Our time in South America now has an end date: 23rd November 2013.
Recently, after much procrastination and second guessing, we booked tickets from Quito to Madrid for the end of November. Unfortunately, we missed the amazingly cheap offer we’d originally seen on these flights (£280 each one way!) by just one day and ended up paying about 50% more. Oh well.
That means we’ll be coming back to Europe after ten and a half months in South America. Woohoo!
But this doesn’t mean the end of our indefinite adventure all together. We’ll be spending most of 2014 in Europe, but we won’t be going back to live in London, and we’ll be continuing to do plenty of travel. In fact, we’ll probably only spend a dozen or so weeks there between catching up with friends and family and other commitments we have in our former home.
In just over two weeks we’ll be leaving Lima, flying to Piura in the north of Peru and spending a few days by the beach before crossing the border to Ecuador, which hopefully it goes more smoothly than this. We’ll then pass through the south of Ecuador and spend several relaxing days somewhere fancy on the southern Ecuadorian coast for Zab’s birthday.
After that, we’ll take a short flight to Quito to meet my mother and her husband for just over a week before they visit the Galapagos islands. That takes us up to late October. We’ll then spend a month travelling south through Ecuador hitting Latacunga (to visit Cotopaxi), Baños (for the thermal baths), Alausí (to ride the train to the Devil’s Nose) and Cuenca (for the colonial charm) among other places.
We’ll then fly back up to Quito and catch our flight to Madrid.
We’ll likely then spend a couple of days in Madrid before flying on to London, and once there we’ll probably spend a few days rushing around like headless chickens at the end of November.
Then if all goes to plan, I’ll be off to Austria to work for a few weeks in December while Zab stays in the UK and gets started on some new money making projects of his. We’ll then come back together for Christmas with our families and maybe a mini road trip around the south of the UK to visit other family members and friends outside of the London area.
In January and February 2014, I’m hoping to go back to Austria to work flexible contracts, and Zab will come with me for most of the time, taking his new projects on the road again. For my birthday, we may make a side trip to the Czech Republic.
At the beginning of March, we are hoping to be in Berlin for two reasons: to attend ITB Berlin and to look for an apartment to set up as a home base. In April we’re planning to be back in the UK for an assortment of birthdays and weddings. May and June I’ll be working again, probably in Austria, with possible side trips to Hungary and Slovenia.
In July we’re hoping to attend one of Zab’s favourite festivals in Sweden, and in August, we’ll return again to the UK to enjoy some British summer time, for me to work and hopefully for Zab to sell his house in London. Then in September we are thinking about spending time in the Netherlands to be close to Zab’s family there, likely be another trip to Berlin.
In October we’re hoping to head somewhere warm as autumn blankets northern Europe, possibly Portugal, Morocco, Turkey or Jordan. Finally, by November or December 2014, we may be on our way to Asia!
Our travels so far in South America have not yet become quite financially sustainable since we left for Buenos Aires with a smaller savings account than we’d planned on and I haven’t been able to get as much work as I’d hoped. So we will have spent our travel savings by the end of November and will need to make more money consistently each month for our long term nomadic lifestyle to become a possibility.
At the beginning of our time in South America, we spent a lot of time wondering if we’d made a mistake by coming here now, and maybe we did. In Europe it’s easier for me to get decent paying work teaching English, and for Zab to really get his teeth into his work, which is already generating income, but not quite enough to sustain us.
We also kinda miss Europe. We’ve enjoyed South America (and intend to continue enjoying it while we’re here), but it has certainly had its challenges. We’re definitely excited about returning to our home continent and all the familiar comforts (fast wifi!) that entails.
What does this mean for the blog?
This change in our travel plans has also given us pause to reflect on what we’re doing with the blog and where it’s going. When I first set up IndefiniteAdventure.com, we didn’t really have a clear idea what we were going use it for.
I had this vague idea that it would be a good way to be held publicly accountable for creating regular content, that it’d be good writing practice for me and a convenient way to keep friends and family up to date on what we’re doing.
After meeting Jess and Dani the first time on Chiloé in February, they really inspired us to take the blog more seriously like they have.
Since then, Zab and I have struggled to find exactly what should be the focus of this blog and what makes it stand out from others. While we are a same sex couple, ours is not really a gay travel blog, as we don’t go to a lot of spaces aimed at gay men (like clubs or saunas), so that really isn’t our niche.
Food is still something we are both really passionate about and enjoy very much, and so we’ve decided to make that a bigger thing on the blog. Food Porn Friday will still be a regular feature (though it may not always be weekly), but in a more nuanced way: we want to aim to highlight organic and locally sourced and produced foods from the places we travel, as food miles is something we’re both concerned about.
We’ve also realised that we’re not backpackers in the popular sense of the word; we really don’t enjoy sleeping in the cheapest dorm room possible in order to save money and rushing around to tick off all the must sees in every place we visit on the tourist trail. Instead, we are much more interested in slow travel: in experiencing places our own way rather than how a guidebook tells us to, in renting apartments and settling into places, and staying in accommodation with a higher level of comfort.
To that end, we are also planning to seek out quirky, interesting, unusual or somehow special boutique hotels (in particular ones that focus on being as eco-friendly as possible) in places we visit, so that we can bring you reviews of great places to stay on your travels, rather than simply telling you that the hotel or guesthouse we happened to stay in was clean enough and the breakfast was edible.
Finally, as part of our Doing Business series, we intend to start featuring more interviews on the site, in particular with expats living in places we visit. The aim of this is to show you what it’s like to set up a business and not just travel through but live in various places around the world.
We want to hear from you!
We love feedback! What do you think about our travel plans? What do you think about this new direction for the blog? If you’ve been reading for a while and never commented, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself in the comments now. If it weren’t for you reading this blog, I wouldn’t still be here writing this. So, thank you.