YOLO I´m in Bolivia!
24 Mar, 2015 | Matilda Curtis
¡Hola! I’m currently on my gap year, travelling through South America. I’ve really liked being in La Paz so far. It’s actually not that different from West London, and most of the cafés have wifi. I’ve definitely felt a lot more spiritual and lightheaded since arriving here, especially when I walk quickly up hills. The language isn’t that hard either. I never thought I was good at languages but I seem to have a natural feel for Spanish. You just have to add an ‘o’ to anything and shout: most people will understand. I’ve had a really successful trip so far. I've gotten over 94 likes on Instagram and 121 for my latest Facebook profile picture. It’s me with a llama, and it only cost me 70 bolivianos. People are friendly here. They keep saying I’m a gringo, which must mean brave or something. I don't think I'm that brave; I’m just doing what comes naturally. I think I’ve found myself, but I’ve also lost my phone and two credit cards.
I bought this necklace in a stall in La Paz. It’s a Peruvian blue opal, which is a stone of meditation. It was supposed to be a gift from the Inca goddess of Mother Earth or something really sacred like that. The lady who ran the stall said it matched my eyes. Hopefully I'll see her later in the club.
Alpaca jumper: 300 bolivianos
I was so excited when I saw how cheap this was, I bought three. I've seen so many people wearing them in Shoreditch and on street fashion blogs. I can’t wait for someone to ask where I got it from. Urban Outfitters? The El Alto market, actually.
Red trousers: 40 bolivianos
These were hand-sewn by blind monks, apparently. I think they did a really good job, considering. I couldn’t do it nearly as well and I can see. And I’m going to art school in Chelsea.
Bracelets: Around 50 bolivianos
My bracelets are from all the great sights of the world: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Reading Festival. I feel as though each bracelet represents a different facet of my personality. Also, everyone knows how many places I’ve travelled to just by looking at them. Or I can just send them a link to my blog. I’ve got some insane stories on there.
Backpack: 20 bolivianos
What’s in my bag? Hand sanitiser, my passport, some bolivianos, a Lonely Planet guide, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, some cheeky coca leaves, the philosophies of Kant, and my iPad for writing my diary. Oh, and a biography of Bob Marley. I think he’s been really important for music.
Tattoo: 600 bolivianos
I got this tattoo yesterday. I’m so happy with how it turned out. It's a Sanskrit phrase which, roughly translated, means ‘money can’t buy happiness’.
Illustration: Oscar Zalles