plan 3 sounds better...
I don't know what all of these HBO and EHBO terms are but...I would listen to sander. According to his profile he's a web developer...those people are always good at planning and solving problems. They are also the people that make people like me (graphic/web-designers) look good at work.
Your latest plan sounds MUCH better. My personal biggest concern with your plan was your being legally underage (not sure about your psychological age, lol) while travelling; once you're over 18, even though I still think it may be rather ambitious for someone with little travel experience, it's just that. On the other hand, Sander's points about education make a lot of sense. I'm trying to teach kids in their Bachelor's, and the ones that enter tertiary education rightaway have a much easier time than the ones that took a gap year. But some people just need to take the difficult path
Still, I would like you to get a bit streetwise before going. If you can somehow spare the money to make a preparatory trip elsewhere (I would suggest Poland or Hungary by train for next summer, Romania if you feel up to it), that would be recommendable.
Be sure to get back here before leaving; I'm sure that we all have plenty of good advice to give you, both safety-related and otherwise
Your trip sounds brilliant! I agree with everyone that has said you need to be prepared and realistic. However there will always be loads of reasons not to go on a trip like that, and you can never be totally prepared. It'll be scary but that's what makes it exciting! good luck!
I live in Central America and all persons under 18 require an adult parent, relative or legal guardian to accompany them to enter each country, due to human trafficking/child prostution that flourishes in the region, no exceptions, best you contact the consulates of Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and or Guatemala and El Salvador in your country and arrange to have an adult to travel with you and share expenses. punto.
The Darien Gap? OOOh boy!!!!!!!!! Here is your update....
http://www.outbackofbeyond.com/guide.htm (non commercial site)
and very limited ferry service in the Caribbean between islands, you'll need to do a lot of flying.
Know before you go.
Im not an experienced traveller but I would have to agree with the posts above. I am 26 and Im heading off to south america in a couple of weeks for 5 months travelling, which will be my first proper trip. After SA I will be going to the Caymen islands to work for a few years to save for a year long round the world trip, which means I will be 29. WHen I thought about this when I was your age, I thought that I would be too old, that I would be married and having children at this age. But I still feel 19 at heart and I realise that I still have so much time to do all the things I want to do.
Ive wanted to travel the world since I was younger than you and Ive only recently qualified as an accountant and now I am finally in a position to do it. I finished school at 18, spent 4 years in college and a further 3 1/2 years working full time and studying for professional exams. It was a long haul and considered quitting a couple of times to go travelling but I was always encouraged to get my qualifications before heading off around the world and at the time I just couldnt understand why but now its finally happening Im so glad I did wait. I went to college and had the best time. Met some amazing people, made some great friends and every summer you have 3 months to go off somewhere new and work, volunteer and just travel if you can afford it. I feel I will appreciate the experiences ahead of me now a lot more than I probably would have.
I agree with whoever said that if you are in a position to go to college and get a qualification or a trade then you should take advantage of that because as you know not everyone is that lucky. You are also very lucky that you know what you want. I have friends the same age as me and they just dont know what they want to do career wise. I have so many opportunites now to work and travel that many people are envious of.
I know this was long and I feel like Ive just told you my life story but it sounds like your in a very similar position to me when I was about 18. I nearly did it the way round you are thinking about. I am so glad that I took all the advice I was given at that time from parents and family and they are all so happy and proud of me now. I wanted to tell you this because you should really think about holding off a few more years before venturing on your epic journey. Do some smaller ones first in between study. It will feed the bug you have and give you loads more ideas and open more doors. For me if had done my travels before my study obviously my life so far would have turned out very different and who knows how I would have felt. All I know is I have no regrets and I am very excited about my forthcoming adventures over the next few years.