We have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve gotten once our adventure went public- thank you! We’ve also been fielding a lot of understandable questions that we’re going to try and address in these next few posts. I’m taking on the, “Where are you going and how long will you be there?” query.
Well, we are largely “wingin’ it” on this little trek of ours, and doing so on purpose. For us, the first step in making room in our brains for new thoughts and ideas requires loosening our vice-like grip on the control we’ve previously strived for and letting our route be guided more by Curiosity than Schedule. So our plan-less plan shakes out more like an outline than anything else. An outline written in pencil. Very light pencil. This is how I can best describe what it looks like, today…
We are going to South America. For those of you, like me, for whom it is difficult to pull any concrete information about South America from the recesses of a middle school geography memory, here is a map of this remarkable place on the Earth:
Ecuador, our starting place, is the small one along the Pacific coast, north of Peru and south of Colombia. It is a tiny country in a big continent with an unbelievable amount of biodiversity and an indigenous population that still lives and dresses and eats fairly closely to how they’ve always done. Without a doubt pink Dora backpacks, Chinese plastic pez dispensers, and KFC are making a strong stand in Ecuador, but, for now, there is still a local level of authenticity above and beyond what we’ve seen in some of the other countries we’ve visited. That is one of the main reasons we are so excited about starting our journey there.
We fly into Guayaquil just before midnight on Feb 1, where we will spend a couple of days checking out Iguana Park, the Malecon 2000, and Santa Ana Hill. Then we are being picked up at our hotel by the friendly people from Finca Punta Ayampe where we are staying for a couple weeks of pure take-a-deep-breath-holy-cow-what-did-we-just-do-let’s-go-play-with-the-boys-on-the-beach downtime. AND THEN….
That’s all I got as far as any actual plans go.
That would make this the super-light pencil section of this post: we are thinking of traveling up the coast a bit for a stay in Canoa where there is an intensive language school at a hostel on the beach. Ecuador has loads of wonderful langauge schools, but if one of the choices is on a beach… yeah, that’s what we thought too. After giving our spanish skills a much needed shot in the arm, we will continue on a winding route up the coast, working inland and then meandering our way south through the Andes Mountains. The places we think we’d like to stop include Quito, Banos, Otavalo, Cuenca, Zaruma, and Loja. I’m so looking forward to that, but almost more so for all the places along the way that we don’t even know yet we want to stop and see. If we find a community we love and want to stay and immerse ourselves in, we stay- if not, we keep going. And we’ll be doing that for as long as our fincances allow, our best budget-guided guess being in the ball park of 18 months.
Not the clearest answers to the Where and How Long questions, but the most truthful ones I can provide at this point. I promise to provide more details when we get… somewhere,
at … somepoint.