Before you view these photos of Danny and I in the beautiful outdoors near Bariloche, Argentina, and get that dreamy look on your face, let me share with you a secret that took me several months to learn on my own. Traveling for long periods of time, especially in the wilderness of foreign lands, may be romanticized in literature such as Lonely Planet and National Geographic. One truth seems to be missing from these tales of exotic peoples, tasty foods, and gorgeous landscapes: no matter how much your surroundings change, the person you are inside generally remains the same.

So, if you’re like me, and you already have strong opinions and preferences about, well, pretty much everything, traveling can be frustrating. I have to constantly remind myself to keep an open mind. It was nice taking a break from that effort in Bariloche, Argentina. It was the first place I found that reminded me of all of my favorite things from home: a large variety of local fruits and vegetables, super friendly people and a strong outdoor community, sunny weather, and endless opportunities to play in the wilderness. We stayed twice as long as we had originally planned, and even started dreaming of returning in winter.

Danny and I spent more than two weeks sampling various wilderness opportunities while using a hostel in Bariloche as our base. We did four camping trips and pitched our tent in a variety of places such as on top of Mt. Tronador, next to an aquamarine glacier lake, in a crowded lawn with lots of vacationing Argentinian families, and stealthily in a bamboo forest. We found the perfect combination of comforts from home and the diversity of a foreign culture.

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