Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed on these blog posts are solely those of the original author, myself,  Amanda Cox. These views and opinions do not represent those of any company, government, or organization I may be affiliated with.

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A hectic few days! Arriving in Bolivia

Originally we were supposed to have about a week in La Paz for orientation and to get acclimatized to the altitude before heading to Sucre.  But plans change, and after a crazy 2 days of travel, we had to spend most of the next week travelling as well!  It was definitely a whirlwind but I think we handled it pretty well.  Although I’m normally a very organized person who plans everything to the last detail – Steve and I are both pretty good at going with the flow when necessary….

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Views of La Paz and El Alto on the way to the airport.

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Just a hop, skip, and a jump! – Travelling from Toronto, Canada to Sucre, Bolivia

It had been a long few months to get to this point.  People always ask how you’re feeling: Are you nervous to move to a country you don’t know much about? Are you excited to go on a new adventure? Are you sad to be leaving everyone behind?  To be honest, the last couple of weeks are just stressful.  I don’t even think about these things!  All I can think about is packing one box, one room, one suitcase at a time.  The last few months have been a few giant to-do lists of everything that needs to be accomplished before moving to another continent.  But once you arrive at the airport, all bets are off! Sitting on the plane you finally realize that this is happening, it’s real, and there’s nothing you can do about it!

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Steve’s parents were nice enough to drop us off at the airport in Toronto.

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15 Ways that Sucre, Bolivia Compares to Other Places

It’s human nature to make comparisons.  Especially when you travel, it’s very easy to say “I don’t like this because it’s different from what I’m used to at home…” (well, you might not say this out loud but you might think it…), or “This is so much nicer than it is in X country.”.  These comments can be positive or negative, and are a big part of learning about a place; including the social norms, culture, infrastructure, services, and all other aspects of life in a new place.  It’s not necessarily bad to make these types of judgements, as long as you try to understand why things are a certain way, and get used to living in that place without complaining all of the time.

Since I have traveled quite a bit, I thought I would give you a feel for what Sucre, Bolivia (my new stomping grounds) is like compared to some other places around the world that I have visited.  But keep in mind that each city has it’s own unique culture and history that shaped the way it is today.

Note: All images and videos below are mine, taken from my travels over the last 10 years, except for 3 exceptions (#2-Map of Sucre, #8-Map of Montreal, #14-Sidewalk in Mexico). For each set of pictures, the image on the left is from Sucre, Bolivia and the image on the right is another city (which is written in bold in the paragraph below it).

Here are 15 different things about Sucre that remind me of my travels:

Mountains - Bolivia  Mountains - Nepal

1. Sucre is located in a valley, surrounded by mountains – like Kathmandu, Nepal. Everyday when you look out the window you’re reminded by the light brown border on the horizon (this picture was taken from the plane between La Paz and Sucre). Steve’s not used to it yet, so he always thinks that it’s cloudy for a bit, until he realize that it’s just mountains – but it’s actually always sunny (at least in winter) with beautiful blue skies.

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Saying goodbye to Canada (Last weekend in Toronto) – 3 of 3

Normally when I go on a trip, I’m rushing until the last minute trying to finish everything and get all my packing done.  This time we decided to do it a little different, and finish packing the weekend before we had to leave.  That gave us about 4 days to spend in Toronto with some of our family and friends.  For anyone going on a long trip, I would highly recommend this strategy!  You still get stressed, but you’re not hopping on a plane tired and stressed.  Instead you can feel a bit relaxed and happy that you got to spend some final care-free time with loved ones, without constantly looking at your watch because you have to go home and continue packing.

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All the girls at high tea! We were served lots of tiny, fancy pastries, our choice of tea, and a decadent assortment of desserts.

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Starting a New Project – Expat Coffee Club

I enjoy writing a blog. Although it’s a lot of work to keep up with everything, and even more mental energy to lay things out in a nice way with pictures, I find it gives me a real sense of purpose. Even if my week is a bit boring or mundane, it thrills me to see readers from all over the world who are interested in what’s up with me.

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I have traveled to many different types of places. This picture is from my time doing research in Uganda – February 2014.

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Saying goodbye to Canada (Last week in Ottawa) – 2 of 3

After wrapping up work in Ottawa, we left ourselves exactly 7 days to get everything in order for our big move!  We stopped working on Friday, and on the next Friday our apartment was cleaned out, we had all our bags packed, and we drove to Toronto for our final weekend in Canada.  If you haven’t read about the previous week, check out my previous blog.  It was busy-busy, but we made it through!

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Left: Beautiful sunset on the drive from Ottawa to Toronto.  Right: Steve trying to use up extra food in the cupboards by making his favourite dessert – crème brûlée!

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Saying goodbye to Canada (2nd last week in Ottawa) – 1 of 3

Moving is a big job, and there’s always lots to be done. But moving to another country is even more work! Not only did we have to pack all of our suitcases, we also had to move everything else into storage. Thankfully there was a lot we could recycle or donate. While starting to pack, we also had to finish up work and be social too! We were busy bees during our last few weeks in Canada…

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Left: Full-moon yoga at Lansdowne part with the girls. Right: A motivational restaurant sign I saw during my last weeks in Ottawa.

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