So What Are You Doing In South America?
The weather in Buenos Aires has been pretty grim this week, so I haven’t done any exploring worth talking about. (To the fridge…to my desk…to the fridge again…you get the idea.) So I’ll take this post to answer a question I’ve been getting a lot lately:
What exactly are you doing in South America?
Although it may come as a disappointment to some, I will not be looking to reprise my role as a carny in South America. I won’t be teaching English, or working as an extra, or recruiting participants for drug trials.
Those days are behind me.
They say that teaching in Korea is a great way to save money; they’re right. We’ve put aside enough money to travel for four months through South America without working. If opportunities arise, we’ll consider them, but this trip is all about being unemployed. Except when it comes to…
I have a degree in this. A degree. Yet instead of writing my story, I’ve allowed it to languish, unfinished. I focus on the blog, on reading novels, on exercise, on walking to the fridge, on buzzfeed, anything but writing. Well, enough. I’ve decided to not only start back up on it, but to finish it. If nothing else, I’ll publish it as an ebook.
In addition, I’m going to amp up my freelance writing. I’ve only dabbled in it so far, but I’d like this to change. And what better time than when I’m otherwise unemployed?
We started our trip with six weeks in Buenos Aires specifically so we could take Spanish classes at the beginning of our trip. Neither of us has ever studied Spanish, but after wrangling with Korean for two years, it’s a welcome change. We chose Proyecto San Telmo based on their location (two blocks away from our apartment) and prices – $500 Argentinan pesos for 10 hours a week. That’s roughly $107USD per week, and that’s for two people. We’ll be taking lessons for 4 of our 6 weeks.
Our lessons are taught entirely in Spanish, which has been sort of like trying to doggy paddle in rough seas. But, surprisingly, we’re taking it in bit by bit. Even though I still sound like I’m choking on my tongue when I try to roll my ‘R’s.
After much debate, we’ve settled on a rough outline for the trip. Here’s how it looks:
August 26th – October 5th: Buenos Aires, where we’ll study Spanish and run our first half-marathon on Sunday, September 9th. Eeek. That’s really soon.
October 5th – October 10th: Rosario, Argentina. We’ve got tickets for the Wallabies-Pumas rugby match on October 6th, so we booked five nights in the city.
The following dates are all tentative
October 10th – October 20th: Iguazu Falls & Salta
October 20th – mid-November: Bolivia. Destinations undecided but may include the salt flats, Amazon, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, Sucre, and some sort of train journey that Jared found. I tried to Google it but all I discovered was something called the “Death Train,” which I really hope isn’t what he’s talking about.
Mid-November – 1st week of December: Peru. We’ll focus on the coast, but include a side trip to Macchu Picchu. We won’t hike the Inca Trail as it requires advance planning and the kind of gear that we just don’t have.
December 9th – 19th: Ecuador. We have flights from Guayaquil, Ecuador to Chicago on the 19th of December. If we don’t get to do anything else in Ecuador, I’m determined to see the Galapagos Islands.
If you’ve got any advice for travel or want to meet up in South America, please get in touch! I know we’re missing out on a lot, but our priority is to take our time and enjoy it.
Our flights out of Ecuador are actually return tickets. If we’ve got enough money, we’ll fly back to South America on the 30th of January. Then we can explore more of Ecuador, working our way through Colombia and Central America.
If not…who knows?
Hopefully, by then, we will.