What’s Coming Next
I’ve come to love announcing my travel plans far ahead of time — the advice I get from you guys is more valuable than anything I could find in a guidebook! I loved getting your feedback on my Hawaii trip, and hearing your thoughts on my most recent Southeast Asia jaunt. So I’ve basically been sitting on my hands waiting for the chance to shout this from the virtual rooftops.
I’m going to South and Central America!
But not just yet. I’ve got a few months of other adventures and planning and preparations coming up first. But I’m beyond excited to step foot in South America for the first time and to revisit Central America again — I’ve long felt a calling to this region of the world but have hesitated over whether or not I could support myself there. However, I’ve reached the point where I feel that by sticking to cheaper countries, moving slowly, living frugally and keeping up my current healthy blogging and freelancing income, I can make it work.
August / Bali and Burning Man
The first half of August will be all about saying goodbye to Indonesia. I’ll have a final week in Gili Trawangan before hopping over to Lombok to hike Mount Rinjani (God help me) and then to Bali to bliss out for a few days before flying back to the US. I’ll have about a week of turnaround to unpack, repack, and prepare for the chaotic week in the Nevadan desert that is Burning Man (God help me again.) Out of all the intense preparations and planning necessary for Burning Man, the part that is causing me the most stress right now is going offline for a week, as it will require so much work ahead of time and damage control after. But I am looking forward to checking this epic event off my bucket list! Any advice from Burner veterans out there?
Image sources clockwise from top left
September / Close to Home
September will be a cool down month where I recover from Burning Man and prepare for the major move ahead. I’m going to start in Albany, where I’ll unpack and repack, spend time with childhood friends and finally have the minor medical procedures that were supposed to be taken care of in June (don’t get me started on my recent frustrations with the American health care bureaucracy.) Then I’ll hop to Martha’s Vineyard for some quality time with my mom in her new house, catching up on work and reliving some of my favorite childhood memories on the island. Finally, I’ll wrap things up with some time in NYC visiting friends and doing travel prep before hopping to Pennsylvania to play bridesmaid in my dear friend Justine’s wedding (Jus and I met in Thailand in ’09!) And yes, I do realize the insanity in that this is what I consider a laid-back month. To add a little more crazy in there, I do hope I’ll be hosting a special guest at some point this month.
October / Peru!
Please pause for high pitched squeals of excitement. So, my Brooklyn-based bestie Zoe and I have been dreaming about hiking Macchu Piccu for years, the kind of way you dream about things when you’re sitting on a rooftop watching the sun come up after a crazy night or toasting to the future after graduation. But in the past six months or so we began discussing it more seriously, and somehow all the pieces have finally fallen into place. We’re going to spend three weeks together hiking the Inca Trail, winery-hopping in Ica and plunging off the cliffs of Lima to go paragliding. I’m heading down a little early to check out the Amazon, and when I wave goodbye to Zoe I’ll strike out on my own to check out some of the surf towns in Northern Peru. I can’t wait.
While I’ve done tons of Peru research already, I’m dying to hear your recommendations for where to go and what to see and do. I’m proud to be partnering with Hostelworld for this trip — though I’m sure we’ll splurge once or twice — so please leave me your accommodation recommendations as well, both budget and beyond!
Image sources clockwise from top left
November December / Ecuador and Colombia
After a crazy October, I plan to spend November and early December moving at a much more laid-back pace, working my way North. I am hoping to meet my family at a yet-undetermined location in Central America for Christmas, so I’ll probably move as slowly as my sloth-like heart desires until late December, when (fingers crossed) I’ll hop a flight to the fam for some festive holiday chaos. Is there anywhere I’d be crazy to miss along the way, or do you know the perfect indulgent spot to spend the holidays? I’ve done about zero iotas of research into this leg of my trip, so I’d love to hear it!
January February March / Central America
For the first quarter of 2014 I plan to explore Central America more thoroughly than I’ve had the chance to before. I’ve already been to Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica and loved them all, but each trip was just two weeks or less. I’d love to bunker down at a surf retreat in El Salvador, immerse myself in the colonial cities of Guatemala or maybe find some dive work in Panama.
Image sources clockwise from top left
And Beyond / USA
I’ll return to North America for a wedding in California in March, which I hope to use as a springboard to explore a bit of The Golden State. After, I’d like to visit my younger sister at her new home in New Orleans as well as drop in on family in Florida before circling back to New York. We’ll see how things shake out, but we might just have a good old USA overland trip on our hands around then!
Can’t wait to hear all your advice in the comments!
Of course, these dreamy plans could easily shift and change, at least from November and beyond (up through October is booked and fairly solid — we’ve got our highly coveted Inca Trail reservations settled!) No matter what turns life takes me on, there is one guarantee — you’ll always be able to find me here, sharing every sleepy town, sunset and inevitable stumble here on Alex in Wanderland. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
Nicaragua!!!! You will love it.
these plans sound great. Im happy to help you out with central america if you need any!
I remember one of your posts on Nicaragua really got me dreaming! I just poked through your archives again… your post on San Juan del Sur has me sold.
How exciting!!! The whole time I was reading this I was hoping to come across some over-lap time in our travel plans!! Next Feb we head south from Mexico so maybe, just maybe we may catch you in Guatemala or somewhere… Im excited to live vicariously through you till then and rather than reminiscing about SE Asia, I’ll be taking notes on South America!!
That would be amazing Sarah! I would love to have a meetup 🙂 If only I had double the amount of time I would love to travel overland all the way from Peru to California and right through Mexico but I think I’ll have to take a few flights in those six months to make up for my slow travel tendencies!
These sound like wonderful travel plans! I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of tips for you, but if you need some USA East Coast pointers, I can be your girl. Or your couch! Haha.
I’ll actually be in Costa Rica in March! It’s my first time, and I only have a week. But I’d love any tips that YOU have. (Making you work on a post where you asked for tips. ;))
Costa Rica is beautiful. I was there so many years ago and was part of a student exchange, so while I saw a ton of the country I really had no hand in planning any of it (which upon reflection was lovely!) I know I really enjoyed Arenal Volcano and Volcan Poas, the latter of which was right outside San Jose. Enjoy!
I’ve been to Peru. Amazing country!! A tip: consider high altitudes, start at the lowest and slowly move up. I have a post with the details. 75% of travelers get sick. So if interested, let me know. I will be glad to share my experience.
Must do Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. If need guides (for solo) and hosts, let me know. I have met great ones.
Good luck, Alex! Can’t wait for your updates.
I just looked through your Peru archives — stunning photography! I have booked the Inca Trail and I admit I am a bit nervous about altitude. I was at TBEX Keystone last year and I felt fine there while many others struggled… but that was about a quarter of the altitude of Cuzco. We will arrive in town a full 48 hours before our trek begins but I might shuffle the itinerary around to have three days instead. I can’t imagine hiking when you’re not feeling well.
Thanks, Alex! You may wish to consider relocation to Ollantaytambo for the first couple of days. You can get Sacred Valley tour after arrival to Cusco and leave it asap. You can come back later when your body is adjusted to high altitude. Do not go active right away, relax first few days. Do not eat meat and other heavy food. Don’t drink alcohol. DRINK as much as possible water, soda, energy drinks, anything. The more you pee, the better you feel 😉 Don’t forget ibuprofen. It’s the best for high altitude headache. You’ll be alright! Have fun!
You just planned a section of my South American dream. While I haven’t been to those countries, I have a friend in Colombia that tells me all about it. I can not wait to hear about all of you adventures through there. Have fun!
Thanks Breanna! Maybe I can give you some ideas for when you get to the region 🙂
Yes for sure I will take notes. And if ever you make it to Rio I will give you some ideas!
once again, SO excited to follow along on this entirely new journey!! i so do hope that mr anders will still be part of the picture! both for you and for your viewers. 😉 ifyouknowwhatimean
Ha ha, I love this comment. Ideally we are hoping that he can meet me after Peru. But we will have to see what our financial situations are like around that time. If anyone has any tips on winning the lottery, I’m all ears for that as well! 😉
Sounds like an absolutely amazing trip planned. My friend has just come back from South America and her trip sounded great too. Will ask her for some tips!
Thanks Helen! It just seems like such a dreamy part of the world. I can’t wait!
I’m heading to Nicaragua for two weeks next week. I plan to mostly spend my time diving off of Little Corn Island (no paved roads, no motorized vehicles). I’ll shoot you an email when I get back and let you know how it went. I’m excited to read all about your adventures!
Hey Nathan! I’m definitely planning on hitting the Corn Islands on this trip. I’d love to hear your feedback on your travels there! Looking forward to your email!
South and Central America, how exciting! I’m reading The Lost Girls and their hike on the Inca Trail sounded so amazing.
I love the Lost Girls! I actually do a lot of work for Amanda these days 🙂
I speant 2 1/2 months in Nicaragua. Underrated when it comes to Central American countries if you can squeeze it in.
I’m doing the Inca trail with my sister when she graduates, so looking forward to your stories about Macchu Piccu!
Nicaragua, Panama and Guatemala are definitely my top priorities for Central America right now. Thanks for the recommendation! And that sounds like an awesome graduation trip.
How blinkin exciting!! You are seriously going to be blown away by South America! I fell hard for it in 2010 and still think about it all the time- need to get back soon.
One very specific recommendation is to check out Huanchaco, on the coast of Peru, and stay in Naylamp hostel (which I think is on hostelworld!). This town is the chilled out one of the Peruvian surfing meccas and the hostel is the epitome of that atmosphere, with hammocks and even resident tortoises!
Hey Jade, THANK YOU for that recommendation! It’s just been added to my Peru Master Document 🙂 It sounds fantastic and a great way to break up an overland trip up to Ecuador.
How fun!! Ok first of all I’m so jealous you’re going to Burning Man, I got a ticket this year but with work I had to decide between that and Africa. I can’t wait to read your recaps.
I don’t have any travel advice for South & Central America but once you make your way to California hit me up! You have a place to stay in Santa Barbara 😉 I would highly recommend a road trip up Pacific Coast Highway to SF (especially Big Sur) but don’t know what your budget is for renting a car.
Aw, bummer about Burning Man… it would have been so fun to meet! Sadly it is quite difficult for me to rent cars as I’ll still only be 24 at the time and most car rental places charge a massive premium to anyone under 25. So I will probably stick to the LA to SD region, perhaps with a side trip to Santa Barbara 🙂
Colombia is the best for Christmas time, you do not know how jealous I am. The light displays in Medellin and the surrounding suburbs are beautiful! I will have to live vicariously through you when I am studying for finals! Buen viaje Alex.
Thanks for that tip Naomi! I think that could be a very magical place to spend Christmas…
Sounds awesome. I look forward to reading your tales from the trip.
Thanks Steve! It will be fun to report back 🙂
Holy cow, that sounds like a blistering-fast itinerary! Ambition is good; if you plan it, it will come. 🙂 Awesome times ahead!
Well at this point I’m planning about one country per month, which some might consider reasonable. But I am a pretty lazy traveler so I might end up scrapping some countries in order to spend more like six weeks in each. We’ll see how it goes! 🙂
Cool, looks like you are gonna beat us to South America. Which is good because now we can pick up some tips from you. No plans to hit Chile (Atacama)? It’s my dream place.
No Chile for me this time. I will definitely get there someday as Easter Island is high on my bucket list. But I’m trying to stick to cheaper countries this round and also work north so that hopefully my final plane ride and ticket to California will be short/cheap as possible!
So will you be heading back through SF at all from BM? Because Scott and I will be in SF/Sac from Aug. 31-Sept. 8…
I have one night in Sacramento… Monday, September 2nd! Will you guys be nearby? I can’t make any promises about the state I’ll be in 🙂 But I’d love to see you!
Yes, actually! Staying in downtown Sac on the 2nd and 3rd. Let’s do it! Where will you be staying? You’ll also get to meet Ella, as she’ll be with us, too =)
Aw, Ella! I’m staying at one of the airport hotels so that we can return out vehicle the day before and keep costs down. I’m not sure what time we’ll roll into town as from what I hear traffic getting out of Black Rock City can be pretty epic!
Do you know when exactly you’ll be in Bali in August? We fly there TOMORROW and are planning to spend some time there as well as on Nusa Lembongan diving (what company did you go with? I looked through your post but couldn’t find that info!), so we might be there until early-mid August. Sounds like that might be too early for you, but I really hope we can meet up!
Also, South America sounds awesome! Peru is probably one of my top 3 countries I’d want to see over there, so I’m really looking forward to reading about this adventure when it takes place!
I should be arriving in Bali on August 9th but it might get pushed back to the 11th! Hopefully our paths will cross? As for Lembongan, my first time there I went with Lembongan Dive Center. They were awesome!
So exciting! I had a feeling this would be your next destination! 🙂
Smart chica 🙂 Yes, it’s finally happening! Squeeeee!
Hey Alex! I read that u are going to Ica in Perú, its amazing there u most go to the Huacachina which is an oasis and take a boogie around the dessert for sure its so much fun, and they cost around 50 soles which are around 17 dol, also go to Ballestas islands which are near Ica and their is one Nazca line in one of the islands, also another tip that maybe its gonna help u to get to Ica take a bus from Lima from the company that its called Soyuz they are comfortable and not really expensive maybe u can check it out.
In Cuzco whatch out the altitude just dont eat heavy things the first day u get there, also sleep very well the night before u arrive into Cuzco that would help u with the altitude.
In Guatemala its a most going to Lake Atitlan, Antigua its also amazing to much culture there, actually Guatemala seems a lot like Perú in so many ways.
And of course COSTA RICA haha if u come please let me know! 🙂
Hey Mary! Thank you for all these tips! I am definitely planning on staying in Huacachina. I want to sandboard! We’ll probably use it as a base to see Ballestas and Nazca if possible. And thanks for the altitude tips, hopefully won’t be too bad. And YES I want to see you all when I pass through Costa Rica! It’s been so long! 🙂
So yeah as I type this I am sitting in my office preparing to work a ten hour day on a Saturday. I am completely jealous of your travel plans, to say the least, haha.
I used to read travel blogs to get me through the all nighters through my last year at Pratt, so I know that feeling! I hope Sunday you get some time to kick back 🙂
Nope, unfortunately I had to work Sunday too. Post more pretty pictures for me to look at! 🙂 My only consolation is that if I keep it up, I’ll be able to save up and go on a trip of my own someday! Somedayyyyy.
Wow wow wow!! You have such exciting plans coming up! Amazing!
My two cents worth:
1. I spent six weeks backpacking through Peru (Lima and north). I really recommend checking out Puerto Chicama for a super tiny off the beaten path surf town. If you have somewhere to spend a little more money, do it here and stay at the luxe Chicama Surf Resort (https://www.chicamasurf.com/) my boyfriend at the time and I stayed here after 5 hard weeks of mega-budget backpacking (ie. staying in hostels with bloodstains on the walls, bedbugs, getting horrific parasites, etc.) and this was the perfect place to recover. I still think about the eucalyptus steam room. The town itself is a little fishing village that time left behind. You can have some great local experiences here, and many other places in the north as they’re off the gringo trail.
2. You’re coming to Roatan to dive with me, right? 🙂
Rika! Thank you so much for that recommendation, I checked out the link and it looks amazing. And of course if you are still in Roatan by then we are going for a dive! PS: Bloodstains on the walls! Eek!
Oooh, I am super excited for you and can’t wait to read about your newest adventures! 🙂
Thanks Erika! Can’t wait to write about them (and you know, live them as well 🙂 )
Still reading, still enjoying every post, cannot wait for all of this, what exciting times you have ahead 🙂
Thanks Carla! You are so sweet!
I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Aug 2010 and unfortunately after 2+ years of dreaming it, it was cloudy for 80% of the hike. Luckily we got about one hour of clear skies once we actually reached MP, but it was so disappointing! Still an awesome experience though! I definitely suffered brutally from altitude sickness, despite being in Cuzco three days before we left, but that was mostly on the second day when we hiked up past Dead Woman’s Pass (~15000 ft). Of course when we got to the top there was a man smoking a cigarette so it didn’t affect everyone. Definitely chomp on those coca leaves! They also make coca caramels you can suck on that help!
No matter what it was the coolest experience of my life and I still can’t believe I did it! Can’t wait to read about all your upcoming adventures!
Oh Kim, I’m sorry to hear about the clouds! I guess that’s just mother nature reminding us sometimes that she is in charge… Love the sound of the coca caramels though!
Just checking to see if Seattle was in this post 🙂 As if we’re ever there.
Excited about Peru! It’s on our list to.
Meet me in Lima! 🙂
Hey Alex, you have some great travel ahead! As my 2 cents you might want to grab a copy of my guides to Ecuador and Colombia, both free, that I have in my website. This is the link:
Each one is around 45 pages long, has full color photos and lots of info on each destination. I’d love to hear your thoughts about them too 🙂
Hey Federico! Thanks for the links, I’m definitely going to download those! Awesome resource, and I’ll let you know what I think 🙂
You’re going to have a great time in S & C America! My last five trips have all been to that region and I loved it. Hiking up to Macchu Pichu is definitely one of those amazing life experiences that pictures will never do true justice to.
I second the motion for Nicaragua, totally underrated as a travel destination. The people were really friendly and there is a lot of neat things to do there. We did volcano boarding, went to an island made of two volcano’s in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and checked out the cities of Leon and Granada…try to make it there if you can!
While in Colombia, I think a great place to meet the family for Christmas would be Cartagena. Walking the old city walls at sunset is fantastic.
Hope the comment wasn’t too long, enjoy your trip and I can’t wait to keep following along!
Thank you so much for all these great recommendations Frank! Absolutely not too long of a comment, I loved every word 🙂 Cartagena for Christmas sounds heavenly.
Sounds brilliant Alex, I hope to one day tick Burning Man off my list too. And I love Ecuador one of my fave countries in SA. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thanks Pete! Once I get to looking into that part of my trip (Peru is keeping me plenty busy right now!) I will absolutely send you guys an advice-seeking email 🙂
I just spent 8 weeks in Nicaragua. Favorite country in the world, no joke. Go to Little Corn and dive. Little Corn is by far the most amazing place i have ever been too, and the diving is supposedly great too.
Will be in CA as well in January through May or whenever, maybe I’ll bump into you!
The Corn Islands are totally on my bucket list! I’ve heard the diving is fantastic as well. Thanks for the tip!
You’re amazing!!!!!! This trip is such a dream. I just put off a trip to Guatemala myself, so maybe I’ll meet you down there. Also, it looks like I’ll be traveling this fall. After I get back from China in mid-November, I might want to take one more big trip before seeing the folks at Christmas. Maybe I’ll meet you in Colombia or Ecuador!
That would be amazing Abby… would be great to have your Spanish skills as well 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get there!
How exciting! You will love Ecuador. It is such a diverse and beautiful country. I had my best ever holiday there, I went to Quito, Otovalo market, hiked Cotopaxi volcano, went to the Amazon for some jungle trekking and ended up on the Galapagos Islands. I can recommend all of these activities. And you like diving, so the Galapagos would be a really special place to do that.
That sounds like an amazing trip Tammy! I hope I get to do all those things! Thanks for the nudge to Ecuador 🙂
THIS SOUNDS AWESOME!!! Peru has always been one of my dream destinations since I was a kid. Are you going to see the Nazca Lines, too? 🙂
Definitely! I’m a little nervous about going up in those tiny planes… but how can I pass up the chance to see something so cool?!
Sounds like a really great itinerary you have there! Enjoy it lady!
Thanks Erica! I know you guys have been to a lot of these places, I’ll have to check out your archives.
I love to know about your travel plans! When I started to read about South America I thought, oh! she’s comming to Brazil…but not…but you have so nice plans! Peru is one of my top 3 travels in the bucket list and I have all my plans done…unfurtunetaly I couldn’t go. My plans were very close to yours. So happy that I will have your tips 😉
My brother has travelled once to Peru and once to Colombia/Equador. Both trips backpacking. He went to Bogota-San Andres-Cartagena-Santa Marta-Medellin. And in Ecuador he stayed all the time in Quito because he was having such a good time there and he went only on daytrips (I don’t remember the name of the places, I have to ask, but there was a hiking).
Are you going to Galapagos?
Come to Rio to the holidays! I don’t know a better place!
I haven’t announced it yet as it isn’t confirmed, but I believe I will be heading to the Galapagos in January (fingers crossed!) And Brazil is at the top of my bucket list! Right now just isn’t the time, but I hope it will be soon…
For Peru, drink lots of gaterade when you get that strange altitude sickness feeling!! This was my go to in Cusco and for some reason it helps you feel better 🙂 in Colombia two gorgeous and best places are Cartagena and Salento, you will not be disapointed! Both charming and full of nature!
Ooo, thanks for the tip Jennifer! Gatorade — who knew?