Monthly Newsletter; December 2016:
As 2016 comes to a close we are thinking about 2017. We learned a lot last year; lessons we’ll carry with us into the new year. But now we’re planning; should we settle back down, build a home and relax? Or should we hit the road again, explore parts unknown, and learn some more?
At this point our planning is somewhere in between. While we miss not having a home base, we also have grown accustomed to a life movement; traveling through new places, people and cultures. And now we have some experience to make long-term traveling much smoother and more focused.
So, 2017 looks like a combination of the two; we’ll look for a place to establish a home base, but spend most of the time on the road; probably moving through the wildernesses, communities and parks of western North America from Alaska to Baja (or in the reverse order). But then South East Asia or Turkey and the Balkan sounds interesting too. We’re still planning, but the North American trip is a consistent theme.
It’s been quite a year. We sold almost everything we owned including our house, our cars and almost all of our belongings and traveled with just our carry-on size backpacks through South America and Mexico. We learned a lot of lessons that we’ve summarized in the Trip Reports section of this blog (open CURRENT TRAVELS in the drop-down menu under Trip Reports and then scroll down to Part Nine; Summary).
In 2016 we traveled from South America’s northernmost point (Punta Gallinas, Colombia) to its southernmost point (Cape Horn, Chile). We visited stately colonial cities, trekked into the Andes, hiked through the upper Amazon, cruised through Patagonia, and snorkeled on the coral reefs of the Caribbean. We visited some of world-famous destinations like Machu Picchu and Buenos Aires and some places even we had never heard of.
We experienced many of the things long-term travelers dread the most; went through an earthquake in Ecuador, got stranded by a hurricane in Colombia, were denied entry into Peru, had our credit card number stolen in Mexico. But we resolved all of these things and gained invaluable experience from them.
And it was all good; not easy, sometimes scary, and some experiences we appreciated more in hindsight than at the time, but it was all good.
In eight months of living out of backpacks in foreign lands we discovered a lot about the world and about ourselves. We discovered that overpopulation, pollution and poverty is increasing everywhere, but so is awareness of these things. We discovered that you’re never too old to follow your dreams, and we met some nomads older than us that were doing just that. And we discovered that making a radical change in your life brings up a lot of stuff; fears and regrets, but also new hope and vision.
At this point I think we’ll opt for discovering more, regardless of the discomfort and risk. So, hope to see you in 2017, somewhere along the way.