Six Months On The Road
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
Today marks six months on the road for me and the odometer on the Jeep shows I’ve done 24,000 km, making this the halfway point of the trip in both time and distance. This feels like a good time for some reflection. First of all, I can’t believe I’ve been on the road for six months – it’s not until I click back through this website and read my stories and see photos from the whole trip that it actually feels real. I also can’t believe the trip is half over – in so many ways I’m really just warming up and not at all ready to think of the trip as winding down.
On a couple of occasions over the last few weeks I’ve seriously thought about whether I can handle this trip and make it all the way. More than once I caught my reflection in the mirror and actually stood and had a conversation with myself. Granted, those times were when I was tired, sick and seriously struggling with Spanish, but it’s still very daunting even at the best of times. Traveling through Mexico is a lot different than the previous four months and it’s going to take some getting used to. At this point my Spanish is good enough that I can get around – I can buy food, gas and a room for the night without too much trouble, but I want so much more. I really want to be able to sit down with local people and find out about their country, their opinions on everything & also the places I really should be visiting along the way.
Learning Spanish will have a big impact on the rest of my trip. So far, I have not put in the time.
I also genuinely have no idea if I am safe or not, something I think about constantly. Nothing has happened to indicate I’m not, but I just can’t shake the endless warnings I was given. Every time I step out of the Jeep I am nervous and hesitant to really move about people and explore, and I constantly have that strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. This is not a feeling I like, and something I need to work on. It’s getting better as my Spanish improves and will hopefully continue in that manner.
Money is not something I’ve been stressing about, although I’ll admit that it comes into my thoughts more often than I would like. I went massively over budget in Canada and the US, and managed to bring it in some while Duke was paying for half the gas. Paying for hotels is not going to help, although I can’t see another option right now. Hopefully I have a good tax return and some money I lent out coming my way soon, which will really help out there.
At my current pace I will be around the bottom of South America right in the middle of winter, not really an option when living in a tent & driving on cheap all-season tires. So far I’ve come up with two possible options; slow down a little so I don’t get too far south until Spring or keep moving at my current pace and try to work a season at a ski resort somewhere in Argentina or Chile, then continue south in spring.
Going with my usual plan of not really planning at all, I’m just going to keep going with the flow and I’ll figure that one out when the time comes.
For now the road continues to chose me, and visa versa