As a backdrop, and to provide an explanation as to how we have arrived at where we currently are, we (Anita and John) began traveling together over ten years ago.
(Plan A) In pursuit of our dreams of traveling, we bought a sailboat and began preparing to sail around the world. Five years of learning, training, and sailing in many wonderful places prepared us for a sailing adventure that took us from Australia across the Indian Ocean, on a fifty foot sailboat to the Indonesian Island of Bali. Then across the Bali Sea to the lost continent of Borneo, and up the Kumai River, into the deep jungles, to visit the Leake Orangutan Camp. We sailed through the 10,000 Islands off the coast of Indonesia to Singapore. The adventurous stories have been told many times so we’ll not bore you with these (see our Travel Notes if you are interested). At the end of that trip though, we decided the sailing life was not something we were going to do for the next ten or fifteen years.
Plan B soon developed and we decided to take a three month trip, traveling throughout South America (Summer, 2008), in search of our “dream place” to settle down. Near the end of this amazing travel adventure, we arrived at the high Andean mountain town of Bariloche, in Northern Patagonia, Argentina. If we had been parachuted in, we would have thought we had landed in the Bavarian Alps. We had arrived at what we considered the most beautiful place on earth. High in the Andes of Patagonia, fifty miles from the Chilean border, tucked into one of Argentina’s largest national parks, surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains and pristine lakes so clear you literally could drink from them; the fly fishing capital of the world and South America’s main snow skiing center, this piece of paradise is where we wanted to be. Original plan – five days; five weeks later we found our “dream property” upon which to build our “Vagabond House”. Overlooking Lakes Moreno and Nahuel Huapi, with the most incredible views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, it was the paradise we were looking for; we bought it and left, promising to come back soon to build the “Vagabond House” and furnish it with treasures from our continued travels.
The rest of the story…we returned to Bariloche, Argentina a year later (this past summer and fall of 2009) with building plans. After four months and applying for our residency papers, trying to open bank accounts, waiting for our property plans to pass Municipalidad, we decided (as unbelievably beautiful as Bariloche was, and as much as we loved our property there) it was not for us. We found ourselves a very long way from all of those we love; the hoops the Argentina bureaucracy puts one through to do absolutely anything was just too much to bear; mostly though we realized we were twiddling our thumbs and not ready to settle down yet. We put everything there on hold, keeping our property and…
Plan C soon came into view. We decided to leave Bariloche and embark on a two to three year driving trip throughout Mexico, Central and South America to see if we could get this travel bug out of our system (all the while continuing to operate our travel business and our import/export business). We bought a Nissan Patrol 4 wheel drive vehicle in Guatemala and had it “outfitted” for off road travel (most roads in the lower Americas are dirt and gravel once you leave the main road). After a false start last Thanksgiving, and many delays, we have now embarked on the first leg of our journey – Guatemala to Mexico and Texas then back to Mexico.
This travel blog is designed to share our experiences with those who might be interested, and to provide a means of communications between us. We hope you enjoy reading our entries; we will try to keep everything as up to date as time and internet connections allow. Please feel free to comment on our blog as we’d love to hear from all of you.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.” – Mark Twain
John and Anita