Back home in America, a lot of people complain about bureaucracy, red tape, and government waste – and usually for good reason. But nothing in America can prepare you for what can only be described as the 10th circle of hell: the Bolivian Bureaucracy.
Life’s big money decisions have massive impacts on your financial health – decisions about your house, cars, your education, and, of course, your taxes. Good decisions on these big ticket items can lead to years and years of financial freedom.
They are self-centered, petty, and proud. They demand instant results like a spoiled princess on her birthday. And they think their work is somehow more important than how they treat others. Yes, Silicon Valley Executives may change the world, but that doesn’t excuse them to act like kindergartners.
In our second week in Bolivia, we are still settling into our new home. Every day, we’re buying more utensils and supplies. But we’re still well under our $2,000 move-in budget. The homesickness is fading, partly due to the sheer beauty of this place.
It didn’t take long before arriving in Bolivia and unpacking our bags for that ominous feeling of homesickness to settle into my gut. It’s not easy uprooting your life and starting afresh on a different continent – even if only for a year.
When you travel in less developed countries, it hits you like a bad hangover on a Tuesday. It starts with sweaty palms and an itchy index finger, and progresses into a nervous tick, which may or may not ever go away.
We first landed in La Paz, Bolivia. It has the highest commercial airport in the world at about 13,000 feet (that’s a fact according to my 6th grade son – so it must be true). Bolivians have a word for altitude sickness: “Soroche”,
Our family gap year begins now. As I write this, we are already on our way. We quit our jobs, pulled the kids out of school, rented out our lovely house, and we are leaving behind all our worldly belongings in a couple of 5x7x8 foot containers.
If you follow this blog, you know I’m about to leave on a year-long “gap year” to South America with my wife and kids. At this point, there’s no turning back. I’ve quit my job, my wife shut down her home business,