This is by far the most ambitious adventure we have attempted to manifest in our lives to date. We decided to make this trip happen on Jan 1st 2015, giving us exactly 120 days to pull all of this off. There are a lot of moving parts to this one, so lets break the trip down into sections.
Motorcycle Trip though South America:
We have traveled internationally in many different ways; by city, tour, mico and every other kind of bus, with backpacks, in a rental car, by train, tuk tuk, even on someone’s sailboat, but never on motorcycles. It has always been on our bucket list to either take Motorcycles to Alaska or down to the tip of South America. With Alex getting a solid 3 months off in between his clinical studies and residency for medical school, we have chosen to go to the tip of South America.
The plan, in a nutshell, is to purchase several motorcycles within the Unites States and ship them down to Cartagena, Columbia. We then plan on spending 45ish days Trampoozing South America; camping, staying in hostels, and lodging with locals.
Bucket list Items Along the way:
Some of our bucket list spots were realized while planning this trip, while others have been in the works for almost a decade. For example Machu Picchu was the original trip we planned back in 2006, but we didn’t have the cash to get to Peru, so we settled for Ecuador.
We are planning on starting in Columbia on May 3rd. From there we will either head over to Angel Falls, Venezuela and cross the Amazon in Manaus, Brazil, or we will head south to summit Cotopaxi in Ecuador. This part of our trip is dependent on time constraints and political issues for each of the routes.
Next we are meeting up with our friends in Cuzco, Peru on May 18th to take the Inca trail up to Machu Picchu. From there we will head down with them to Lake Titicaca, before hitting up the most dangerous road in the world Yungas Road in Bolivia. While in Bolivia we are going to check out Salar de Uyuni.
After our friends fly home we will continue our expedition down through Chile and Patagonia to the tip of South America. While there we are planning to take a weeklong trek through Torres Del Paine. Spending only a little time wishing we were hopping on a boat next to see Antarctica. Then we will head up to Mount Fitzroy in Argentina, and stop by to check out Iguazu Falls in Paraguay on our way up to Rio, Brazil.
Getting Involved Along the Way:
Traveling by an unconventional, or indirect path, and checking off bucket list items, are only two aspects of our journey down to South America. The other is to maintain a conscious focus on individual growth as well as enhancement of the communities and people we connect with along the way. This is what Trampoozing is all about. Anyone who has lost himself or herself completely, left behind their preconceptions of how things should be done, opened up their minds, and embraced the culture that surrounds them in that moment can attest, THIS IS THE BEST PART OF TRAVELING ABROAD!!!!
One of the reasons we chose to take used motorcycles for this Trampooz down to South America, was because we knew that it would get us deeply involved and engrossed with the culture as we went. Some people may view a broken down motorcycle in the middle of Nowhere, South America as a problem. Not a Trampoozer, we view this as an opportunity to let the Universe show us the healthier side of human nature. Needing and receiving unconditional help can be just as powerful in rejuvenating the soul as giving unconditional help to someone else in need. So often in our developed nations lifestyle, we don’t need anyone. This is both good from the capitalists’ point of view, and bad from a social and mental health perspective. So along the way we will make sure to take pleasure in every moment, cherish every kind person that helps us with our journey, and make sure that we pass on the kindness we have received from around the world while on this adventure.
Volunteering your time, knowledge, and efforts to a local need is a great way to get immersed in a culture. Sometimes it is unclear on how to do this. Although there are hundreds of travel mission/volunteer agencies out there in numerous countries that do a great job at connecting people, they usually do it for a fee.
In the spirit of Trampoozing we have decided to take the unconventional path. We are selecting one local organization (such as a local medical clinic, school, orphanage, or conservation program) in each area we are going through on our trip. We will directly ask these programs what they are in need of (supplies, particular skills, books, etc) and how others can help. We will film our encounters, adding them to our website, along with contact information, and ways that other Trampoozers can get involved. Repeating this in each country we visit, by the end of our trip we will have locations in the majority of South America, which others can follow if their path takes them there.
This will be the introduction of our outreach program, which is both a major part of our motivation and vision for creating Trampooz.com
Sustainable Travel Test
Dan’s grandfather was known for being able to take his entire family, wife and four children around the world, financed by buying goods in one country and selling them in another. Many times they would travel to Spain and each family member would bring home a guitar to be sold to pay for the next years trip. Grandpa Hartsough worked at a university and rarely missed an opportunity to travel the world and experience new things during his summers off.
In keeping to that tradition, this will be our first attempt to pay for our adventure. Ultimately we want to use our initial investment on this trip to pay for the next one. We have chosen, as our first attempt to recreate this form of travel, to sell our motorcycles in Brazil and buy a Toyota FJ-40 in Columbia or a Bandeirante in Brazil to ship back to the United States. Once we sell the 4×4, we should be able to pay for our trip, allowing us to plan another one for the following year. Hence sustainable travel, if we profit more than our original investment it means we can expand next years Trampooz.
Video Log & Documentary
We both have GoPro’s, Iphone’s, and Alex has his SLR Camera to video document our trip. Efforts to get a drone before we leave are in process.
Our plan is to make 5-10 minute videos of key aspects during our trip. Once we get back our eventual hope is to have enough quality footage for a full-length documentary that Netflix will put on their site.