The Great South American Adventure

by The Runaway Guide on February 3, 2013

machu-picchu-peru

In just three days The Great South American Adventure shall commence! I will depart New York for the nation state of El Salvador!

I know nothing about El Salvador. I don’t know where I’m going to stay. I don’t know what I am going to do. All I know is I am going to be a lot warmer.

Although not having plans or any prior knowledge of a destination does invoke a degree of angst, this is part of the reason why I love to travel. I live for the unknowns inherent to travel. It’s what drives my spirit and gives me purpose.

Admittedly it still is a bit frightening, especially since I have been dormant in my basement for the last 6 months. I question whether I can remember how to travel again? If I still have what it takes to survive all that the world will throw my way?

It’s too late now though. I have my ticket, my bag is already packed and nothing, except maybe a freak snowstorm, will stop me from going. Now I have no choice but to summon the confidence and strength. As the Japanese say, Banzai!!!

The Route

the runaway guide route south america

El Salvador is just the beginning. Though I don’t know exactly where I am going, as portrayed by the squiggly lines on the map, I do know I’m heading south. And it is my hope to visit every country in South America.

I also couldn’t tell you how long this trip will last. It could be 6 months or even 2 years. The only thing I really know for sure is that it’s going to be epic.

The Mission

che-guevara-motorcycle

For this adventure I will travel in the ways of my idols, Jack Kerouac and Alexander Supertramp to name a few. I will walk the lonely roads, hitchhike with Columbian grannies, stowaway aboard ships, hire motorcycles, and find those eccentric and enlightening friends that I have yet to meet.

I will discover ancient ruins like Indiana Jones. I will find awesome Runaway Retreats where I can live cheap for a few weeks. I will embark on new Runaway Adventures. And I will gain deeper insight into each country and its people.

I will seek to expand my mind, to love all those I encounter, and to find contentment in all that I see. I will stay disciplined and find greater balance in my life. I will continue to strive towards a perpetual state of well being and inner confidence.

All the while, I plan to keep you updated as best I can, so that you may feel as though you are with me on this journey. I plan to take much more video and pictures. And when they invent teleportation,  I will send you papusas and plantinos through the computer :D So, feel free to live vicariously through me.

Your Support

If you have any suggestions or recommendations, let me know in the comments below or better yet on facebook. As I said before, I know nothing about this vast continent, so I’m open to every suggestion.

If you enjoy what I do and think your friends will too, please share this post with your friends on facebook and in life. It would really mean a lot to me and ultimately help me travel longer.

Additionally, I am always in need of travel funds, so if you can afford it, check out my FEED ME section for details on donations and rewards.

Finally, you can support me spiritually by sending good thoughts my way!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and The Runaway Guide up until now. I really appreciate it!

If you have any questions or need advice, don’t hesitate to contact me.

-Leif

Leave a Comment

Current day month ye@r *

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris December 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Hey man! I love your site, it has inspired me to start traveling! But that is not the reason I am writing this. I used to live in Brazil and did a lot of traveling there. If you are ever around the Amazon you should definitely take a rustic cruse! Best trip I have ever taken, you get to swim in two rivers at the same time (in a way) and even sleep in the jungle for a night. I am looking forward to reading your posts to come and maybe our paths will cross one day.

Chris

P.S. Do you live in a house part time and then travel the rest or something like that?

Reply

The Runaway Guide January 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Hey Chris, thanks a lot! Really glad to hear it. I’m looking forward to checking out the Amazon one day. That sounds amazing. These days I’ve been hanging out on Lake Atitlan and I’m planning on making it somewhat of a home base. I’m working on a website right now about Guatemala and the lake. It’s called http://www.AtitlanLiving.com. Should be up before the end of the week. Cheers! -Leif

Reply

creative nomad February 26, 2013 at 7:42 am

amazing!! I cant wait to read the adventure! South America is my ultimate bucket list destination!

Reply

Sam February 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Sounds awesome, good luck to you. But how are you planning to cross the Darien gap?

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Hey Sam, thanks! I just found out about that. I’m thinking about walking on the pacific coast but I may take the boat.

Reply

Adam February 8, 2013 at 6:59 am

Best of luck on your trip Leif.

I will be in South America in Dec if you are still there id love to meet up!

Peace,

Adam

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Hey Adam, thanks! Yea, let me know. Not sure where I’m going to be in dec but if were in the sam country definitely.

Reply

Ezra February 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm

good luck!

Some advice:
1) the 2 main laingueges are spanish and porchagease[not good at spelling non-english words] a general rule in spanish in the west and porchigease in the east.
2) the same way we can take a spanish class in school, they thak english class, or la classe de ingles[no acent marks on this keybord], so dont be suprised if a student walks up to you to try out their english first-hand.
3) Have a great time on your trip!

Ezra

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 8, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Hey Ezra, thanks for the advice. I’m always like exchanging languages with people so I’m looking forward to it. Cheers.

Reply

Bruno January 8, 2014 at 1:50 am

Hey Leif, i’m Brazilian and follow your website and facebook a while, and if you like, i’ll be grateful in help you at least in the east side of the continent! (bydeway it’s portuguese (no BraSil – Português) the lenguege) lol.

Ezra was right when she said that here the people ‘ll try to speak with you in english (or other lenguege that they’re studing) to “test” they knolege about it!
Unfortunily here hapens robbery with frequency, but despite that, we brazilian folks are very hospitable and friendly, hearty and friendly!! (Yeah! I LOVE my country!!!)

well.. if you wont, add me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/#!/brunoformigari), so it’ll be more easier to advice you! :D Cheers and Good Trip (it’s a loved, memorable, intense and full of surprises continent!!

Oh! Be Here on World Cup! Will be epic! (maybe you’ll se manifestations (don’t worry, it’s not soooo dangerous!!) of a people who love their country and fight for it to improve!)

Reply

The Runaway Guide January 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Hey Bruno, thanks for getting in touch. Would love to get down to Brazil for the cup. My mom actually was just in Sao Paulo putting on a show called Crazy For You.

Reply

Ivan February 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Hey Leif, what’s your budget for South America? You going to work there?

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 8, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Hey Ivan, yea maybe, I might teach some english somewhere. I have some friends who are doing that. I also have a friend with a hostel that I might be able to work at. I left with 1000$ but I’m hoping that I will keep earning change through my site.

Reply

Furipe February 7, 2013 at 8:23 am

Leif,
Untill a few weeks ago I was working everyday in a boring office and I decided to go hitchhiking to Argentina and Uruguay this whole month, your blog inspired and helped me a lot to my trip.

Thanks for this website and I wish you the best!

Felipe

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Hey Felipe,
That’s awesome! I’m really glad to have inspired.
I hope you’re having an awesome time!
I won’t make it down to Argentina for a bit, otherwise I would have said let’s meet up.
Best of luck to you.
-Leif

Reply

Malte February 5, 2013 at 6:11 am

You really rock! Best of luck for your trip, I am excited to read the posts to come. But don’t forget your Runaway Retreat section, I really want to read about that place in the south of france ;)

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Hey thanks Malte, they are coming. I have already pre-written 3 runaway retreats, which I think you will like. Cheers!

Reply

MakoDamo February 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm

May the force be with you on your journey.
1love

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thanks MakoDamo!!! I will pack it with me before I leave :)

Reply

Adam Jordan February 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Best of luck!

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Thanks Adam :)

Reply

Angela February 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I don’t have any tips for you since I’ve never been to South America. Just wanted to see; HOW AWESOME IS THIS! Good luck :)

Reply

The Runaway Guide February 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Thanks Angela, yea, I’m really excited for this!

Reply