One year ago on October 4, with much trepidation and excitement, Laurent & I landed in Buenos Aires, Argentina with just backpacks strapped to our backs containing everything we would need for the next two years. I had quit my job back in New York, sold my car and many of my possessions and had no idea what the future would hold.
Posts from the ‘Preparing & planning’ Category
Wow! That about sums up everything of the last month and especially the last few days! In fact, wow is a gross understatement. It's been quite the whirlwind, beyond any normal volcano/tornado I have had before leaving on any other trip. I guess I could call it a supervolcano! I knew it would be crazy before leaving on this trip, as I am sure many of you could imagine. I just didn't think it would be as crazy as it was. In the end, we didn't get everything done. We still have to make copies of our passports and identifications for example, and a few other odds and ends type stuff. And I left my poor roomate and dear friend with much to clean up in the apartment (sorry Jo). It wasn't all work though. My roomate had a great surprise, farewell party for me at a really cool Russian bar where so many of my friends had gathered. And the day before I left, I got to spend a few more short but fun hours with my beautiful niece and nephew. Saying goodbyes was very difficult and sad but it was so beautiful to see receive all the support and love from friends and family.
This has been a big week as far as preparations go for the trip. Things are starting to move around. Planning and talking is quickly being replaced by actions. Shapes are being taken where ideas once stood. We're on our way! Well, almost.
First, we were officially accepted as part of the crew on our voyage (yes, it most certainly will be a voyage, not just a trip) to Antarctica aboard the Bark EUROPA. Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale. We will join about forty other fools and a crew of twenty something (hopefully) capable people, floating down our merry way to quite possibly, our death. If it's fated that my time has come on this voyage, I hope to at least see Antarctica first and die on the way back. The EUROPA would certainly make an attractive (and extra fancy) coffin.
I had the best intentions. I was researching the food in Argentina and had already picked out a perfect little Argentinian place in Brooklyn to try a sample of this country and share my findings with you. I thought to myself, as soon as I returned from my travels, I would be on top of it.
Alas, now it's been a long time since my last post. A really long time. There are a few reasons for this, some good, some bad. April was a hectic month for me but in the best possible way. Traveling around, visiting some of my favorite places and seeing some of my favorite people. As good as April was though, May came and proved to be it's evil twin opposite.
Originally we were going to start in Brazil. I was very excited by this prospect. I wanted a big beginnning. The food, the culture and the sheer size and diversity of Brazil make it worthy of a bombastic start. But things changed. Plans got tweaked. Brazil got pushed. I was okay with it. After all, I'm a roll with the punches kind of gal (most of the time). So Laurent figured out a new route (that's his department, by the way). The new route is perfect. I think it solves the Brazil visa issue (more on that later) and it hits all the places we want to be at almost the right times of the year. The only thing I was originally slightly disappointed with was the start. Uruguay. Really? We're going to start there? In this stangely named country? It seemed fine as an after thought, a fourth or fifth stop but our first destination?! Who the heck goes to Uruguay? People from all around the world go to Brazil but who plans a trip to Uruguay?! Well, apparently we do. And you should too. I am a new convert to Uruguay's awesomeness. Yes, it really is! And hopefully I'll convince you why.
It's about time I wrote something useful. Not that the last post wasn't useful in some way, but I think it was more useful to Laurent & I than to all of you readers out there!
Thanks to all of you who are reading and who voted in our poll. I still don't have a decision on the sailboat and I'm still occasionally watching youtube videos of the Drake. I've curbed the habit a bit though. I think I'm down to about 2 a day. Is there a Drake's Anonymous anyone knows about? I think I have until April to decide about the sailboat. Until then, stay tuned.
I knew it would happen sooner or later. I just hadn't expected that it would be so soon.
Three weeks ago, Laurent went back to France. He spent almost a month here in New York and we diligently planned the trip and finished up this very website. We came up with a decent route for our trip, as documented in our last post. At the time, it made perfect sense. It was a concise route. It included all the things we wanted to see and at the right times of year. I thought this route to be pretty definitive. I knew it might change somewhat over the course of time but I didn't think that course of time would come anytime soon.
So here I sit, 3 years later after that initial meeting which would bring me here to this point in time. Planning the trip. Plans. The best laid plans....we all know the saying. Plans are the enemy of spontaneity, the keepers of your travel time and are undoubtedly just waiting to be changed by the all too common 'unforeseen circumstance'. It seems these circumstances just wait out in hiding, like the traffic cops ready to bust you when the clock turns 12:01. Not that I would know anything about that....
I visited Laurent in France in November. We spent 3 weeks talking about and planning our trip. That's also when this blog was conceived. After much going back and forth (and really, no fighting) everything was talked about calmly and rationally....hmmm...ok maybe a bit of irrationalism reared it's head. But in the end, we came up with a plan. We had to. We need a route. We are planning to volunteer and learn Spanish too, so we need to have an idea of where we are going. So we basically discussed the route we would take and a (very) rough timeline.
Stories always start with a beginning and move through to the ending. But often (if not always) the story starts somewhere else. Stories come with many different origins. And so it's true with this story. This is the beginning of the story that this blog will tell. This story starts here with these words in the present moment as it's emerging and unfolding each day. But the real beginning started sometime else.