After college, I spent some years wandering on the cheap around South America, ending up teaching English in Rio de Janeiro. Eventually, I left Rio and headed to northeast Brazil meeting up with an old girlfriend who flew in from the U.S. We had plans to continue on to Belem at the mouth of the Amazon and then travel the length of the river to Colombia.
But everything fell apart very quickly. First, while camping with her on a beach, my passport and all my hard-earned cash from Rio were stolen. Next, I came down with hepatitis and was incapacitated for a month.