Almost Fearless

Where to Next? Um, South?

South America, Spanish, Travel with Pets, Travels


In two weeks we’re on the road again.  So long Vermont, hello open road.  I’ve given some hints about our next destinations, but here’s a sneak preview.

We’re driving to South America.

We will be taking the dogs, whatever we can fit in the trunk, and heading south.  Why?  Well much as my travel plans have shaped the way I travel, this trip is the perfect solution for what we want right now.

1.  We want to become fluent in Spanish. I am seriously not leaving until I can communicate effectively in Spanish.  I thought 3 months in Madrid would do it, but not even close.  This time?  Spanish classes in each country as we go and absolutely no speaking in English (except to our families back home).

2.  It’s cheap. Europe was pretty expensive, given our reduced means.  We lived as cheaply as possible, avoided dipping into savings, but we’re not adding anything either.  Six months in Mexico, Central America and South America should fix that.

3.  We want to go slower. Traveling for a week to Paris is great, but it’s not enough time.  By driving down, stopping to rent a place for a few weeks or a month, we get to experience the places we like for longer and skip those that don’t offer what we want.

4.  We really like Spanish culture. This trip will let us see more of it than if we just flew from country to country. 

5.  The dogs get to come with me everywhere! Instead of waiting for me in the apartment, they get to travel down with us.  Will this be a headache during border crossings?  Probably.  Will having Jack and Molly wake me up with licks in Argentina be worth it?  Absolutely.

More to come this week, like “How the heck are you going to get your car past Panama ?” and “Are you going to drive the WHOLE time?  Where will you be staying?”  and my favorite, “Won’t you get robbed/stabbed/killed/kidnapped?  Did I mention stabbed?”

Christine Gilbert

I’ve been dragging my husband around the world since 2008 always with the promise that, “Yes, Drew there will definitely be hammocks there.”



  • If you make it to Buenos Aires before mid December I’d be glad to show you around!! I’m living here at the moment hosting Couchsurfers etc.
    For Spanish I’m glad to see you are taking a serious outlook on learning it. People in South America are very nice and patient with those learning the language. In the mean time some good online free resources include’s Spanish learning page and in general trying to listen and read as much as you can. As well as in English I write a blog in Spanish the same as the English one that you can compare to learn some new words etc.
    Buen viaje!!

    Benny Lewiss last blog post..How to take as much as you like in your hand luggage

  • You’re headed to my favorite places in the world, and I’ll be so happy to be along for the ride. And true–as much as I enjoyed following in Europe, I kept wanting you to be able to have more time in each place.

    Julies last blog post..State of the Nation

  • It sounds like a great trip. Will you get your gear fixed in time? I’d love to travel with my dog, that would be a trip.

    Stevos last blog post..Interview: Joel Carillet, Travel Photographer Extraordinaire

  • Fantastic! I can’t wait to read all about it – I have South America on my radar for next year. LOL on stabbed/robbed etc. People are so dramatic! I wish I had a SO to drive around/travel with – until then am sticking to planes 🙂

  • that is my goal: drive down to brazil. Doubt anyone will want to join me so I will have to settle for your ride instead. Looking forward to your drive through Honduras.

    Anthonys last blog post..A Rundown of Aconguazutiba

  • Spanish classes in each country as you go – great idea! I’m looking forward to read about your experiences on the road.

    Erica´s last blog post..Photo of the Week: Beach Life in Colombia

  • I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but spirit told me to pass it on- if you have those dogs microchipped asap and bring all their health documents for the past 3 years, you should have way less problems. Good luck and bon voyage, how lucky!


  • Hi Christine,

    Looking forward to hear more about the trip to South America. It’s a place I won’t be heading there any sooner, being based in China. Yeeehhhh if you want to, remember to pay a visit to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau, Taiwan, etc…

    Lo´s last blog post..香港原來得七日假?

  • Can’t wait to hear your stories. And you are very lucky as well. I was supposed to go tomorrow to the interiors and just now got a call to travel somewhere else. Only consolation… it is tomorrow. 😉

  • Sounds great guys! It’ll be an awesome trip. I’m heading to Buenos Aires on Jan 15th for awhile, maybe as long as a year, so get in touch if you pass through!

  • We will be in South America until mid-March so maybe our paths will cross at some point. Good luck getting everything ready these next two weeks (the fun part, right?)

  • Oh to be driving to South America! I rode my motorcycle to Panama once and loved it. The people are awesome and helpful and to have the flexibility of stopping anywhere you want is amazing.

    But, before I left, people told me, “You’re going to die, get thrown in jail, your motorcycle is going to be stolen and you’re going to be tossed in ditch to be left for dead.”

    I made it and loved every moment.

    Good luck! And yes, you may have problems with the doggies – please research the requirements in advance since you don’t want to be turned back halfway through 🙁

  • Can’t wait to follow your adventures!

    Do you mean you like the “Spanish-speaking” culture? Or Latin American culture? “Spanish” is just Spain, no? (Or am I showing my ignorance?)

    Kara Williams´s last blog post..Idea for Holiday Family Vacation in NYC – The Muppet Whatnot Workshop

  • Please contact me if you get to Buenos Aires. I have little secret hidden favorites here that I would be happy to share – Not the typical trendy gringo tourist stuff either. 😉 Simple tiny pleasures that aren’t always written about.

    Buen viaje!!
    (P.S. you’ve recently started following me on twitter – bellissimatina)

  • Oh, oops, no, that wasn’t you who started following me on twitter. 🙂 but hey Michelle @ bleeding espresso mentioned you so I’ll begin to follow you. 🙂

    Tina´s last blog post..Nah…

  • This is a great way to travel ( we’ve been RVing Europe for going on 3 years) and you will really benefit by going slower and taking the time to immerse.

    We plan on driving a small RV from Argentina back to Ca eventually, if you go slow enough maybe our paths will cross. ( We have more in Europe and a long stay in Africa first).

    I know lots of people who become fluent in Spanish in 5 months, keep immersing and using it, that is the key.

    Happy travels!

  • The first thought through my head: ENVY

    Yup… I very much envy you.

    This message is brought you from a cubicle.

    MikeC´s last blog post..Vote!

  • I will hopefully get some valuable info from these blogs , i am planning a solo trip south in the coming months and hoping to take my dog, trying to find out as much as possible!

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