Are you CRAZY, it’s far too dangerous to drive through <insert country>!!!
Whether or not we’re crazy remains to be seen. However, in spite of recent violence in Mexico and parts of Central America, the region as a whole is not any more dangerous than many cities within the United States.
We’re well traveled, street smart and travel savvy. We’ll pay attention to news on the ground around us, not drive at night, and watch our backs. And then, we’ll let the universe guide us with the understanding that the odds are in our favor and most people are basically good.
Why is this so important? Why can’t you just be happy leading a “normal” life?
Well, we ARE happy with our normal life. We are extremely fortunate to lead a comfortable life with friends, family, jobs and our health. However, that is just not enough. We have, so far, traveled to over 40 countries on five continents but, other than our RTW trip it’s always been typical American 1-2 week vacations. Sure, we saw the destinations and got a feel for them but never really “knew” them. On our RTW we discovered our dream life. We don’t want to work 9-5, 40hours a week and spend 2/3rds of our life in a cubicle. We don’t want to work hard and long so that “someday” we can retire and start doing what we really want. We, quite simply, don’t aspire to the American Dream as many see it. We all only have our one precious life so we plan on living it like we mean it!
How can you afford this? Did you win the lottery? Get a trust fund?
Don’t we wish, it would certainly make things easier! However, neither of the above apply. On our 2007-2008 RTW we sold our house in an up-market and traveled the world for 13months on the money. For our Next Big Adventure, we are again hoping to sell our house for a profit, although it is almost certain to be much less than we gained before. We are selling everything this time around, furniture, cars, boat, all possessions except our previous travel mementos and family photos. We’re taking the next two years to save money, pay off debt, and focus on our goal instead of buying something we don’t need based on immediate gratification. You know, all the “fun” stuff.
Where are you going?
We’ll be starting by taking the long, slow route down the Pan American highway to the tip of South America before heading back north to circumvent the continent. After we’ve seen and lived every country in Central & South America…who knows? There is so much of the world we have yet to see and so many places we want to re-discover. Ship to Cape Town and continue our overlanding ways in Africa? Sell the truck and fly to Asia where the living is cheap & easy? Head back to India, where we feel more alive than anywhere else? You’ll just have to keep tuned and find out!
Will you work or volunteer en-route?
Absolutely! Not only do we plan on generating income from writing, photography and so on but one goal of this trip is to really slow down. We have quite a few volunteer opportunities already in mind and occasionally plan on stopping for several months at a time to rent an apartment, possibly get jobs, and really join the community. Not only do we hope to spend our time helping those less fortunate but also to become true global citizens.
Are you bringing your dog?
For sure! We’re a pack and we’re never happier than when we’re all together. All we need is to make sure the paperwork from the vet and her vaccinations are in order and black dog is going South.
How do you pack in so little space?
You bring very little! We’re actually thrilled with how much space we have this time around. After living out of a backpack for over one year, the camper & truck with their combined storage seems positively spacious. Having said that, there are still rules.. only 3 pair of shoes total per person, 2 coats each, quick, lightweight, fast drying clothes. We won’t be fashionistas but that’s okay, we’re not here at home either.
Are you afraid?
Nope. We’ve been around enough to sort of know how things work and the rest we’ll figure out along the way. A lot of fellow travelers have made this journey before us so there is also a lot of good information out there. We have no doubts whatsoever about making this life change, however, if we did, we only need to remember the fathers question to his son in the book “One Red Paperclip” when he asked him “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. The answer applies to most questions in life.
We weren’t originally going to. We figured we’d backpack as we had before. I don’t remember what made me ask the question…why not drive? but we are now thrilled with idea of having the freedom of our own timeline and transportation. One of the main reasons we will be driving is because of the two things that made us sick of life on the road on our RTW… bad beds and the inability to cook for ourselves. Driving our own truck & camper will alleviate both of those concerns. We’ll have a comfortable, mobile bed with us as well as our own kitchen.
What are you doing with your stuff?
This time getting rid of pretty much everything. It will be sold, donated or given away. We’ll keep a few small boxes with family and travel mementos stored with family and that is it. On our RTW we made the mistake of keeping everything, horse, goat, boat, car, furniture and paid dearly every month to support a life we weren’t even leading. Not this time. Not only do we not want to spend the money to store it but our intent is to become global nomads and are going to find freedom from “stuff”.
Don’t you go crazy spending 24/7 together?
We are one of those lucky couples who love being together. Even now we commute together and spend nearly all of our free time together. We had no issues on our RTW and expect none on our roadtrip. That doesn’t mean Jim doesn’t like a day fishing with the boys and I don’t like sharing a bottle of wine and a chickflick w/ my girlfriends but we simply enjoy being together.
How long will you be gone?
The pat answer is “as long as it takes”. We may not feel the need for home for years. Maybe after a couple of years we’ll realize we want a base. Maybe we’ll find a place to fall in love with and not leave. Our plan is to enjoy each day to the fullest with no real end goal.
Do you speak Spanish?
Not yet! we can order a beer and find the bathroom. We are beginning Rosetta Stone soon and plan on taking a few immersion classes along the way. As always, living in the culture is the best way to learn a language.