Like many people I met on the road who are over 30 years old, I had a similar motivation to start travelling. I too got sick of my job, my life, my direction, my shape and wanted to make a change, have a breath and reassess my choices in life. I wanted to erase all the things that I was exposed in Dubai and a long trip felt like a good cure. Since I do not have any responsibilities to anyone, no debts, no dependants, not many people that I was socially connected, this was not a very hard choice for me to make. I can’t say it was an impulsive decision, too, because I do enjoy travelling, this was one of the things that helped me to keep my sanity in Dubai. Every chance I had I traveled to somewhere or another during my stay there.
Also previously, I made another 5 month trip in South America which gave me some experience on how to plan a long trip. At that trip I recorded all my expenditures so I was able to make a rough budget based on that. Though I was not – still not- fluent in Spanish, I was able to speak at a basic level and I know that it only improves when you are exposed to the language continuously. I always wanted to go to Patagonia and I thought this was the time to do that trip. The other location on my bucket list was the Amazon region. I may have taken documentaries as role models instead of Hollywood movies when I was a kid. The biggest challenge was the cold for me. I was declimatized for the last 13 years in warm countries, but I thought I could handle. The last challenge was to prepare a bag that would cover all types of weather between the mountains in Patagonia to the rain forests in the Amazons. I was able to keep the bag at 27 kilograms, though a more hardcore person could make it much less. I also wanted to include clothing that would make me socially acceptable in cities as well. In the end there were many items I have never used but if I do another trip, I would still take with me for emergencies.
The initial route I planned was to go south from the Atlantic coast of Argentina and from the bottom tip to head north from the other coast till Lima, take plane to Iquitos, and then take a boat to Brazil from there. The rest of the trip was not planned, but I thought I could figure it out on the way. I could go to a place for a couple of months to study Spanish, travel the rest of Brazil, or adopt another plan that feels reasonable at the time. In fact plan is a bit of a strong word for those, idea is a better word or the direction of the wind may even be a better word. While planning long trips only a general direction is sufficient. A detailed plan ought to be ruined and be limiting and if you are too rigid, it could also be the source of anxiety and disappointment.
You may not be open to accept a strike of good luck such as this: One of my hosts in Ecuador from my previous trip was also traveling in the area for the last four months and would be glad to meet and travel as long as we could together if we had the chance. And we did have the chance. As soon as I finished my preparations I contacted her and decided to meet at Puerto Madryn where she was close to at that time. As our route, we have decided that we would hitchhike all the way to south from the Atlantic coast and then north from the famous Route 40.