Saturday, May 22, 2010

Moving and traveling to South America

In my previous post, I wrote about us moving to Toledo, Ohio and I said there was a reason I wasn't so upset about it. The main reason is that I get to take a 2.5 month study vacation to central and South America.

But, in reality, I'm more of an East Coast girl and miss being close to friends and family. Not to mention, with all the earthquakes we've been having, I think it's high time to get outta Cali. We had a 5.8 this morning.

But back to my plans. I told Leo that if we were going to have to move and I was going to have to give up my job, I wanted to take the first couple of months in our new place and study Spanish rather than sit on the couch waiting for someone to call back about a job interview.

I did that when we first moved here 4 years ago and it sucked. I ended up taking a waitressing job just to have something to do while I waited. Although I didn't feel so bad about it when I met up with a girl who I used to work with at a public relations firm in Philly. She moved out here too and ended up taking a job at Sea World shucking oysters while she waited to find a job in PR. So I wasn't so bad off. But I digress.

My plan so far is this:

Leave late August and spend a month with my Mom in Boquete, Panama where she retired a few years ago. I'm going to Spanish classes in the morning and then volunteering in the afternoon. I'm sure I'll end up teaching English, which I have experience in but I'm thinking it may be nice to branch out. We'll see. This flight is already booked.

Then, I travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina for about a month and a half. I already booked my apartment but haven't booked a flight yet.

When I'm in BA, my friend Danielle is going to come visit. Our plan is for her to stay a week or 10 days or however long she feels like staying. We'll go to Montevideo, Uruguay since it's only a 3-hour ferry ride and then we'll both fly to Porto Alegre, Brazil where she'll fly back home and I'll fly back to BA.

I figure I had to pay about $280 for my Brazil visa last year and it's good for 10 years, I might as well use it. I found flights for about $300 so you can't beat that.

I have 2 other trips planned. First, to Ushuaia, Argentina which is in the Tierra del Fuego (Earth/Land of Fire) region and claims that it is the southernmost city in the world. There is 1 city in Chile that is actually more southerly, but it's a military base and doesn't seem so equipped for tourism. So, I"m just going for this one.

Apparently, it's the jumping off point for Antartica. Alas, this will have to wait for another trip.

The other trip that I'm going to take is to Santiago, Chile and Valpraiso, Chile. I've always wanted to see Valparaiso ever since I read Portrait in Sepia by Isabelle Allende. I'm a little scared flying over the Andes, since isn't that where the Chilean soccer team crashed (aka, the movie Alive) happened? I'm just kidding, but for real I hate flying and have to have at least 3 cocktails even if the flight is at 9 in the morning. Thank God for airport bars.

Anyway, if anyone out there in blogland has any advice/tips/recommendations on cheap hotels/things to do/travel advice/etc about any of the above destinations I would be forever in your debt.

I know if have an ambitious travel schedule, but it's so far away that I may never get there again so I want to take as much advantage as I can. BTW, this isn't a Spanish post but Spanish has a verb that is so useful.

Aprovechar=to take advantage of.

Usually, Spanish is so much longer than English, but in this case they have us beat for succintness.


  1. Yay! We will have to have coffee when you get to Santiago/Valpo. My email is sarabeck86 at gmail dot com if you have any questions!

  2. Thanks Sara! That would be great. I'm really excited about this trip. I can't wait to see Valpo.I've seen photos and it's beautiful...