July 25, 2018 by ingridiswriting
The hardest part of leaving it all behind
I’ve chronicled that I lived in Buenos Aires for a while. When I left in March of this year I was supposed to finish my documentary, Stand Up, Take It Down.
It was supposed to be easy. Many friends I spoke to promised they’d help with the campaign. Some of them even promised to donate. To my credit, many of them did. However, in the middle of my fundraising campaign, I cut off two former friends who were supposed to help out with fundraising efforts. It turns out they had been serial sexual harassers and this had affected some women I know.
But whatever. By the time I learned about this stuff I had already given up my apartment, figured out how to stay in Buenos Aires on little money (which included cat-sitting for a friend at one point), given away my guitar, and sold as many of my things as I could.
Everything had to fit into one regular backpack and a larger one that would turn me into a stereotypical backpacker. I went to three provinces in Argentina and saw some cool stuff. I crossed the border into Chile and in the Cusco winter, I’m glad I have the memories of the entire Atacama region to warm me up.
But no, I didn’t raise the money I needed to raise so I could finish my documentary. Instead, I stayed in Cusco until I could figure stuff out. I’ve been writing as much as I can and haven’t even been to Machu Picchu yet. Plus, one of my jobs went through some changes and I won’t be earning a high enough wage to leave Cusco until next month.
I missed out on my younger sister’s graduation and no one ever asked how it made me feel not to meet the goal for my project. I went through extreme shock because I had a lot of help. I learned a valuable lesson: just because people think your idea is good doesn’t mean they’ll contribute even $1.
Another valuable lesson: male mentors with skeletons in their closet are extremely fatal to creative projects. The hardest part of leaving it all behind has been trying to travel, save up enough to go to Brazil (Americans are required to have $1,000 in their count, an onward flight, and in my case, I’ll need at least another $1,000 for my production).
Perú is a great place and living here allows me to save up, but it also came with its share of culture shock. I profess to be a Christian but I’m no conservative. Though alcoholism is common anywhere, the drinking culture here came as a complete and total shock to me and makes social outings much harder than anywhere I’ve ever been to. On the plus side, Cusco is one of the only places in the world where other women consider me “tall.” (I’m 5’2″/1,57 m).
I’m about to turn 32 in a beautiful place. I really do hope I can make it up to Machu Picchu for then. Though I’ve made my share of friends here, they’re fleeting because that’s the nature of backpackers in a touristy town.
I can’t say I’ve given up. Things are just taking longer than I thought. It’s just, all I want to do is get to Brazil and finish my movie. I wrote a short film that I’m going to direct in Cusco despite lack of funds, and I hope it revs up my creative juices.The hardest part of leaving it all behind Click To Tweet