In late January 2013 I embarked on what was to be a 14-16 month around-the-world trip, or, in travelers’ lingo, a RTW.
Beginning in Buenos Aires, my route briefly headed south to Ushuaia, Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost city in the world, from where I then began to journey north overland. The working plan was to reach Costa Rica in the waning days of June and Portland, Oregon, sometime in September. From there I was planning to head west over the Pacific for extended stays in Guam and The Philippines. Beyond that, the route, like the trip itself, would very much remain a work in progress.
But plans are made to be changed.
I contracted Hepatitis A in Colombia, it reared its ugly head in Panama and was diagnosed in San Jose where I got some badly needed R&R on an old friend’s couch. I eventually got better but decided to heed a doctor’s advice and end the overland travel in San Jose.
Along the way I made several thousand photographs and collected stories for a book-length manuscript that I expected to be part travelogue and part reportage. But since I was forced to halt the trip prematurely, I lacked enough material for a book-length manuscript I’d be happy with.
So instead I’ll be posting travel pieces, both short and long, on this website where my experiences can and will be of most use to others. I will always include and clearly indicate important updates whenever possible and applicable: prices, website addresses and schedules will be current as of the blog post date.
For a bit more background, here are some blog posts dealing specifically with this RTW trip:
- Feb 28 2013 – Leaving Patagonia, Slowly: RTW, The First Five Weeks – In the early days of January I sketched out the only rough timeline that would ever be produced for my current round the world trip. According to that document, one hastily scribbled onto a moving box, I would be saying my goodbyes to the northern reaches of Argentina and Chile in the waning days of February, and looking forward to an extended stay somewhere in Bolivia. Perhaps in the thin air of Potosi or Sucre. That won’t be happening. Not just yet.
- Jan 21 2013 – For Better or Worse – My RTW Packing List, Part I – The internet needs another long-term travel packing list about as much as Barack Obama and Henry Kissinger deserve another Nobel Peace Prize. But mine’s different. Mainly because I’m a guy who doesn’t always forget that he’s pushing fifty.
- Jan 14 2013 – One Week to Go – The ‘Round the World’ Working Plan v. 1.0 – So, after more than a year of planning and preparation, the final week before my departure has arrived. Next Monday night, armed only with a one-way ticket, I’ll be boarding an Alitalia flight to Buenos Aires to begin what I envision as a 14-16 month jaunt around the planet. And it all seems so alarmingly normal, as if it’s the most natural thing for me to do.
- Oct 13 2012 – Pondering my Osprey Sojourn – RTW: 100 Days to go – Today marks 100 Days to Go until the departure date for my 16-month stroll around the planet, as appropriate a time as any to climb up to the roof and snap a few portraits through the afternoon mist of the bag I’ll be taking along. I also continued to ponder the question that popped into my head when I first saw it sitting, in all its compact glory, on the store counter: WTF were you thinking?
- Oct 23 2011 – An Arrow on Steroids – RTW 001 – Let’s say –hypothetically, of course– that a person decided that time was ripening to take off on an extended trip. Say a year, a year and a half. Maybe even two. The weather through the home office window is a wet and gray kind of shitty, mirroring all too clearly the burnout reflected on the warmer side of the pane. The phone hasn’t rung all afternoon (not that he’s called anyone, either), that silence echoing and banging off the useless clutter he’s surrounded by. “Who’d miss me anyway?” he decides.
And finally, the route list, below, which includes towns and cities in which I’ve stayed, not necessarily all that I’ve visited.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Punta Arenas, Chile
Puerto Natales, Chile
El Chalten, Argentina
Los Antigos, Argentina
Chile Chico, Chile
Rio Tranquilo, Chile
Villa Cerra Castillo, Chile
Puerto Montt, Chile
Puerta Varas, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
La Paz, Bolivia
Puerto Pizarro, Peru
Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
San Blas Islands, Panama
Panama City, Panama
San Jose, Costa Rica