I initially started realizing it at the airport last night when I arrived and the state sponsored taxicab driver, used to gringo fares to the heart of the city, was speaking to others about where I was going. My original plan was to stay in the historic district of Quito, Ecuador’s second largest city. When my trip plans changed, due to timing, I decided to stay in an area closer to the airport and chose a hostel/hotel in the El Quinche section based on other traveler’s reviews.
This morning as I started my search for a cafe to indulge in that world famous Ecuadorian coffee, I realized it was true, I had made a mistake in staying where I did. It was not a part of Quito. The “section” I decided to stay in was actually a small town, 45 km’s and a world apart from where I thought I would be. It felt more like a small Andean village then an area, or even suburb, of Ecuador’s capital city.
As I walked around town, centered around it’s church and adjoining square, I realized two things; the likelihood of me finding a cafe with coffee was slim to none and…I am traveling again, so who cares. As I strolled the cobblestone streets hearing the sounds of the town, the people conversing in a language I did not speak, the music emanating from the shops, watching the stray dogs, the market vendors, the kid chasing after bubbles, I realized I didn’t need coffee today, I just need to be here, enjoying this. Things may go right, things may go wrong, but in the end it doesn’t matter, just enjoy the different, the unusual, the unexpected. Traveling is about the experiences.
P.S. It still would have been more enjoyable with a cup of coffee.