Tag Archives: ecuador

And I’m back on US soil

Just need to get myself situated. I also need to see if I can read my notes scrawled in notebooks while on bumpy bus rides ūüėČ

All you need to know is that my adventure was absolutely amazing. Leaving for South America was by far the best decision I have ever made.

If you want to know why, you’ll have to stay tuned for my stories, observations and thoughts.

To put on the top of my to do list: Figure out when I can go back to visit the friends I made, see all that I missed and return to the places I loved.

And if you need help planning a trip to Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru or Ecuador, I think I can make you a pretty sweet itinerary in any of those places!


Who Else Does This?

Now that I have made my big announcement, you may be wondering what inspired me.

First, I was always so jealous of people that I met on my travels who were traveling longer than ten days or two weeks at ‘normal’ intervals of vacation time.¬†I had written about meeting an Italian¬†who said it’s our (Americans) fault¬†for not standing up to get more than¬†two weeks of vacation time.

Second, there is a very inspiring community of bloggers. The people listed below, whether they know it or not, helped me tremendously with research and further inspiration for my upcoming adventure in South America!

This is not the be all end all of blogs I have read to prepare and loosely plan my trip. But, some of the names below may be familiar to my parents, sister and the boyfriend as I sent daily email barrages full of links with great reading material.

If you still think I am crazy for quitting my job to travel, you will see that I have plenty of good company.

Since I love to make lists, here it is, in ABC order:

Warning: If you have even the teensiest bit of wanderlust, reading any of these blogs will up that wanderlust tremendously!

A Little Adrift РShannon has gone RTW a few times and is currently traveling SE Asia with her 11 year old niece.

Bacon is Magic РAyngelina traveled solo throughout South America for 18 months. She has been a huge inspiration for me. When I read her writing, I feel like she has taken the words out of my mouth.

Hole in the Donut – Diagnosed with Lyme Disease, Barbara says that she was ‘solid on the outside, but empty on the inside.’ Determined to find joy in life, she left with a backpack to see the world.

Johnny Vagabond¬†– Wes goes around the world ‘low and slow’ – he is currently in Latin America.

Katie Going Global РKatie, a former lawyer, left Chicago to explore the former countries of the Soviet Union. She left in August 2011 for a year.

Legal Nomads¬†–¬†Another former lawyer, Jodi photographs and eats¬†her way around the world, most notably in and around Asia.

Lost Girls World РThree New Yorkers in their twenties who left for a year around the world. Amanda, one of the Lost Girls, has been a huge resource for my questions!

Married With Luggage – Betsy and Warren sold nearly everything they owned and have been on the road for over a year. They are currently in Thailand.

Nomadic Matt РMatt started with a one year RTW that morphed into an 18 month trip, and has now had him on the road for over five years.

Otts World¬†– Sherry¬†calls herself¬†a ‘corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler,’ also a co-founder of Meet Plan Go.

Rainer Jenss – Rainer, his wife and two young boys visited 28 countries in one year. Rainer is the one that introduced me to the Meet Plan Go group and has been a huge supporter of my plan even when I was torn between two continents!

Solo Traveler Blog¬†– Janice traveled solo in her twenties and she’s doing it again. Her story is bittersweet but¬†answers the question, if not now, when.

The Frugal Traveler – Seth¬†‘seeks first-class living at steerage prices.’ His is the Frugal Traveler blog from the New York Times.

Wandering Earl.com¬†–¬†Earl’s blog was one of the first I found.¬†He left in 1999 for a post-graduation trip that was supposed to last three months. He’s been on the road for over 12 years.

World Travel for Couples.com – I found WTFC¬†early¬†on in the process when I was trying to convince the boyfriend to do this with me. Adam and Megan are a¬†married couple¬†who completed a RTW, and are still married ūüôā

It’s Officially Official!

An abridged version of the email I sent to friends and family alerting them of my upcoming plan, or lack thereof: 

I have been contemplating the idea of quitting my job to travel throughout South America.Yesterday I did it.Yesterday I resigned from my job so I can travel throughout South America for two months.

Yes, seriously. I can’t believe it either. I’m very excited but if I am being totally honest you should know that my heart is pounding, I’m a tiny bit¬†nauseous and my hands are¬†shaking as I prepare to hit send on this email.

While my heart is speed-racing, you might have a few questions. Here are the answers:
  • I have not gone insane.
  • I know the economy is bad.
  • The boyfriend and I are still very much together.

Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador have made the short list.

I don’t have a solid travel plan, nor do I want one.¬†This is a lot of ground to cover, so we’ll see where the wind takes me. If I love a place, I will stay longer. If I don’t, I will leave.

I have a general route I would like to follow but my itinerary will be dictated by what I want to do and see*, and recommendations I get from other travelers on the road.

Now that my plan is public knowledge (read: I gave my notice to my job) I feel comfortable sharing my planning process and how I came to this decision.

In recent weeks I¬†have learned far too¬†much about quick-dry travel towels, travel insurance and mosquito repellant.¬†I’ve also learned that there are a lot of different kinds of locks. I have learned¬†how to properly pack a rucksack (shoes do not go on the bottom) and I have kind of fallen in love with Amazon.com. I can also reveal¬†which vaccination¬†made me feel the worst (it shocked me too) and other fun facts.

While I am on¬†the road I will be blogging but I will not¬†be updating every day as I did in 2011. Writing once a day¬†was¬†my New Year’s resolution for 2011.¬†I have new resolutions¬†for 2012.

If you want to follow my journey, there are a few ways. You can enter your email on the site and you can decide if you want daily or weekly updates. You can¬†like ‘Simply Three Cents’ on Facebook or you can follow @SmplyThreeCents on Twitter, though I anticipate I will be using it mostly for travel advice. You can choose one, or any combination.

I depart soon. Like January 24 soon.

If you can, come say bon voyage. Or more like buen viaje.

Saturday, January 21
Pilsener House


* Pending situations that are out of my control such as weather (washed out roads) and protests (blocked roads).