It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nine months since I hit the road and three months since my last quarterly report to shareholders and six months since the first quarterly report. But it has and it’s been a great three months in South America.
My experiences in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru have, for the most part, been wonderful. I knew I’d enjoy myself in Peru, but it’s given me more joy, smiles, and great experiences than I could have imagined.
Most of my volunteering was concentrated in Peru as things fell through a bit in Ecuador. Still, wonderful experiences, some of which are still in the queue of articles waiting to be published on the site.
And, of course, I’m still excited about my hair fundraiser. Check out the details here.
Total Distance Traveled: 5066mi / 8154km
Distance Traveled By Bus: 5066mi / 8154km
Distance Traveled By Air: 0 mi / 0 km
Distance Traveled By Boat: 0 mi / 0 km
Longest Bus Ride: 21 Hours (Cusco – Lima)
Total Number of Beds Slept In: 22
Borders crossed: 2 (Colombia-Ecuador, Ecuador-Peru)
Amount Spent On Accommodation: $44
Happiest picture: The Happy Gringo shop in Quito, Ecuador
Saddest moment: My uncle’s passing
Amazing change-maker: Yokoi Kenji in Bogota, Colombia
Best Valentine’s Day of my life: Happily Single
Strangest restaurant: Andres Carne de Res in Bogota, Colombia
Day in nature: Cocora Valley in Salento, Colombia
Best farm experience: A day on a Colombian Coffee Farm
Best remedy against everything: Amazing pancakes
Scariest moment: Getting robbed again
Funnest market day: Indigenous market in Silvia, Colombia
Best lost-in-translation moment: Milking myself in Popayan, Colombia
Best application of travel hacking: My crazy flight itinerary for $95
Best unexpected good time: Pasto, Colombia
Best anti-narcotics inspection: Crossing into Ecuador
Best experience on the equator: Mitad del Mundo
Best sneaky thieves: Quito, Ecuador
Best “blew my mind” experience: A weekend with the Tsachila Indians in Ecuador
Best Ohio State moment: Finding a Brutus Buckeye at in Huaraz, Peru
Best extreme sports moment: Rappelling down a waterfall in Ecuador
First spiritual/high experience: Trying ayahuasca in Ecaudor
Best instant, life-long friendship with a stranger: Meeting Jennifer In Ecuador
Most disappointing experience: The trip to the amazon that didn’t happen
Best volunteering experience: Teaching English at Fiore Peru
Coolest face in stone: Ingapirca
Best way to finish a trip to Ecuador: Cuenca, Ecuador
Best way to get a sim card: By breaking the law
Most personal revelation: My imperfection covering up my superpower
Best beach experience: Mancora, Peru
Best unexpected stop due to protests closing a road: Chimbote, Peru
Best place to live while teaching English in Peru: Casma, Peru
Best example of not recognizing one’s inner-awesomeness: Ignorance is agony, not bliss
Coming Up In Q4
Q4 for the Happy Nomad Tour will bring forth extreme changes. First, I’ll go back to the U.S. for three weeks to see my family and do some events with Wigs For Kids. I can’t wait to meet the inspirational people behind this amazing organization and do some events with them to raise funds.
I’ll start the Asian leg of The Happy Nomad Tour after my three weeks in the U.S. I’ll be heading to places where I don’t speak the language and I worry my trip will have to change in a major way as a result. I’ve been able to have wonderful, off the grid volunteering experiences in Latin America because I, more or less, speak Spanish. In Asia I lose this ability to be completely independent.
Still, I am positive and confident about what’s to come in Asia. I’ve become comfortable in Latin America, so it’s the right time to move on.
I’ll also give a keynote speech to students at my alma matar, IE Business School, at the end of June. This will be my first income as a result of The Happy Nomad Tour. As 2012 was the year to focus on financial sustainability. Hopefully more opportunities will arise so I can focus on volunteering on the Happy Nomad Tour instead of ways to earn money to keep it going.
And, of course, I look forward to meeting old friends, making new ones, and interacting with the readers of this blog!