We often meet people whose response to hearing about our marathon travels is, “I want your life!”
To which we (or, at least, Doris) respond, “Beware of what you wish.”
We are now embarked on our third consecutive winter on the road. The international segment will be our shortest yet: only (haha … “only”) three months, followed by a month in San Diego – four months in all.
We have friends in the Netherlands (you know who you are!) who seem able to pack a couple roll-on bags and hit the road for a year at a time, making it up as they go. That is them. This is us.
This is also us: leaving home with tickets for 20 flights, two trains, one sailboat and 124 nights of lodging in hotels (18 nights), AirBnBs (78 nights) and home exchanges (28 nights).
Thanks to the magic of Xcel, where every move is recorded, it is easy to count all those bookings. Tallying the hours Doris spent making them all would be impossible. Each checked box represents a juggling act in which hopes, expectations, assumptions, wishful thinking, airline schedules, weather considerations and budget are tossed into the air and hopefully don’t come down on our heads. Coups are scored. Mistakes are made.
And that’s before the trip even starts.
For all the conveyances and lodgings, Partout will not be as all over the place this winter as in winters past. With the exception of outings in Panama, Colombia, Peru and the Galapagos (that altogether add up to less than one-quarter of our time in Latin America), we will stay put in our favorite stay-put city of last winter: Cuenca, the colonial jewel of Ecuador an hour’s flight south of Quito.
Staying put raises new questions for us and for the Partout reports that will follow until we return to the States.
Will we relish the familiarity of one location or long for more novelty? Revel in the climate so temperate it varies no more than six degrees year-round or weary of the sameness? Will we find ourselves luxuriating in stretches of unscheduled days or wilting from boredom? Might we tire of struggling day after day in a foreign language?
And will our Partout followers find our stay-putting so dull they would not even open our emails?
Only time – and future blog posts – will tell.
From the Partout Toolbox: If you are shopping flights, try Momondo.com (a function of Kayak.com). Like all internet travel fare aggregators, Momondo leaves out some of the budget airlines, which means bargain-hunting takes a few more clicks to be complete. All the same, it is Doris’s new go-to for flight hunts because the app’s multi-city search is smooth and customizing an itinerary is easy. Fare alerts can be set up to track prices.
COMING SOON! Mining Emeralds in Bogotá
Related Link: Introducing Partout with Louis & Doris