My Travel Project: Where To Go?

The world is huge and beautiful, with so many things to see and do. How did I decide where to go on my travel project? How do you decide where to start an amazing worldwide travel journey?

Patagonia became a dream after reading the book Patagonia Express, by Chilean writer Luis Sepulveda. I decided South America would be my first trip so that’s where my travel project started.

The Old Man Who Read Love Stories is another inspiring book from the same author.

My Travel Inspiration

Inspiration comes from several sources. It can be a book, a movie or a tv show, to name a few examples. Gonçalo Cadilhe is a Portuguese traveler that wrote the book “Planisfério Pessoal”. I enjoyed the book so much I imagined myself going on similar adventures.

Years before I read a book called The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to Fly. I instantly wanted to go to Hamburg in Germany.

Anthony Bourdain is a famous American chef that travels the world tasting amazing food. His tv show, No Reservations is an inspiration because it’s not only about food. It’s bout places, culture, and people.

How many times are you inspired by others and imagine yourself going on adventures?

My Travel Project: what to do, what to see and how?

My plan was to be as flexible as possible (meaning no real plan). I booked a flight to Quito, Ecuador, and a flight out of Buenos Aires with no changes possible. The challenge was to force myself to stay on the trip, just in case I got homesick…

The idea was to make my way through South America. I had no hotel bookings, except for my arrival hostel in Quito. I managed the whole trip throughout the continent on a daily basis. Crazy, right? This was the start of my travel project.

Any Reason to Travel is a Good Reason

Some people need to get away from their everyday life. Others look for adventure. Some have a checklist of places they want to visit; Others want to see the wonders of the world. Some people want to go to as many countries as they can, while others prefer to stay in a place they fall in love with. Some go to help, volunteering where needed; others just want to relax in a resort. There are people that go trekking everywhere.

I read about a group of friends that went around the world to see football (soccer) games. Movie sets, books, music, scenery, history, buildings… the inspiration never ends. If that’s not enough, you can mix it up doing a little bit of each. That’s what I did.

Minimal Planning

Before I left for South America I did a bit of research and created a Google Map (My Maps) marking all the spots I thought would be interesting to visit. I knew I wasn’t going to see them all, but some were mandatory.

The Atacama Desert was a big thing for me after reading “La Rosa de Atacama”, again by Luis Sepulveda. I also dreamt of going through the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and it’s easy to do one after the other. I had to go to Machu Picchu. Patagonia. Buenos Aires. I was split between Easter Island and The Galapagos. Anthony Bourdain put Ecuador’s little fishing village called Puerto Lopez on my map.

There was no master plan after South America. I wanted to try Asian cultures, so South East Asia made sense. I wanted to see African sunsets and the Big 5, so I explored a bit of Southern Africa. Scuba diving to see the Great Barrier Reef sounded awesome! Feeling the magic and mystery of Uluru and following the footsteps of Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings took me to Australia and New Zealand. To finish the first part of my travel project, I wanted to immerse myself in spiritualism and mindfulness, so I went to India, Nepal, and Tibet.

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