Patrick and Marijke


patrick and marijke driving north, central, and south america

Name and age Patrick (33) and Marijke (28)

Hometown Mechelen, Belgium

When did you start your travels? We started on July 16th, 2013 by flying to Vancouver.

Reason for taking this trip? We want to see the Maya, Aztec and Inca ruins, the Pacific Ocean, the Panama canal, the Carribean, the Grand Canyon, the equator, the volcanoes, Death Valley,  … we want to see it and live it all!

Why did you decide to drive? In order to reach hard-to-get-to places and be able to follow our own rhythm.

What type of car are you driving? A 2004 Toyota 4Runner named 'Rodrigo'

Did you make any modifications to your car for this trip? We added a roof top tent and a 300W inverter.

How did you save up or finance your trip? We saved up money by renovating our own house. On top of that, we both have been working for some time and have some savings put aside for this trip.

How long do you plan on traveling? We promised to be home by Christmas, so almost 6 months in total.

Where do you plan on driving? All the way down from Vancouver to Ushuaïa - or at least how close we can get in 6 months! 

What were your family’s and friends’ reactions when you told them about your trip before you left? Everything from "can I come to" to "you are crazy, you will be back in 4 weeks and divorced".

Did you speak Spanish before you left your home country? Not a lot of Spanish… probably enough to get us in trouble and then back out again! We managed to get our car and ourselves into Mexico legally in full Spanish, so I think we will do okay!

Do you have a favorite place or country that you have visited during your trip? Not an easy question, we've been impressed by different things every day! If we would have to pick some...Teotihuacan is really impressive and we also liked Death Valley and the Grand Canyon a lot! Looking forward to exploring more!

What was the weirdest thing you experienced on your trip? You would think that once you've seen a guy transporting a horse in the back of his pick-up truck, that you have seen it all… Mexico has been full of (positive) surprises!

What was the worst border crossing? Our watermelon was confiscated at the US border - that's about the worst so far. Crossing from the US into Mexico was pretty smooth thanks to all the on-line tips!

Do you have any advice for others who may be considering driving the Americas? Don't listen to people who tell you all kinds of crazy things about living and driving south of the US border. Get yourself a map and start driving!

Would you do it again? Yes!


Thu, 10/17/2013 - 19:07

Hey Patrick & Marijke!

I am entering Mexico in about a week headed to Rio. Hope to see you on the road!