“Where are you going?” – that has to be the numero uno question we have received since we told everyone we are taking off for 12 months. So here’s the overview of our itinerary for South, Central and North America.
The grand premise of this trip was to explore some of the parts of the great wide world that we hadn’t been to yet, before we considered settling down and starting a family.
Our eyes were immediately drawn to the massive part of the map that is the Americas, having only first visited a tiny part of USA and Mexico for the first time in 2017.
South America – Trekking, Jungles and Tango Dancing [6 months]
With ‘only’ 6 months to dedicate to the massive continent we quickly realised we would have to cut out parts of it from the itinerary, and that we’d inevitably be spending a lot of time on the so called Gringo Trail as first time visitors.
Working backwards from our natural desire to see everything, we curbed our enthusiasm and got the scalpel out to start eliminating swathes of the map;
- We don’t think we’re quite adventurous enough to head to Venezuela in the current environment, despite meeting many lovely people from there.
- Northern Brazil is vast, and expensive, so along with the Tres Amigos (Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana) we excluded them for logistical reasons.
- Paraguay and interior Uruguay both appealed to us for their less well trodden paths, but the visa requirements of the former, and the lack of interest in farming for the latter, left them sitting at the bottom of the list and they became the next to be chopped.
Highlights: Torres Del Paine (Chile), Easter Island (Chile), Mendoza (Argentina), the Amazon (Bolivia), Salkantay Trek & Macchu Pichu (Peru), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
Central America & The Caribbean – Diving, Ancient Ruins and Relaxation [3 months]
Central America is often described as budget backpacker heaven, second only to South East Asia in terms of cost, but without the drunken teenage party vibes.
Home to some of the cheapest diving certifications, we knew we wanted to do two out of Bocas Del Toro (Panama), Corn Islands (Nicaragua) and the Bay Islands of Roatán, Utila and Guanaja (Honduras). Having now obtained our initial Open Water certification in the shark infested (*according to the media) waters of Perth, we’re hopefully set up to do our Advanced course while in warm, fish filled, tropical waters.
The Caribbean quickly demonstrated it wasn’t going to be so budget friendly, with some frankly ridiculous prices for inter island flights. However Trinidad and Tobago is firmly on the list, so we can ‘lime’ (chill) and ‘pump’ (party) with my friend from our 4 month experience in Florence with the GE Oil & Gas University.
Mexico is the one country we would love to visit, if for nothing else than the amazing food, but it currently doesn’t make any more than a brief appearance on our itinerary. With Cuba looking less likely, maybe we will sneak some more Mexican time in, so if anyone has some particular highlights please send us some inspiration..
Highlights: Sailing from Colombia to Panama, Utila (Honduras), Tikal (Guatemala), Mexican food
North America – Roadtrippin’, NYE and Family Roots [3 months]
One of the things we’re most excited about is the food in New Orleans. So that’s our anchor point for America, before we jump in a car and drive up the east coast.
From there we’re leaving our options open, but if all goes to plan then we should wind up in one of the big cities of New York or Toronto for New Year’s Eve. Given the demand and all round craziness, we’ve booked accommodation with free cancellation in both, and we’ll make up our mind later depending on how we’re travelling.
After visiting Toronto we want to see some of French Canada, until we fly over to meet some friends for snowboarding to celebrate a 30th birthday.
Assuming we’ve survived to this point we will hopefully have some time to visit family in a few different places before taking a train across the vast country to Vancouver, where we will then fly out of back to Australia to go to a wedding in Victoria.
Highlights: New Orleans (USA), Family farm (Brandon, Canada)
So that’s the quick overview of our itinerary for almost 12 months of travelling. Any places we’ve missed that you think are must sees? Let us know!