It’s been a while since our last newsletter and we are way overdue for an update! So let’s get to the good stuff.
At the beginning of the year, we decided to leave Europe after 3.5 years and return to the US. Partially because we were feeling lonely, partially because we felt time with the kids ticking, especially Ava who is turning 16 in a month! But mostly because we couldn’t head east as we had hoped. So we decided to abandon our plan to drive through Central Asia, Russia, and Mongolia and leave it for another time. In hindsight, it was a good decision. Land borders are still not open to travelers like us and now with the turmoil in Ukraine, there is no way we could have completed that route.
We’ve been back in the US with the van for just over 6 months now. It feels nice to come back to connect with friends and see family again. This drive we feel within us to keep exploring countries and cultures is still strong. Before we left Europe, we printed out a bunch of country flag stickers. I’m not a sticker-collecting kind of person but I needed a physical reminder to myself of what we had accomplished and how there are so many more places to see. Part of me was not ready to leave Europe but I knew it was best for the family.
So now what? Well now that we are back in North America, we have decisions to make. As we do each year (or multiple times a year), we sit down as a family and talk about what we want to do next. And we’ve decided that the next leg of our family’s world adventure will be through…
MEXICO, CENTRAL AMERICA, and SOUTH AMERICA!!!
We’re super excited to explore more of the Pan-American Highway and hopefully reach the southern tip of South America. We’ve already driven from Alaska to Oaxaca, Mexico, which is almost half of the PanAmerican highway by distance, but we are looking forward to revisiting old favorites and, of course, seeing so much more.
At first, we were considering shipping our van to South America directly but we decided to scrap that plan. Shipping logistics are still not as stable as they used to be and we can’t stomach another delayed journey with the van. Shipping our van back from Europe to the US in 2022 did not go as smoothly as it did when we shipped in 2018. The delays and unknowns were really stressful and costly and we are not ready to experience that again so soon. We know we have to ship two more times on this route in the future (the Darien Gap and out of South America) but we will deal with that when the time comes.
So when are we going? Soon! Our plan is to have our toes in the sand before Thanksgiving. Between now and then, we have a lot of logistics to deal with. Doctor appointments, international driver’s licenses, van upgrades, van registration, and shopping that’s easier to do at “home” than “away”, on top of all the normal day-to-day stuff.
Dan and I have made it a goal to do a better job documenting our travels and scheduling more chats with our followers. So after we cross into Mexico, you can expect more up-to-date videos of our travels on our YouTube channel and monthly chats. And for our Patreon members, you can expect more behind the scene posts and monthly chats too.
Until next time, friends! Thanks for reading!
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