One of the joys of living abroad is to explore the nearby countries. So far since I’ve lived in Venezuela I’ve gone to: Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Peru, Trinidad, and Uruguay. I don’t know how many years I will stay in South America, but my goal is to travel to all of the countries on the continent before I leave the region. I still have a long way to go!
My upcoming travel plans are as follows:
Maybe I will go to Catatumbo. My friends did it a couple of years ago and said it was pretty rough and kinda like camping. Part of me wants to just go to the beach instead. After my adventurous December break this year I just want to relax, but maybe I will change my mind in the next couple of weeks.
Colombia tickets already purchased so I will spend time in Bogota and Cartagena
Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul, Athens, Santorini (flights booked- still waiting to buy train tickets)
Angel Falls (again) since I loved my experience there the last time I visited I thought I might want to go again.
I’m really torn about this one. In my mind I have three options:
1) I haven’t been home for Christmas since December 2010. If it were guaranteed that I could hang out with all four of my nieces and nephews I might want to go home for vacation. I really think the best solution would be for my family to meet me somewhere warm instead!
2) Brazil has been at the back of my mind for several years. I think I am put off by my lack of knowledge of the Portuguese language, but while I was in Uyuni I met two Brazilians and I realized that while they were speaking to each other I could usually get the gist of what they were saying. Being able to understand them made me feel better about solo traveling around Brazil. I also love Brazilians! However, Brazil is so huge I wonder if I should just go over the summer one of these years and dedicate 4 or 5 weeks to it instead of the three I would get in December.
3) Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is another trip that I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years. It would be amazing if I could also add on Chile and Easter Island, but I’ve talked myself out of the last two places for budget concerns. If I can find an affordable way of doing this trip while still having fun this might be the strongest contender. Right now I am leaning the most in this direction. I’m researching backpacking in the Galapagos!
- Also I suppose there is a non-option (still in my mind, but not loving the idea): just staying in Venezuela for all of December. I did this last year and while I had some amazing moments, there were other times that I was really irritated. It was this trip that spawned my hatred of the Caracas airport. I would want someone else to join me on a really awesome trip in-country. Maybe I could see Mount Roraima, meet my friends from Ojeda somewhere, and just hang out on the beaches of Morrocoy for a while.
Where do you plan on venturing to this year?
Love your idea of trying to visit all the countries in South America while you are there! 🙂 I fully agree that one of the joys of living abroad is the opportunity to visit all the close by countries! 🙂
I only wish South America could be more like Europe when it comes to cheap airfare!
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Amanda, hello…my name is Kristine and I’m also an international teacher considering a position in Caracas. I taught for 19 years in Phoenix, and then, out of the blue took a teaching job in Cairo! I just interviewed with a school in Caracas and if you have the time, would appreciate any insight on the safety of Caracas. I’m a solo traveler so I know the safety game, but would still appreciate any honest advise.
I have a small blog, that I didn’t keep up with.
I have met teachers who have taught for many years in Caracas and they love it. Caracas is the best place to be if you are shopping for products that might be hard to find in the rest of the country (deodorant, coffee, sugar, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, etc.). I personally have only used Caracas for its airport and to attend a couple teaching conferences. I’m not too fond of it because of the terrible traffic and its reputation for lack of safety. That being said, many of my local friends tell me that Caracas is great when you have people around to show you where to go. So, with the help of returning teachers and staff at your new school, I think it should be fine!
Sound like a great plan:) That Europe trip that you mention seems epic! And please, if you go to Brazil, you have to share everything here! If I ever find myself in South America, that will probably be my first destination. The culture, the food, the people, everything about Brazil is just so fascinating to me.
Yum, South America! Ecuador is delicious.
You know Matt and I want to go to Brazil right? I’m especially interested because Brazil has the largest (or second largest) Japanese population outside of Japan! Maybe we can go together!
That would be crazy! What about Brazil for Summer 2016? I feel like you need at least 3 weeks to explore such a huge country adequately!