I am about to embark on my next big adventure! I finished my six month stint volunteering at Ya’axché Conservation Trust last Friday. Tomorrow morning, I leave Belize to travel Central America for three months.
Can you feel me quivering with excitement?
I’m going to do so many new things over the next few months! I’m going to learn Spanish, eat new foods, drink new drinks, listen to latin music and talk to strangers. I’m going to hike through jungles, climb volcanoes, jump from waterfalls and do yoga on the banks of lakes. I’m going to get dirty and get sick and get lost and get sad and get caught in the rain. I’m going to have a million blog posts to write and a thousand revelations to share.
It’s going to be so dope.
I have spent the last month or so preparing for the trip and I have learned a ton in the process. I have never traveled at length before; two weeks is about the longest I have existed on a single bag of clothes. But with the help of the internet, a travel guidebook, and some knowledgeable friends, I have managed to create a respectable plan.
My itinerary for the trip is very flexible and I intend to keep it that way. I want to maintain the freedom to discover a place I love and stay longer than expected or to skip a stop if it doesn’t seem right. I’m planning on doing a hybrid of “slow travel” and traditional hostel-based backpacking: I will be finding places to stay for a week or so at a time and using them as a home base for day trips.
This is the (very) rough outline of my plan:
Week 1: Guatemala. I will be making my way from Belize to Guatemala City to catch a flight to Managua, Nicaragua.
Weeks 2 – 5: Nicaragua.
Week 6: Honduras.
Weeks 7 – 11: Guatemala. In this time my partner Michael will join me and travel with me for the remainder of the trip.
Weeks 12 – 14: TBD. I am considering spending the last three weeks in southern Mexico, Belize, and even Cuba!
The map below shows the major places I will be visiting. They are animated to turn yellow in the order of my travels. Click on a dot for more info!
Frequently Asked Questions
As I’ve told people about this trip I’ve been asked a lot of questions. To head you off, here are the answers to some of the most common queries I’ve gotten:
Do you speak Spanish?
Un poquito! I have not studied Spanish, but I did study Italian. They are very similar languages and when people speak Spanish slowly I often understand the general gist of it. I traveled in Mexico in December and was able to speak enough to get my point across, and I am confident that I will be able to do the same elsewhere.
I also plan on taking one to two weeks of intensive Spanish courses while I am traveling. I’m extremely excited about learning the language and there’s no better way to learn than wandering around a Spanish speaking country!
How much will this cost you? And/or how the hell are you affording this?
Thankfully for me and my savings account, Central America travel can be extremely cheap. I will be staying in hostel dorms and cooking my own food for most meals in order to extend the time I can travel. I am shooting for an average of $30-$40 per day, which is perfectly feasible for budget travel in Central America.
Are you traveling alone?
Yes. And no. I will be spending roughly half my trip solo and the other half with friends and family who are flying in to travel with me.
What? Are you crazy? Central America is dangerous, especially for solo female travelers!
Okay, okay, calm down. First of all, I firmly believe that solo female travel is not as dangerous as some people think — see this awesome article for a well-informed discussion about it. Additionally, Central America is generally not as dangerous as U.S. media makes it seem. Yes, there is a lot of crime. However, like in the States, it is concentrated in a few major cities as a result of the drug trade and gang violence.
I will be avoiding the most dangerous cities, especially while I’m traveling alone. I will most certainly not be joining a gang or dealing drugs.
Whenever I leave for a trip my Dad says to me, “Be smart and be safe.” I will, and it will be fine.
When will you be back home/in the States/in my arms?
I don’t know! I don’t have a return flight booked yet, which is exhilarating. My rough estimate is mid-June.
How are you packing for three months of travel?!
I have done a ton of research on ideal packing lists for extended backpacking. I will be carrying a 40L backpack, which is on the small side for backpackers: travelers often carry 50L or even 65L bags. I’m extremely excited to be able to carry everything I need in such a compact package. Stay tuned for an upcoming in-depth explanation of what I’m packing!
How can I follow your awesome adventures?
Awwww, shucks, thanks for asking! You can sign up to get email notifications of new blog posts on the right side of the page. That way you’ll never miss the next adventure.
Thank you all for your support of me and of my vision for Furiosities. Buckle up and get excited, because I’m about to take you on this wild ride with me!
Do you have any other questions for me? Comments, advice, or concerns about my itinerary? Let me know in the comments!