Since Pete and I announced our decision to travel, we have been bombarded with many similar questions, mostly about if we can pinpoint exactly when we lost our minds, or just asking what our plans are in general. On the odd occasion, bored with hearing ourselves say the same lines and tell the same story over and over, we have made up some fun fables just for the sheer entertainment of gauging the listeners reaction. So, if you've heard us say that we threw a dart at a map or are choosing to follow in the footsteps of the revolutionary Che - well, that's not entirely true. At least not yet.
We're here to set the record straight on how/why we are doing what we are doing. Here are some truthful answers to those questions we hear most often.
Q. When exactly did you lose your effin' minds?
A. Roughly December 27th, 2007. After a tragically difficult year in both of our lives, and in a 3 hour road trip from Medicine Hat to Okotoks, our decision was made. While we had talked many times before about selling everything and hitting the open road, we had finally both run out of reasons not to do it. We both learned, the hard way, that life is too short to not be doing exactly what we dream of doing. Thus, almost two years, we are on our way!
Q. What are your plans and when are you leaving?
A. We leave from Calgary on Wednesday, August 26th. Our first day will be spent flying to Lima, Peru. The following two days we will be taking smaller flights to La Paz, Bolivia, and then finally to Sucre, Bolivia.
We plan on requesting a 3 month stay in Bolivia, as we expect that it will take us that long (if not longer) to attend school and become comfortable in our Spanish.
We do not know yet where we are living, or which school we will be attending. We have done plenty of research and have some good ideas, but don't want to commit to anything until we are actually there and can check everything out in person.
After that, we have NO plans! We know that there are many places in South America that we want to see, plus we want to do some volunteer work along the way - we expect that our path will become clearer once we get there.
Q. Why in the eff are you starting in Bolivia?
A. Pete and I have always wanted to learn Spanish, and thus knew we wanted to begin our travels in South America. After doing a lot of research on potential starting points, we landed on Sucre, Bolivia for many reasons.
Sucre is a small city (pop: ~200,000) in central Bolivia. It is fairly remote and is less of a "tourist trap", thus it will be inexpensive to live! It has also become known as a hot spot for travelers who want to learn Spanish - we are excited to meet people on the road who are just like us.
Being a small city, it is easy to get around which we believe will make it quite a bit easier to get acclimatized and not be overwhelmed. From the many things we have read or people we have talked to about travel there, we have learned that the Bolivian people are the most generous and courteous that we may ever meet. It will be exciting to get to know the real culture of their largely indigenous population.
Sucre is also a UNESCO world heritage site and from all pictures looks beautiful! Check this out: (http://www.worldtravellers.net/pictures/bolivia/bolivia2.html)
Q. What has been the reaction from your families?
A. Our families are torn between being incredibly excited for our journey and being bummed at the expectantly long absence. However, they have overall been very supportive. We hope this undying support continues if we come home penniless and need to live in their basements.
Q. What size of shoes does Pete wear?
A. That's an awfully odd frequently asked question. You people are weird. He wears a size 10.
Q. When are you effin' coming home?
A. We have no plans on returning yet, but it has been terribly interesting to hear everyone's projections on when they believe we will come to our senses and return to Canada. We have heard everything from 6 months to 5 years - perhaps we should consider setting up a betting pool!
Truthfully, we may never return. Or, we may return in 3 months. There is no way of us knowing how we will feel about that until we get down there. And until I see if I can overcome my fears of big bugs, bats and rats.
This concludes the question and answer portion of this blog - for now!
Dalena y Pedro.