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One Year On the Road

Puno, Peru- It’s been a year since I last spent a single second of my time making any type of income or sleeping under the same roof for any considerable amount of time. I left Cleveland on July 26th and since then I’ve been wandering the northern and southern hemispheres at free will. It’s been [...]

Puno, Peru-

It’s been a year since I last spent a single second of my time making any type of income or sleeping under the same roof for any considerable amount of time. I left Cleveland on July 26th and since then I’ve been wandering the northern and southern hemispheres at free will. It’s been a good year. As each day passes my bank account loses a little more money as I rack up more life experiences, meet more interesting people and see more things that, at times, makes me scratch my head and say, “huh?”

One year of travel - 14 countries, 20 border crossings

I spent the day after that one year anniversary border crossing. An activity that seems to mark distinct phases in my current traveling life. Today it was the Bolivia-Peru border. As I sat on the bus waiting for others to finish their immigration procedures I counted up 14 countries and 20 border crossings since I began this journey. Not what I would call a small number.

I didn’t even realize it had been a year until one day too late. On the actual one year date I did nothing remarkably outstanding. Just another day in La Paz. Even if I had realized it what would I have done on a Monday night? I guess I would have done the same thing – watched a movie in my hotel room. Maybe I would have bought a beer instead of a bottle of water.

I spent longer in Bolivia than I thought I would and much longer in La Paz than I ever really wanted. After three months of Bolivian prices I find Peru to be ‘expensive’. Once again the U.S. dollar isn’t helping in it’s weakened state but going from $2-$4 for a room to $5-$7 is a jump I wasn’t excited about. I liked spending $12-$15 a day without really watching how much I was spending. That made me happy. Peru will be a little more tricky.

I think I have about three and a half months left in this Latin American journey of mine before money hits the point where I have to start looking for work (that South Korea plan of mine is on hold until I get back to the U.S.). Three and a half more months of border crossing, eating different food, meeting locals and hearing a multitude of languages spoken every day.

Filed under: Cubicle Ditcher, Peru, Random Thoughts

About the Author:

Sam Langley left a comfortable and profitable job with an insurance company in the USA to travel the world. He has been going for years, and has not stopped yet. Keep up with his travels on his blog at Cubicle Ditcher. has written 147 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • Pratibha Gupta July 28, 2011, 2:33 am

    just saw a few articles on your blog.. quite interesting to know that you actually went all around! 🙂

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  • Crystal Antes July 28, 2011, 9:29 am

    you should seriously think about coming to NZ on working holiday for $$, food, wine, people, etc…just fill out the form online (for free) and you’ll get a visa to print out ~3-5 days later. I hear summer here is great (plus LOTS of odd jobs for orchards and vineyards), and that’d line up pretty well with your 3-4 months left in south america…just a thought for if you’re not ready to go back to the US. Cheers and happy travels, Crystal

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  • Wade Shepard July 28, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Congratulations, Sam!

    Good going. How about going up to Ecuador and Colombia? It would connect your hemispheres and make your travels map look real good haha! Um, and we are going to be in Colombia in a couple of weeks. Would be great to meet up again!

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  • Sam July 28, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Hey Wade, that’s my plan so I’ll keep working my way up north. I would like to spend my last month and a half or two months in Colombia so I’ll see you there!

    Crystal, the thought has crossed my mind. I’ll keep thinking about it and some possibilities but for some reason settling in one spot in an Asian speaking country keeps appealing to me.

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  • Wade Shepard July 28, 2011, 4:13 pm

    Man, head to China., Complete and beautiful social chaos, cheap living, good food, friendly people (well, interspersed between all the meat heads), and lots and lots of work for an English teacher! Really man, go the MRP road here.

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  • Goda July 28, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Hey Sam,

    I don’t know if you remember me but we went to camp together at Camp Moyoca. I found you blog on facebook and have been reading it ever since. I’ve actually been to Puno (back in 2008). I was in Peru for work and I went backpacking for a week. It was a great time and Peru is amazing! You have to try conchitas a la parmaseana (scallops with parmesean) when you get to the coast!

    Also, I’m actually moving to China to teach for a year (we picked China over South Korea for language reasons). So if you make it to that region let me know! Maybe we could meet up or I can give you a free place to stay for a few nights. 🙂

    Happy travels! Keep bloggin because I love reading. 😉

    Goda

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  • Goda July 28, 2011, 5:09 pm

    O and additionally, I’ve been told that you can arrive in China and find a teaching job right away. And then the school will get you a work visa and all you need. Planning isn’t really necessary. Perhaps it works like that in South Korea too.

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  • Sam July 28, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Two people recommending China…
    I think I’ll have to give that a look as well. I like the craziness and the possible ease with which I could find work.

    Oh, and of course I remember you Goda.

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  • Adil August 1, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Congratulations on your blog and trip Sam, I’m starting my trip on Thursday, Cancun . Open ended as well , I was glad to find your blog during my planning period . Just a question, did you consider volunteering or Woofing / Helpx ? I’m thinking about doing these at times as a mean of integration into communities . Any thoughts ?
    thks

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    • Sam August 2, 2011, 12:34 am

      Hey Adil,
      Glad to hear your starting your open ended trip. It’s going to be great. For your question, I did consider Woofing at one point but it just never seemed to work out. Whenever I would inquire about Woofing the place I wanted to go was always full so I have yet to have any Woofing experiences. I’ve also considered Couch surfing but just never got around to putting it into action. Maybe someday…

      If you use either or both options consistently you will really be able to save yourself some money over the long-term. Especially in those more expensive countries. I don’t even want to think of the money I could have saved in Argentina and Chile by couch surfing for the three months while I was there.

      Safe travels and enjoy your time.

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