I am still a ways out from my trip, but all that normal stuff is starting to hit me. When I first planned the trip (March 10th through July 7th approximately), I wondered "how am I going to last four months in only 5 countries" (fly into Costa Rica, overland to Panama, sail to Colombia, overland to Ecuador and fly out of Lima). After doing my research, I am wondering how I am going to get a decent experience out of 4 months!
Sailing between Panama and Cartagena alone takes 5 days. Buses trips are going to rack up. Each activity will take a day or two, scuba diving, canopy tours, sandboarding, etc. The Inca Trail is 2 days out of my way at least, and another 4 days for the tour... I love that it is going to be a fun trip, but now I am thinking "how will I find the time"!
My is of course freaking out. Last night she called almost crying asking if I had to do this. She is scared especially of Colombia. It is frustrating but I guess I understand. It will only get worse I know.
With little more than two months to go, I have so much to do! A month ago, it seemed I had nothing but time. Funny how that happens...
Just rambling really, but I am getting so excited! I was in my room two days ago and I overheard my roomate and her friends talking about my trip. Everyone was blown away... Just makes me even more excited to go. Cheers guys.
I have experience in most of those countries...the one I want to touch on is Colombia, where I lived for a year. Was in two months ago, and will be in again in fourteen hours.
Colombia is a hincky place, no lie. But it is not the big evil that it is made out to be. There is a stat floating around here about how the kidnappings there are down to like a dozen....far less than the US. The people of Colombia are a varied lot and there is a lot of good to see there. I witnessed an attempted purse snatching two months ago in Bogota, and a 70 year old man clank that purse snatcher in the mug, and a band of fellas haul the guy off to the fuzz.
There are very different cultures in all the cities in Colombia. Cartagena is all about Salsa (Which sounds great...but after two weeks of nothing but that...and I cannot discern the difference after a year....You may consider aural sepuku.)
Bogota is alive with different music. The Spanish rock music is excellent! Medellin rides the line between the two.
I really like Colombia...I am now considering not talking it up so much because the more I do, the more people keep showing up....and that fucks a country....Costa Rica, your first stop, is an example of this. Though the people there REALLY BELIEVE that Pura Vida stuff that they give ya. So embrace.
Good luck out there. tell Mom to relax. It's not like you're going into the Darien Gap or taunting Venezuelans at the border or anything.
P.S. You actually may find you have a day or two of abject boredom on your hands on this trip...My advice is to embrace that and sit in a chair and watch folks go by. Those Latin Americans you met have a bemused humour about how we have no ability to just sit....If you are looking for the Latin American experience...Buy a bottle, find a door stoop, and spend a day yapping with someone. I Can't do it any justice...I just can't sit.....but Latin America is all about this shit. So give 'er a poke.
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 29, 2008, at 4:16 PM by Piecar ]
Piecar, funny, I talked to Ice in a PM, and he said much the same, about not talking it up that is.
I am truly not worried by it. I know this can happen anywhere, and I told her that. Maybe when I am there it will be on my mind a bit more, but right now it seems so distant. Her main deal is she was babbling on about some guy running out of a forest and getting shot right in front of a tourbus...
She is one of those chronic worrierers. And I am 24, so it is never going to change.
As for being bored, I am not quite a rookie to this stuff, so I will be ready for that ! I went to Spain earlier this year and I finished three books in only 2 weeks. Of course I stayed in one city that whole time, while I will be traveling around this time.
Thanks for the input, and I will try not to mess with Colombia!
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 29, 2008, at 4:53 PM by Danielsw25 ]