Destination Central America - the 'Unplan'

Trip Start Jul 07, 2009
Trip End Oct 05, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm heading to Central and South America and I'm taking my mom with me!

It's been nearly three years since my last trip (through SE Asia) and I'm going stir crazy. In the last 24 months I've survived the death of my beloved 14 year old dog, lost my father, opened a business, closed same business after realizing it was absolutely NOT for me, and moved out of my own house to live with my mom, who has had a rough go of it herself, grieving my dad. All in all, it's been pretty much a suckfest.

With no job, a crappy economy, dismal job market, and absolutely no idea what to do next, I decided to take advantage of the situation and follow my bliss. I've always envied those who could leave it all behind and just go. Although I've done a fair amount of traveling, it was always within the comforts and constraints of my cushy G job. Now, for the first time in my life, I had no time constraints, no schedule to keep, no more excuses. It was time to do something exciting and scary and a bit different. It was time for a fresh start.

Originally I planned to pick a country, settle in, and find a job teaching English. I figured I'd find somewhere I could live well, cheaply. After much research I decided to go to Ecuador, improve my Spanish, and possibly look for a job enabling me to stay for a year. I researched some more, talked to friends that have been there and friends who want to visit. But I just couldn't bring myself to make that big of a committment to one destination at this point. So the plan changed. And changed again. And changed again. Eight days to departure and plans have become 'unplans'.

Over the course of a few months I coaxed Mom into coming with me for four weeks. Then six weeks. Finally we figured if she's game for six weeks she may as well stay for eight weeks, giving her a good introduction to real international travel, along with, hopefully, a fresh perspective on life. After hours of research and discussion, we've decided to fly to Belize and travel south through Central America to Panama. After a little (ok, a LOT) more nagging and pleading, I convinced her to fly home from Cartagena, Colombia, rather than Panama. I'm hoping to stay on in Colombia for a bit and eventually make my way down to Ecuador. Who knows?

Being the eternal procrastinator, I now have 8 days to wrap up my life here.... banking, dog sitters, selling my car (oops!), minor repairs for my tenant, etc. I'm looking forward to sharing the journey!
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