Jimmy and Jieun

Name and age: Jimmy 36, Jieun 33

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

When did you start your trip:
We started our sienna down south on August 01, 2010

Reason for taking this trip:
To get away from the daily routen of work and consume, and live on the road to hopefully find a place to start a new adventure

Why did you decide to drive?
We actually wanted to backpack at first but with online research we found many people traveling by vehicle and not to fear the road and shipping.

What type of car are you driving?
1999 Toyota Sienna

Did you make any modifications to your car for this trip?
Not really only removed the back seats built a storage unit/bed and hit the road plus added a bike rack that draws too much attention.

How did you save up or finance your trip:
We have been planning this trip for that past 2 years and made the sacrifices need to live like this. Cooking at home, movies at home, less material things and more saving I am sure everyone reading in our age group can relate, unless you won the lotto.

How long do you plan on traveling?
We plan year and a half for the Americas and would like to ship to Europe for another 6 months. So 2 years I guess give or take

Where do you plan on driving?
We plan on driving all the way south to see the wales

What were your family’s and friends’ reactions when you told them about your trip before you left?
Friends all say good for you guys while family were just concern for our safty.

Did you speak Spanish before you left your home country? How much Spanish?
Not really only few words that I pick up from friends and 3 month course in college

Are you taking more Spanish lessons as you travel? If so, where and for how long?
Yes we took 5 weeks in Oaxaca Mexico in a class room setting and another week in Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

Do you have a favorite place or country that you have visited during your trip?
Oh so many, my favorite place would have to be Oaxaca Mexico for all the great foods and the people we meet at our school. Jieun's favorite is Semuc Champey Guatemala she loved the tour we took from Lanquin that took us into caves, tubing and finally ending at the falls with emerald pools

What was the weirdest thing you experienced on your trip?
Guatemala Lake Atitlan San Padro, we stayed a this hostel for a week we heard cries every night and later found out it was the cat that lived there and would fight with other street cats, this cat was crazy he even left us a souvenir on our front door and even sprayed our Sienna tires all 4 of them. Don't know how we pissed this cat off

What was the worst border crossing?
For us the worst was Costa Rica to Panama the girl at the insurance office made a mistake on the plate number and the custom office copied the same mistake. we notice about 20 km's down the road and back track to correct the mistake and she was on lunch we waited and when she came back we asked her to correct it and she was all upset like it was our fault and had us running back and forth with the custom office to correct things. Not a horrible crossing just advise to always check the paper work because the one time we didn't this happens.

Do you have any advice for others who may be considering driving the Americas?
Don't get frustrated on why or how fast things get done in Latin America, this is how it is amigos and getting angry won't change things just smile and try to enjoy your time on the road.

Do you have a blog or a website describing your trip?  www.jimandji.blogspot.com