adventurous people I meet along the way keep me convinced that this is a career worth pursuing. In each place that I go to, I’ve met some truly interesting people whose lives could each fill up a book of their own. They inspire me to keep striving forward and to maintain a good work ethic while indulging in life’s awaited adventures. Aside from fellow travelers embarking on their own trails, the locals of each community remind me of humanity’s connection. Despite all of the customs, cultures, and languages, people can connect in ways that feel entirely familiar. When it feels like everyone is divided up and sorted into labeled orders, this is one of the most fascinating and refreshing truths I get to encounter while living my lifestyle.
For more from Alyssa, visit adventureandalyssa.com.