Call it vagabonding, a soul vacation or what you will, but we're dusting off our backpacks (or buying a nice new one, in my case) and hitting the road in search of new adventures. Despite what the blog's title suggests, we haven't quite made it to retirement age yet, unfortunately, but if test driving retirement at this stage of our lives pushes back the real thing a year or so, that's a tradeoff we think makes sense.
Kristin thinks the trip will be six months. I think the trip will be nine months. I still have a while to convince her otherwise, but if past history serves as a guide, there's a good chance we'll compromise on six months. Though we had once believed these days to be behind us, the plan is to do the trip budget style, which to my mind still leaves room to pay a little more: for the occasional splurge; for slightly upgraded accomodation in places not noted for safety; and in those instances where I feel real danger that Kristin is going to walk out on me and fly home.
Our first (and potentially last) six months are in South America. We're enamoured with the opportunity that South America presents for travel, culturally and geographically. Our plan is to take Spanish lessons shortly after our arrival in the hope that it will allow us to interact meaningfully with the people we meet on our trip, and take some of the guesswork out of ordering food. As people who like the outdoors, South America presents a scale and diversity that stokes our imaginations, and we're excited to tackle some of the challenging and beautiful landscapes we encounter. Also, since my body is increasingly making noises that can best be described as a mix between an old hardwood floor and a bowl of Rice Krispies, the opportunity may not be available to me indefinitely.
Many of the details of the journey are largely up in the air, which, for me, is one of the most exciting aspects. We know that we will be beginning the trip in Bogota, Colombia on July 8, 2010, that we will be hiking Machu Picchu early in September and that we will be flying back to Calgary from Quito, Ecuador in January 2011. Other than that, we have some general thoughts on places we're interested in seeing and an idea of when the climate might be pleasant to be in different areas, but we're planning to largely sort it out once we're down there.
View Freedom29 Progress in a larger map