What’s your site about and what are you working on this week?
Our Trans-Americas Journey website and travel blog are a celebration of the Americas and independent travel through the Americas. Why the Americas? Here’s why we ditched plans to head to Africa and focused on the Americas instead. We’ve been driving from North to South since 2006 and have explored and reported from 13 countries from Canada through Peru with the rest of South America still in front of us. During the years to come we will continue to spend many, many months in each country. Our slow, immersive pace allows us to discover emerging destinations, attractions and activities, find new angles on tried and true tourism options and really get to know the local entrepreneurs who are offering outstanding hotels, restaurants, etc. As professional freelance journalists (Karen is a writer and Eric is a photographer), we file stories about travel in Latin America for a range of top-shelf travel and lifestyle publications in the US including Afar, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, RoadsandKingdoms.com, BBC Travel and many, many more outlets. This week on the travel blog we are celebrating nine years of road tripping through the Americas and the street art scene in Bogota, Colombia. In our freelance work we just filed the last installment in a seven part series of pieces we produced about hotels in Central America, finishing a new assignment for Afar magazine’s website about Iquitos, Peru and, of course, pitching new stories to our editors everywhere! We’re doing all of that from the El Mirador hotel in Pacasmayo on the coast of Peru, by the way.
For people who haven’t begun their journey, what is one thing you want them to know about the world?
You are part of the world and travel is the best way to fully realize that. Get out there, see for yourself, make up your own mind and take your place in the world.
What’s the country you traveled to where you felt the most connected, and why?
As serial travelers, we have many decades of travel to places around the world between us and many, many places have resonated. Staying focused on our current Trans-Americas Journey road trip through the Americas, Mexico is the hands-down, top-of-the-list country we connected with and it boils down to the people. Their pride in where they live and desire to make you love it as much as they do results in a kind of passionate generosity that makes every encounter magical. We made so many friends and those relationships resulted in a much, much deeper understanding of Mexico which we would never have achieved otherwise. Also, tacos (and anything else on the menu- just eat it).
What’s the travel experience that’s changed you most, and in what way?
A large part of Eric’s passion for travel can be traced back to this emotional and eye-opening interaction in a train station bar late at night in Berlin in the days before the wall came down. We think of that kid a lot and we hope he’s out there on the road somewhere too.
What adventure are you going to scratch off next?
We really hate the notion of “scratching off” experiences or “doing” countries because it implies that the “scratching” or the “doing” is the ultimate point, which, of course, it’s not (or shouldn’t be). Full time travel is a daily adventure in and of itself, but the next adventure, as any normal traveler would define it, that we’re looking forward to is Machu Pichu which we will explore in a variety of ways including hiking (from multiple routes) and on horseback. Machu Pichu is one of the world’s must sees (like the Galapagos Islands and the Amalfi Coast) that can either live up to the hype or pale in comparison so we’re happy to finally go see for ourselves and excited by the challenge of finding new ways to enjoy this destination.