There are no impossible obstacles; there are only stronger and weaker wills.
It was difficult to finish this article in moments of such political sensitivity as those that were experienced this week in Buenos Aires, where the country that represents freedom of expression in South America, confronted its democracy and fully exercised its right to be heard. And it seems that this year, this subcontinent wanted to make itself heard in the world and to make our culture be valued and respected not only by the foreigner but also from within us, from the singularity and the difference of each country, from what unites us and what differentiates us.
When we began 9 years ago with our first website of tours in Buenos Aires, with less social networks and less digital media, we had to explain in several occasions some cultural patterns to our clients in Argentina, with the sole purpose of excusing ourselves from some practices that affected their travel plans. Our clients ended up satisfied – or less frustrated – when facing that this country has a different reality than theirs and that a single traveler cannot change a whole country, so there is no other than to embrace this difference.
A couple of years after, we launched our Rio de Janeiro website. The first on offering online booking of tours and cultural experiences in the city. I will never forget the American client who, frustrated by the multiple changes caused by the visit of Pope Francis, complained astonished that the most traditional tourist destination in Brazil (and probably South America), organizing superb events such as the Rio Carnival and having been chosen to host the FIFA World Cup final match and subsequently the Olympics, was unable to foresee logistical incidents. We wondered how to explain to the client about this social code called jeito carioca, a cultural behavior that defines Rio de Janeiro inhabitants and obviously we can not change. But perhaps, he went to the beach to drink a coco gelado (iced cocnut) or a choppe (beer) in posto 9 and that same jeito carioca saved him from returning home with a distaste provoked by a classic cultural shock.
We could continue telling cultural anecdotes like these, of customers from all over the world having Daytours4u experiences from San Andrés to Ushuaia, that transcend this beautiful continent full of energy, good vibes, skilled, hardworking and honest people, so different and yet so similar, with a culture enriched by immigration and miscegenation, an indigenous heritage that we still need to recognize with pride and appreciation an that completes the picture of our idiosyncrasy, the same we want to transmit through what we call the experience of traveling through South America.
That same experience acquired when you live the life, took us through difficult times and some tense situations this year. Although politics and the world economy suffered setbacks, everything seems to be lived in a more passionate way here. While Colombia took wing signing a long-debated and exhausting peace agreement, Venezuela suffered its own exodus while its neighbours prepared to welcome hundreds of citizens who had left their homes; Uruguay faced with conviction the risks and barriers of progressive measures like the regulation of Cannabis, Brazil exploded the bubble generated by two massive international events in the midst of a painful atmosphere of political tension for society; and Argentina, the ever vibrant queen of the South, shuddered with economic and political changes that wallowed all spheres of society.
The Daytours4u Team preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics / Photo by Daytours4u
Regardless of the situation, we continued working alongside travel agents, tour operators and influencers, with the same humility and resilience, to serve and to inspire those travelers from all over the world walking through our cities, uncovering our natural landscapes, admiring the exuberant beauty and probably feeling amazed and a little confused by the dichotomy of our discomfort and happiness, lack and fullness, kindness and indifference in which we live day by day. To make of every encounter between two cultures, a disruption of the stereotypes in a way that no traveler will return home with the same mentality as when he left.
Citing again the visionary Jules Verne -probably the first experiences specialist known- in his extraordinary travel books, he expressed the idea that each journey is an adventure in which its protagonists must be marked by courage, courage necessary to keep going in the face of adversity and the ability to solve any situation that comes their way. But this is not done alone, rather than in the company of other temporary or permanent, traveling companions and everyone that intervened or helped when it was needed.
In 2017, South Americans demonstrate courage and during this year’s life journey, we also prove that being together makes us stronger. This was our trip life journey, an intensive training for what is about to come in 2018, an outspread South American travel experience under the brand name Daytours4u, aimed to integrate all these cultural values together thanks to that which we were able to keep afloat.
Thanks to that invaluable human talent that accompanies us, to the operators that walked alongside us and to the clients who place their trust in our work, we were able to end this year with not only one but many adventures that made us stronger, more adult-like, with more desire to undertake new challenges and, above all, more convinced that your next travel destination has to be in South America.
Happy 2018 and happy travels!
By: Nohelia Sánchez, CEO & Co-founder of Daytours4u