Taking The Plunge: Girl Going Solo around America Del Sur & Beyond!
So, after my dream job application fell through at the last hurdle, and yet another severe weather warning (British “summer”) meant that any plans to wear a pair of flip flops in the near future was becoming less and less likely, I finally decided to bite the bullet and get the hell outta here!
I’ve wanted to go travelling since I was 16 and for one reason or another always put it off. After finally graduating from uni, I figured there’s no better time to get out there! With no particular career plan, responsibilities or commitments, the likelihood of ever being in such a position ever again is so slim, I couldn’t find an excuse not to go…
Now I came to perhaps the most difficult part of trying to organise a gap year…when the world is yours for the taking, where the hell do you start???
I began by looking at my bucket list, a list I have been compiling for a really long time. I printed out a world map and started annotating it with places or adventures. Obviously this was always going to be more than I could ever fit in (and afford) on a gap year, and with any luck, I might still have a few more years to see all of these things, so I wasn’t too worried about planning on seeing them all this time round. BUT from the map I got a pretty good idea of countries I really really wanted to see, knowing I wanted to eventually end up in Australia.
South America was top of my list, and most conveniently of all, I will be travelling to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in August ( just 4 weeks from now!!!!) on a family vacation, so it seemed a really good place to start my adventure.
With that as a start point, I started looking into South American highlights and must-sees as well as travel blogs and tours organised by gap companies to get an idea of the type of routes people can take through the continent. I found this bit REALLY overwhelming! There is such a wealth of information out there and so many thousands of people with differing opinions on every trip, sight and city that I walked away from the computer completely confused and overwhelmed on more than one occasion.
Finally, after speaking to some friends who have been to South America, they told me Peru was a really good place to start any South American adventure. Considering Machu Picchu was definitely on my hit-list, it seemed as good advice as any, and so the planning began….