Retired woman reveals travel tips ahead of huge journey
RETIRED Wondai resident Betty Descovich is feeling anything but nervous as she is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
For seven months she will make her way around South America, visiting some of the world’s greatest sites and be immersed in many different cultures.
After visiting South America in 2007 and 2012, she said travelling independently as an elderly person had its challenges when organising her trip, but was well worth it.
Despite these factors, Ms Descovich said she encouraged others to follow in her footsteps.
“I think if it’s something you want to do in your life, you go out and do it,” Ms Descovich said.
“None of my friends would be doing what I do.”
“A couple of them have done tours overseas.
“But everybody seems to think South America as this really foreign place.
“In fact, I felt safe when I was there and they look after older people.
“There seems to be a lot of respect for the elderly.”
She said her Spanish was minimal but it was the experiences that mattered to her the most.
“I’m not going to be on a tour and will be staying in basic accommodation,” she said.
“I found out from a friend who went on an organised tour for a month that they flew everywhere, they would get on the bus, go to the restaurant and get on the bus again, go to their tourist site and then get on the bus again.
“They had no interaction with the local people.
“So here are thousands of people who are going there every year and a lot of them don’t get to talk to local people.
“I’m so glad I will have the option to be able to do that, it was a big wake up call.”
As she prepares her suitcase to cater for varying climates in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia, Ms Descovich said there was not much she would miss from home except her family.
“For me personally, I value experiences over possessions” she said.
“Even though this trip is so long, I was originally going for three months but then my son said, ‘No mum, you do everything you can, see everything you can.’
“You don’t know what’s around the corner health wise and you don’t know what’s around the corner for anything in life.
“I have given them a map and a rough guide, so they can follow along with my trip.”