Jul 27, 2014

The NEXT Adventure (Part 1)

Baby's first gang signs.
We are officially expecting a baby!

Truth be told, we were unofficially "trying" to have a baby while we were still driving around South America.  We went back and forth a little, considering we would be coming home with nothing left of our life savings.  Ultimately we decided to pull the goalie and let life take its course.  

For years now we have been pranking family and making false announcements that we're pregnant so we hoped we would return stateside with a baby-belly as proof.  I guess it took a little time, which is good because we needed to get settled in North Carolina.

May 22, 2014

Life After "The Big Adventure"

Wedding #2 in NC. Photo credit: http://honeyelash.tumblr.com
So much has changed since our last update.  This winter we finished up our last remaining months in South America, falling in love with Patagonia, the southern region of Chile and Argentina.  In January we loaded up our 4Runner in a shipping container and sent it home.  Home is now in the mountains of North Carolina, where Shannon's family has all migrated.  

Shannon quickly found work as an RN at the nearby hospital and I've found temporary work while testing with different Fire Departments.  We have both been devoting a lot of time to volunteer work, something I'll get into more detail about soon.

We get a lot of questions from people about how life is after "The Big Adventure", so I'll elaborate...

Oct 30, 2013

South America Campsite Log


We have compiled several camping logs from other travelers and we are posting it to get some beta from potential users and share this compiled document.  Keep in mind, this is a work in progress and we still have a lot to do, but so far here is the list for Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.  We're currently working on Chile & Argentina, so we'll update this list soon.

Jul 10, 2013

Article featured in Toyota Trails Magazine

We may be far from Guatemala at this point, but we recently had an article published about our time in the Petén region of Guatemala.  The article was featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Toyota Trails Magazine, which is the official publication of the Toyota Landcruiser Association.  This was a pretty exciting opportunity for us, since we can now claim that we are published writers and photographers.  So what if it's only one article!  We're pretty darn stoked about it.  

While visiting family recently, we realized not everyone has seen the article and we had a few requests to send it to them.  In case any other friends or family want to read the article, here is the digital version.  I'm not completely positive, but I believe the only way to see the print version is to join the TLCA and subscribe to the magazine.  

Jun 7, 2013

Questions from Kindergarteners

A while back, we were approached by a friend who teaches Kindergarten.  He told his students about our journey and they were very curious about the fine details.  He sent us this list of questions, and it was so much fun to think about our responses to a group of 5-6 year olds.

When we finally finished our answers, we decided the answers may actually clear things up for most of the grown-up questions that we've received from friends and family so far.  It's become very clear to us that no one will truly comprehend what our life has been like on the road.

Most of the "Western World" has so many misconceptions and strange notions about other cultures and places we have never been to...

Feb 13, 2013

365 Days On The Road!


Remember when we used to write a blog? 

Oh you forgot about our blog. That's cool, so did we...

Well much has happened since Guatemala and our last blog post. As a matter of fact, we've officially been on the road for over 365 days now. Yep, that's right.  We recently celebrated the 1 year anniversary of our nomadic lifestyle by visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu. An entire continent away from where we last wrote about. You know what the kicker is? WE DROVE HERE. I know, that's still a silly concept. Over 16,000 miles on the clock and we're still on the road to freedom.

Sure there was that stretch of the Darien Gap, where we had to pack our vehicle into a shipping container to sail to avoid FARC guerillas and narcotraffickers, but really that only saved us a few hundred miles. After dealing with port officials for several days, I couldn't help but wonder if we'd be better off driving across thru the gap. Sure it would have taken us over a year, but that almost sounds better than spending a day in Colon.

Oct 28, 2012

Volcanoes blowin' up!


After our last wedding guests left town we still had some time to kill while the 4Runner was getting some surgery.  We met a couple of fun German backpackers, Fabian and Puck, while hostel-hopping and they had convinced us to tag-along on a day-trip to climb Volcan Pacaya.  It was less than $9 usd per person, and we were tired of worrying about our vehicle, so we were game.

We didn't realize we would be part of a large tour, but we still enjoyed  the short 1.5 hour hike up this active volcano.  The tour guide was in his sixties, but he was built like a 25 year old.  He said he makes the steep hike twice a day, 6 days a week. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...


Another month has passed along with another long period of silence on our end. We've since crossed several borders and it's hard to believe how much has happened since we left our little bubble of peace in Lake Atitlan.  For the sake of consistency, our story will pick up where our last broadcast left off, but in regards to our 4Runner. 

Apparently when folks head south, once they get to Guatemala, the miles really begin to add up and it's typically time to replace a few things.  Toothbrushes, book lists, maybe a timing chain.  The 4Runner was starting to misfire terribly since we left for El Salvador and our wedding was quickly coming.

Sep 20, 2012

Fellow Travelers


Once we started searching, it was amazing how many similar stories we discovered online.  We're obviously not the only folks who decided it would be fun to drive the Americas...

We have found so much inspiration through their stories. Facing their fears and leaving it all behind, they've found the courage to explore the darkest corners of the earth and find out what is waiting over the horizon. Against inconceivable odds, these individuals have designed the life of their dreams...and for that we salute them.

There are hundreds more out there.  If you don't see your adventure listed below, please add it in a comment.  Don't be sad if we left you out, it's obviously a HUGE list...We hope to see you on the road!

Here's an ongoing list of Pan-Am travelers on the road in 2012

To find more past and current travelers, visit the PanAm Travelers group on Facebook

Sep 16, 2012

Our Wedding Day


We're married! 

Even though we had been engaged for a year, we didn't actually decide where our wedding was going to be until about three months before the actual event.  After seeing photographs of Lake Atitlan and getting confirmation from several others about how amazing the lake is, the decision was made to have our wedding there.