Hola a todxs! Cómo están?
I’m Paola (she/hers) and I’ll be one of your instructors with Itza and Zack.
I was born in Potosi, a city that is 13,340 ft above sea level but I grew up in Sucre, the capital of Bolivia. I started to write this introduction note on Titicaca lake, the highest navigable lake that Bolivia and Perú share. A beautiful, magical place.
It wasn’t easy for me to make the decision to travel now, why? Because for moments I was feeling kind of guilty just for the fact that I can take a flight and move around, while other people are struggling with difficult moments, related to a number of different things. This has always happened, people struggling around the world but I feel now we are more aware, which is important, and it’s always good to be conscious about our privileges.
Let me go back to the moment I was trying to decide if I should travel or not. While talking with a friend about traveling in this time, she told me “Pau if traveling makes you feel happy do it! Not in a selfish act but exactly the opposite, the world needs now more than ever people who feel good and can share their joy.”
Lately I have been debating this idea of the decision to “be well.” I can’t always decide to be happy but I can definitely seek this happiness and believe it is possible. The decision to be well does not depend only on the individual; it also depends on the environment that surrounds us and on society. It is a relief that lately I have been crossing paths with people who are trying to find happiness in little things, which is always the goal: to let ourselves be amazed by little beautiful moments.
Travel has been my way of living for the past six years and I couldn’t be more grateful for this journey. I studied psychology and worked at an NGO that establishes libraries in rural areas. My most recent work as a psychologist was with women and children who were victims of violence, a hard but empowering role.
Several years ago I decided to quit my job and travel around South America. Initially my goal was to arrive to Colombia but I ended up in Austria. I lived in Perú for a year where I had different jobs which taught me so much. I was a waitress and learned to be a little more patient, I managed a hotel on a surfers beach, where I tried to surf without success. I also learned about construction in the jungle where I lived without electricity and with flying cockroaches (the cockroach part was terrible to be honest).
In Ecuador and Austria I learned more about the land and the work of orchards. All of these experiences were self-taught and from the hands of people who like to share their knowledge. I have always felt lucky to have met wonderful people while traveling. That is what motivates me to keep moving – the people you meet while traveling must be one of life’s greatest gifts. This is going to be my fifth program with Dragons and I couldn’t be more grateful to be part of this amazing community.
We’re waiting for you all to come with curiosity, with your heart open to learn from this experience, to learn especially from the people. Start to practice a little Spanish – some words, some frases are always useful and is such a nice way to connect with local communities.
Just to think about the moment when we all meet at the airport makes me so happy. That is probably one of my favorites moments, when we all are kind of nervous but happy to be finally together!
Please if you have any questions don’t hesitate to write me, Itza or Zack.