I am scheduled to be working in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, from August to November. I was thinking of attempting to return to the U.S. overland through the following route: travel by bus to Quito, fly to Panama City, and take buses from Panama City all the way back to the U.S.
I had several questions about this proposition. First of all, and most importantly, is this trip safe for a white US male traveling alone (in terms of crime/health issues/bus safety)? I speak pretty good Spanish and hopefully will be very comfortable with it after 3 months in Bolivia. Is this trip (through Central America) feasible and economical? I had anticipated giving myself about a month to do the trip, leaving Quito on November 22 or so and getting to Texas just before Christmas. (Quito was the city closest to Bolivia that seems to have a direct flight to Panama--does anyone know of a place closer to Bolivia that offers such a flight?)
Finally, I was wondering where it is best to cross the U.S.-Mexican border, and in what way--I am thinking of crossing by bus from Matamoros to Brownsville, Texas.
Any insight or comments are very much appreciated. Thank you very much!