No Wrong Turns: The Longest Road Trip Ever

My husband and I have decided that we are going to drive from Calgary, Canada, my hometown, with hopes of getting to Tierra del Fuego, the tip of South America. Our trusty steed, a red 1991 VW Golf named Marlin, will be ferrying us on our Latin American journey.

About a year and a half ago my husband, Tom, and I started talking about taking off on a trip to Central and South America. We both want to speak Spanish fluently and I have always been fascinated by Latin culture. So we started brainstorming, discussing where we’d like to go, what we’d like to see and how long we would go for. Somehow during these early conversations it was suggested that we drive. I am pretty sure Tom is the one who brought up driving but before long the trip morphed from a backpacking adventure to one seriously long road trip. I guess we unconsciously made the decision to drive as we never ever questioned whether it was a good plan or not, we just went with it. The past year has been spent preparing for this journey. We have quit our jobs, packed up our apartment, stored all our possessions, researched as best we could and said our farewells.

We don’t have concrete travel plans but hope to see as much as we can. We both have certain places that are ‘for sures’ but as for the rest well…we are going to leave it open so that we can stay longer in places we like and leave those we don’t like as much whenever we choose. I could list all the countries in Latin America but viewing a map is probably the easiest. Initially we are planning to set up a little apartment in Mexico as we have a design job for a museum in Calgary. So, in the first few months we will work, learn Spanish (we hope), experience living in Mexico and then move on with our adventure.

One place we will not be driving through is Colombia. Friends have told us it is beautiful but the reality is it is not safe for foreigners and, from my research, the last time anyone crossed from Panama to Colombia by land was 1998 in a souped up Land Rover. Marlin is tough but I am not sure if he is that tough!

So in No Wrong Turns, I will be sharing our adventures on this long trip. I’ll be uncovering unique stories about Latin America: the people we meet, best ‘secret’ places, interesting tidbits about the cultures we come across, as well as the practical elements of such a trip. So off we go into the sunset, sunrise, bad roads, toll highways, potholes and colorful cultures.