So, are you going on this trip or not?What's up with the site name?
Good question. In the short term, no. The crappy housing market, even crappier economy, and incredibly scary job market have joined forces to convince us that now is not the right time for us to be taking a year off to travel. In the meantime, we'll continue to be gainfully employed, and will try to squeeze in as much travel and adventure as we possibly can.
"Pulpo" is Spanish for octopus. Ever since our trip to Greece in 1997, we've been quite enamored with octopi -- these creatures are smart and they kick ass! -- and the octopus has become for us a mascot of sorts. And because every travel site needs a gimmick, it seems, our fine tentacled friend
will be accompanying us around the world and will be featured in many pics.
How do you choose where to go?
The first step was literally buying a gigantic map and sticking little post-it flags on all the places we might want to visit. Pretty soon the entire map was covered in purple flags. :) From there we started to narrow it down to our top ten places, and from there we started connecting the dots. Not a particularly scientific way to do it, but it did give us a tangible starting point.
As has been mentioned elsewhere on this site, the plans changed several times (and are still in a state of flux). Originally we were going to start in January of 2007, in East Asia, and work westward. Then we thought about starting in April and visiting South America for 4-5 months. The current plan evolved mostly because Sonia just got tired of waiting for the house to sell. Central America is very cheap to get to (especially during the rainy season) and pretty cheap to travel around in. So that's why she's starting there. That and we have friends with a house on the Pacific Coast. It's always nice to have friends in beachy places.
Aren't you afraid to be traveling alone? (And the corollary: aren't you afraid to be traveling as Americans? People hate us out there!)
Both of these questions can be addressed with the same answer: it's all about common sense. Yes, the world is a dangerous place for solo female travelers. The Beltway is also a dangerous place to drive during rush hour, and I've been doing that twice a day every day for the past several years. Would it be safer to stay at home and cower under the covers? Probably. But who wants to do that? With a healthy dose of common sense, including the proper precautions for keeping an eye on one's stuff as well as one's person, women safely travel the globe all the time. In a similar vein, American politics provoke a good bit of enmity in other cultures. (Not to mention our own backyard!) I find that generally people don't harbor any hatred simply because we're Americans, especially after meeting us and having a bit of conversation, person-to-person. We're certainly not planning to go barging around the world waving an American flag and professing our love for George Bush. Common sense dictates that blending into foreign cultures by observing the local customs is the best way to enjoy travel, regardless of where you happen to be from.