Bolivia is like a surrealist's painting come to life.
Completely landlocked, Bolivia borders Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. It’s a country that you might hear a lot about while on the travellers trail in South America, and what you will find, is that most of those reviews are pretty positive. Especially when considering Bolivia is one of South America's poorest countries. Bolivia is cheap, a little disorderly, and with golden toothed cholitas running the economy, traveling in Bolivia can feel like taking a step back in time.
There is a sort of mystery to Bolivia, a ‘wait what?’ factor as it were. The landscapes are diverse and it’s sometimes hard to decipher how they all ended up in one country. The dream-like salt flats of Uyuni back on to a surreal train graveyard in the desert. With two capitals, the tropical city of Sucre sits in contrast to its snow capped mountain capital counterpart, La Paz. Bolivia is home to part of the humid Amazon jungle, and shares the blue toned high altitude Lake Titicaca with neighbouring Peru. It is as mesmerizing a country as could be imagined
Bolivia was the first place I ever visited in South America and I feel lucky to have had that experience. It is an eye opener, not just through its many diverse landscapes but also through its people and culture. Bolivia is a developing nation and it wasn’t until I arrived here that I understood what that meant. I’ve come to appreciate things I never considered before such as access to education, indigenous rights, and taxes and their effect on infrastructure. I came to appreciate the level of oppression the people of Bolivia have suffered and the effects the political landscape has had on the country.
Bolivia is beautiful, there is no doubt. The people are resilient, pushing the country through its developmental stages, and smiling despite harsh conditions imposed upon them. Visiting Bolivia has been humbling and educational, and for this reason is a country that remains close to my own heart. So close that I continue to return, to learn and appreciate its beauty from the inside out.