Now is the time: overland plans for 2014

The monastery in Arequipa, Peru.
The monastery in Arequipa, Peru.

It’s amazing sometimes how quickly plans can change. A month ago I was planning to attend graduate school next fall after taking 7-8 months to drive around North America with our trailer. I was excited to graduate this December, and thankful to have a period of flexibility before starting my MFA program.

But, thanks to university bureaucracy, I found out recently that I will not be graduating in December, and will instead be tethered to New Mexico until May. Needless to say, this discovery was more than a little irritating. In fact, it gave rise to a full-blown Hate Train, which then gave rise again to The Conundrum (see previous post). This, in turn, inspired our new and more awesome plan.

And we couldn’t be more excited about this unexpected change.

In 2004, when he and I were friends and not partners, Ben spent 4 months in Argentina and Chile, climbing in Patagonia, ascending Mt. Aconcagua and generally enjoying himself. The next year, I backpacked through Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, exploring Machu Picchu, the Altiplano and the Atacama Desert. We both fell in love with the region, and we have vowed for many years to return someday.

We have decided now is the time.

So we will not apply to graduate schools for next fall. Instead, we will take a year to drive the Pan American Highway from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego with our dogs.

Our intended route (not sure yet if we will start driving in Mexico or Colombia):


We are in the early planning stages now, obviously. We have a while until we depart. But we will be (sadly) looking to replace our little trailer with a tiny 4×4 RV (think Sportsmobile van), and we will also slowly liquidate our belongings. We’re doing tons of research, saving up money, and getting our proverbial ducks in a row before leaving next year.

I’ll update our progress here (preparations, plans, our van conversion project), as well as continue with musings and tales of our domestic trailer travels until then. After our departure, Ramey on the Road will have no shortage of blog fodder!

Very excited. Cheers to blessings in disguise!

Just a few images from my 2005 trip to South America:

Have you ever been on a major overland trip, or have you ever taken an extended trip abroad? What was your experience like?


6 thoughts on “Now is the time: overland plans for 2014

  1. Gretchen Getsinger September 26, 2013 / 12:10 am

    Wow, that IS exciting! Hope you’re planning to blog about your trip.


    • rameyontheroad September 26, 2013 / 1:30 am

      Thanks! We’re really jazzed. And yes, trips like this are pure blog gold! Fear not, you will be able to read right along with us. 😉


  2. Ryan September 26, 2013 / 1:38 am

    I miss you already!


  3. Robyn September 26, 2013 / 3:28 am

    Looks like a great plan! David is excited to talk with you about a Sports Mobile as it is one of the vehicles we originally thought about before we got our van.


  4. psychologistmimi December 18, 2013 / 8:31 pm

    That is so cool. best of luck on that voyage. I would so love to do something similar. maybe when my baby boy is a little bigger 🙂


    • rameyontheroad December 18, 2013 / 8:47 pm

      Thanks! We are pretty excited about it. A lot of planning and preparation between here and there, but planning is half the fun. And, as a side note, I have read quite a few people’s accounts of doing the trip with children. There are some folks who have been traveling South America for a couple years in a van with their infant/toddler, and also a family of 5, plus pets, who drove down to Argentina in a giant van. It can be done, and I bet those kids loved it! 😀


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