On September 13, 2012, we left San Francisco and headed south in our 1989 Volkswagen Westfalia. After reaching the southernmost tip of Argentina, Ushuaia, on April 3, 2014, we headed back north to Buenos Aires, where we flew home on May 31, 2014 and shipped the van back to California.
We kept this blog as a way to keep our family and friends apprised of our whereabouts–but now that we’ve returned, we hope that maybe we can provide some useful information to current or future travelers looking for a taste of overland adventures along the Pan-American Highway.
Here’s Juan’s post on statistics, with a map of our entire route and mileage counts.
For all you Volkswagen fanatics, here are all the posts that Juan wrote about the van, including more mid-trip statistics, mechanical issues and hacks, and space improvements before leaving on the trip.
Juan posted a dozen or so photos at the end of each month. You can see here that our time distribution was heavily skewed toward Mexico and Argentina.
September 2012 (México)
October 2012 (México)
November 2012 (México)
December 2012 (México)
January 2013 (México)
February 2013 (México)
March 2013 (México)
April 2013 (México, Guatemala)
May 2013 (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras)
June 2013 (Nicaragua, Costa Rica)
July 2013 (Costa Rica, Panamá, USA)
August 2013 (Panamá, Colombia)
September 2013 (Colombia, Ecuador)
October 2013 (Ecuador, Peru)
November 2013 (Peru, Bolivia)
December 2013 (Bolivia, Argentina)
January 2014 (Argentina, San Francisco)
February 2014 (Chile, Argentina)
March 2014 (Argentina)
April 2014 (Argentina)
May 2014 (Argentina)
Best of 2013
Stephanie wrote a bunch of essays, and here is a sampling of some of her more popular posts.
I did not feel free and alive, as I had hoped this trip would make me feel—I felt like a slave to modern plumbing.
From “So you live in a van.”
This happens to me—all of it, all the time: the curiosity about my heritage (all things Asian being one and the same), the refusal to comprehend that I can speak Spanish, and the desire to touch me.
From “Traveling while Asian.”
When I go someplace new, I expect to learn something, and in Argentina I got far more than I expected.
–From “In Argentina.”
Over the past few weeks, we made our biggest decision yet: when to go home.
–From “The Big Decision.”
All of the things I worried would happen did, in fact, happen
–From “The final countdown.”
Bringing your dog(s)
Our nine-month-old rescue (whom we’d had for less than two weeks) was a key member of our expedition. Although traveling with a dog is both a comfort and a joy, it also adds another dimension of preparation. Check out my post on dog-friendly travel for the ins and outs of the Pan-American with the ultimate road-tripping companion.