What would it take to convince two conventional, employed adults to quit their respective jobs and travel South America for 7 months? Ok well we suppose we should be honest since this is our first blog post, neither Kevin nor Lisa are what most people would consider conventional… but to answer the question we will need to look back to the summer of 2012.
At the time Kevin was working in Madrid for a consulting firm and earning a decent salary but was not finding much personal satisfaction in the work that he was doing. He has always loved to travel (which led him to Madrid in the first place) but wanted to find a way to give back. In March of 2013 he left for Nicaragua to be a volunteer with the Peace Corps. Along with dreams of volunteering he had visions of traveling through South America. One of the challenges of traveling and really experiencing all that a country has to offer is that it takes time: time to travel within its borders, time to understand the culture, and most importantly time to taste the different foods. Another challenge of traveling is that if you have a full time job it’s very difficult to explain to your boss that you need 7 months of vacation to explore another continent. It was these reasons that led Kevin to decide that after his Peace Corps service he would head south and travel from Nicaragua down the western coast of South America and back up the eastern coast.
Lisa and Kevin have been friends for almost 20 years, and enjoy visiting each other while they travel. During Kevin’s two years in Nicaragua Lisa came to visit twice. Lisa’s first visit to Nicaragua was for 2 months. Lisa spent that time studying spanish, getting to know the “city” where Kevin was living, and help out wherever she could. It was during that visit that Lisa asked Kevin what his plans were post-Peace Corps, and he began to lay out his dream of an extensive journey through South America. Lisa’s immediate reaction was, “That sounds amazing, let’s do it.” – A perfectly normal response. Kevin’s first question was, “Excellent, which part of the trip?”, forgetting that he was talking to Lisa who of course meant the whole trip.
Lisa’s path to the upcoming adventure was slightly different. Lisa decided that she wanted to go to school for 30 years (give or take a few) and become a doctor. In the summer of 2008 Lisa finished medical school, in the summer of 2012 she finished her fellowship in emergency medicine, and since then has been working in various ERs across the country. Lisa worked hard during her years of schooling and sought out a position that would satisfy her desire to help people but also give her the flexibility to experience life outside of the hospital as well. Lisa’s knowledge and passion have afforded her the chance to combine her love of travel and medicine to do international medical work on multiple continents.
Fast forward about 2 years, and that dream is now going to become a reality. Kevin and Lisa are packing their bags and heading to Central America to begin their adventure. Kevin will be in Nicaragua for a week visiting friends and family, before meeting Lisa in Costa Rica and heading south with just their backpacks on their backs and a rough idea of their route. They are excited for all of their friends that will meet them along their travels, so please reach out to them if you want to meet them along the way.