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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

last minute intro/bio

It’s definitely late in the game for an introduction (only 6 days left!) but here goes:

My name is Pat, I just graduated from high school in Maine, and I’m heading to college at Princeton NJ next fall. I hadn’t originally planned on taking a gap year, but I got a pretty severe concussion last spring from a tree limb falling on my head, so here we are. My past like 6-7 months would be best described as “rest and recovery,” plus an internship, so I’m definitely getting some serious cabin fever. I’m beyond ready for the trip to get underway. From what my Bolivian Spanish teacher tells me, Bolivia sounds like a pretty wild place.

About me, I’m really into books, movies, and music, like most people. Excited to hear what kinds of music and movies and stuff you all are interested in. I’m not sure what I want to study in college. Maybe English or Philosophy, or maybe I’ll cop out and do something like Econ. Who knows. I play baseball and tennis, etc etc–Definitely no biopic-worthy stuff here. The concussion has been pretty brutal but I think (fingers crossed) I’m pretty much at the tail end of it. I’m not great at writing about myself on any kind of a deeper level than What I do, Where I’m from, but I’m sure we’ll all get to know each other really well once we’re there.

I’m especially excited to do lots of hiking and hang around some alpacas/vicunas(?)/llamas. Apparently there is some really great bread in La Paz that can only be baked at high altitudes. Can’t remember what it’s called, but it probably won’t be hard to find.

I’ve never been on any kind of trip even remotely like this. This will be my first ever backpacking trip. It’s kind of surreal that we’re heading out in one week. I’ve been planning this trip since last summer, so it has always kind of felt like an abstract idea of something that might happen someday in the distant future. But now we’re only a week away, so I’m just excited now–equal parts nervous-excited and excited-excited. I’m sure this is really going to be a life-changing experience in lots of ways.

My older brother did a Dragons trip in India, and when he came back he had a huge beard and was “spiritually transformed,” practicing meditation for hours daily. Not saying this is going to happen to me, but it’s definitely testament to just how long a time 3 months really is.

I’m also angling to get an alpaca sweater at some point.

Excited to meet you all soon