Once our baby is born and settled down, we will be doing a one year trip through Central and South America! We are currently doing a lot of planning and preparation, learning Spanish, connecting with people living in the area, and getting tips from people who have traveled there before! One of main tips people give us is to learn Spanish before we leave so we hired a tutor for weekly lessons. We find having this routine, support, and accountability helps so much in language acquisition. Plus, since it’s only my wife and I, our tutor customizes and personalizes the curriculum to meet our specific language needs. Apparently the Spanish in the southern countries is quite different than the northern countries in South America.
We would love to do some volunteer work along the way so we are currently looking at different missions and charities in the area. If you have travelled or volunteered in Latin America, we would love to hear your tips and connect to your network. We are happy to help with English teaching and tutoring, connecting with kids at orphanages, and helping build homes in the area. We also would like to stay with locals as we travel and interview families during our journey finding out about their hopes and dreams, challenges and struggles, and highlights of living in their country. If you know any locals, please let us know.
Here is our planned journey (of course, we are open to modifications and changes along the way). We are debating whether to travel overland from Vancouver to Mexico or fly directly there. Part of me loves the overland journey so we can stop in Portland, LA, Disneyland, and San Diego along the way. However, we also have to consider the kids – they will definitely love visiting Mickey and Minnie but they probably won’t be so keen on the long bus rides. We know for sure that we will travel overland from Mexico to Panama. The other point of debate is how to go from Panama to Columbia since the Darian Gap (the area separating North and South America) is closed for overland tourists. We are deciding on whether to take the 2-3 day boat trip or fly. I’m leaning to again the overland journey so we can see as much as possible without flying.