Last week, just twenty (20) hours before my scheduled flu shot, I got the flu. It hit me like a freight train going 90 miles an hour and that thing drug my ass for five days. I did not look at my phone. I did not give a shit about work. I did not text my kids or friends. I took one photo. My temp was 102.5 to 104.1 for five straight days and I just wanted it to end.
Thanks to science, Tamiflu, Zofran, Acetaminophen, 0.9% sodium chloride, Gatorade, washing machines, and Henry who has become “boyfriend of the year”, I survived.
I share this because I am sitting at the airport, six (6) pounds lighter, about to take off for a 32-day adventure across South America and just a few days ago I was not confident it would happen.
PSA: Get your flu shot. On to the fun part…
In 2021 I took five (5) days of PTO and at the beginning of this year declared I would take more. After this trip, I will have taken 43 days of PTO in 2022 and already five (5) in 2023. I am grateful my company allows me the ability to define my own life-work balance (which is to work my ass off so I can travel).
I will travel to the following countries which will all be new, in addition to one new continent (see my map):
- Peru (Lima)
- Colombia (Bogota)
- Panama (Panama City)
- Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)
- Chile (Santiago)
- Argentina (Buenos Aires)
- Uruguay (Colonia del Sacremento)
- Research. Read personal blogs to determine which countries to visit. Take note of cities and sites. I love Nomadic Matt.
- Create a Rough Plan. Using a spreadsheet (because spreadsheets make my heart go pitter-patter) I lay out the days and break them up by country (roughly 4-6 days in each depending on what there is to do).
- Book all flights. I adjust my schedule based on the price of flights. As of today, I have spent $3,790 for 14 flights.
- Book Lodging. Of the 28 nights I need lodging, all but 10 will be with the same hostel company (Selina). I hope I love Selina. Lodging is estimated at $1,777
- Add Details to the Plan. I return to the personal blogs to put a granular plan together based on when I land and depart. I have only booked three things.
- Take Flight. This is where I am in the plan.