South America

South America is my original fave. I fell in love with Argentina long before I knew what it was like. You can imagine the expectations I set before arriving there at age 19 for the summer holidays to learn Spanish after my first year at university Of course, summer in Europe means winter in Buenos Aires, which was about one of the only things I knew as preparation for a five-week trip.

But enough about 2011! You’re here to read about hitchhiking stories, not very average experiences by literal teenagers.

In 2015, I returned to South America as a hitchhiker. I took a free repositioning cruise from the Canary Islands in Spain to Santos in Brazil.

From Brazil, I hitchhiked overland to Paraguay, Bolivia, Perú, Chile, Argentina, Chile, Argentina, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Perú, Ecuador, and Colombia. In Colombia, I took my first flight in over two years to visit the islands of San Andrés y Providencia. I left in 2017.

South America is also where I started living the digital nomad life with Jonas. Together we wrote many Digital Nomads Guides. I also tried to take my blog to the next level, which worked out so-so. I had a serious block on my creativity due to the impending doom that I had to return to university to finish studying before I had to pay back the government €20.000 in student debt.

But that’s all gone now. Next time I’m in South America I hope to write more and better. Enjoy the posts!

Santa Cruz de la Sierra: Christmas Time in Bolivia

Here in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, they have the most fabulous Christmas trees I’ve ever seen! They fit the landscape and the architecture pretty well. It seems like everyone is already in the mood for Christmas, which I usually struggle with. I’ll probably spend my Christmas hitchhiking to Titicaca Lake, but before I do that I’ll make recommended stops in Samaipata (nature+history), La Paz (should be magical is what I’ve heard!), and whatever other cool things come my way. Jonas will probably join me for that route, as he’s getting into hitchhiking. So far, Bolivia hasn’t been thatContinue reading

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Butterflies + the Bolivian Border from Paraguay

I’ve arrived in Bolivia! Here I was taking a *butterfly break with the backpack, a great shot Jonas took. We were hitchhiking toward the Bolivian border through Paraguay’s Gran Chaco region—a rough diamond. If you tell Google Maps to drive from Asunción to Bolivia, it tells you to drive through Argentina instead. It’s a clear warning of what this road would be like. Truly, this was one of the most difficult roads I’ve ever hitchhiked in terms of traffic, road quality, temperature, and water availability. It took four days! On the bright side, it’s the mating season or something ofContinue reading

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Paraguay from the Back of a Pick-Up Truck

Just another day at the office… for a hitchhiker! Today I hitchhiked in the back of this pickup truck toward Mariscal Estigarribia, the last village with a sizeable population in Paraguay before the border with Bolivia—and that border is still 250km away! In Paraguay, you usually get your entrance/exit stamps in your passport at the migration office in a town before the border rather than at the actual border. This also happened to us when leaving Brazil and entering Paraguay. Besides being a little strange and not straightforward at all, this is a complicated process of asking around for ‘laContinue reading

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Salto del Guaíra to Asunción: Paraguay by Hitchhiking

Paraguay! I’ve been weirdly and inexplicably excited about going to this country for a while now and I’m finally here. We crossed the border from Guaíra in Brazil to Salto del Guairá in Paraguay. And no, those áććéńt́ś are not a typo on my part, and the name Guaira is apparently in the Tupi Language, and not in Spanish or Portuguese. There used to be waterfalls here on the Paraná river, but they disappeared after the building of the Itaipu Dam. That’s a little heartbreaking. Hitchhiking is fairly easy. Yesterday Jonas and I did 400 kilometers in seven rides to hitchhike fromContinue reading

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Santos Shipping, São Paolo (Brazil)

In the port of Santos, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the cruise ended and hitchhiking on the mainland continues. Santos is apparently the biggest port of Latin America, so it’s not uncommon to see these huge container ships passing by or lying in wait in front of the port. Love the moodiness of the weather! I swear I find containerships beautiful. Unironically beautiful. Aggressively functional is an aesthetic. Much like architecture, I think the shape, size, and design of containerships reflects our world. Yada yada globalization. I think that on the whole, this is a positive development. Because I like drinking coffee ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ DidContinue reading

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Paraná, Brazil: Off-road Carona (Hitchhiking)

Hitchhiking in the Paraná State of Brazil! It was so rainy that the nice asphalted road washed away a few days ago. So the truck driver Rodriguez – who had a double carriage! – took the off-road detour through the soybean fields on this slippery red earth. He was in a hurry, so he had no problem overtaking other trucks here while smoking. Once you’re off the highways, hitchhiking in Brazil is pretty doable. That’s my first impression. The stupid comforts of the NomadCruise have long disappeared from my memory. But I do notice my lack of Portuguese skills are making thingsContinue reading

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Cruise-camping on the Equator

Witnessing a beautiful sunrise on the Mid Atlantic Ocean, just a little south of the equator! Instead of sleeping in the cabin without windows, some fellow hippies on the cruise ship opted for the silty, ocean air on the top deck. As we traveled southward by repositioning cruise, the temperature rose and this became a comfortable option. The night I went ‘cruise-camping’ was by far the best night of sleep I’ve had. And sweet baby Jesus, LOOK AT THAT SUNRISE! Being on a cruise ship for 12 days means being dictated by the breakfast, lunch, and dinner times. On topContinue reading

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NomadCruise Arrival in Santos, Brazil

Hooray, I’m back online! Almost two weeks ago I boarded this little boat with the NomadCruise to make my first Atlantic crossing to Brazil. I’ve finally arrived! The Digital Detox on the ship was tough but worth it. However, would I perhaps take a repositioning cruise again? Hmm… to be completely honest, I’d prefer to hitchhike another sailing yacht. Now I’ve got some catching up to do with you guys and the internet in general. I’m currently staying in Santos, close to Sao Paulo, and will be hitchhiking towards Perú in a few days. Yes, that is to say, I’llContinue reading

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Packed my Backpack & Ready for Brazil!

I’m packed and ready with my Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 Backpack! Thank you, Jonas! This is probably my last update for nine days from the European Union/the African continent… see you on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean! Peace, love, and tranquillity, Iris/Mind of a Hitchhiker 🙂 Jonas took this photo of me in the village of Tasarte, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain! Right before hitchhiking back to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.   But in all seriousness, this backpack is pretty amazing. My previous one that I borrowed from my stepfather was also very kick-ass, but quite vintage.Continue reading

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