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The Next Destination Could Lead Into My Next Era Of Travels

Where I go next could determine my geographic whereabouts for the next five years.

Central America Map
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ASTORIA, NYC- I’m going to stretch my legs a little at the end of this month. The film about the old explorers crossing the Atlantic in a hydrogen balloon got axed and I’m questioning whether I want will be able to continue my off-shore wind film …

… My car was totaled at the end of last year and I decided not to get another one. It’s not really feasible to do film projects in the US without a car.

But as every traveler knows, each dead end just leads to new roads.

When I watched my smashed up car getting towed away I knew my projects in the US were DOA — and more than likely my days here were numbered.

And I didn’t feel too sad about it.

Not. At. All.

I’m in the mood for something a little lighter, a little faster — a little closer to my established wheelhouse. While I’m ready to leave NYC and move on to somewhere else, the time for that isn’t right now — my wife and kid want to finish out the school year.

But my wife is in the same place as me, and Rivka has a taste for adventure. In other words, we’re (almost) ready to go.

To Mexico, perhaps.

Or maybe Argentina.

I’m touting for Paraguay.

Whatever the case, we very well may be looking at our last summer in NYC.

In the meantime, I’m back to doing what I originally intended to do while here: use the city as a base of operations to travel through the Western Hemisphere.

So here are the options:

Guyana- Because I’ve ever been there before and it’s currently dirt cheap to fly there from NYC on American — $350 RT, direct both ways. I came close to just clicking the buy button on this but then thought about it for a moment … and then I discovered that the cheapest, shithole of a hotel room in Georgetown appears to be going for $70 a night, that you have to fly everywhere in little prop planes which cost $200+ a pop, and then when you land you probably have to pay good $$$ for people to take you around, house you, feed you … While I’d like to go there, it would probably be a better option to wait until I had a reason for it — a project, assignment, etc.

Medellin- Why? Because I could get there for $300 RT and I’ve heard it’s a cool place to pass some days. While I’ve traveled around Colombia before I’ve never been to Medellin. Plus Andy is around Colombia somewhere.

Puerto Rico- Because I like it there and if you search at the right time you can get an RT from NYC for $150.

Guatemala- Because it used to be one of my old stomping grounds and I haven’t been there for over a decade. I’d also like another go at the country when I’m not ass-clenching every penny.

Panama- Just say fuck it and start the next big project.

I really had two options in front of me: to travel for no reason or to travel for a reason. These are probably the two main modes of travel. Either you’re going out to frolic with serendipity and moving with the winds or you’re going out with a specific objective that you aim to accomplish. While I do enjoy both forms of travel and understand the value of do-nothing, I’m usually going to choose do-something if it’s a viable option.

I figure I may as well just get started with it. As with most big projects, in the beginning you’re just tossing out some lines to see what bites. I’m not sure where this is going to go, but if it hits things are going to get a little fun around here.


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Filed under: Central America, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3716 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

4 comments… add one

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  • Jack April 18, 2024, 10:08 pm

    We were supposed to head to Paraguay in August but decided to stay another year but right now who knows? As you may know we have a harassing racist neighbor who has done a lot of stuff. We caught him on camera assaulting us and the court case was a slam dunk because we had a court order against him and he violated it.

    Until the Sheriff’s Office or the County Attorney lost the evidence, they lost the footage and they lost the body cam so they are dropping all the charges and telling him to go forth and bother them more, we won’t do anything.

    Now I want nothing but get on a plane and leave but my wife already signed a teaching contract for next year.

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    • VBJ April 19, 2024, 2:20 pm

      Oh that’s a tough one. Man, you gotta get out of there. That stuff can only escalate. I’d start looking at some teaching jobs for your wife in Paraguay! (and I’ll do the same for mine!).

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      • Jack April 19, 2024, 3:13 pm

        We already moved into town and I’m wondering why the hell I’m still here 🙂

        Once you have been relatively sedentary for too long, the inertia is quite high. It seems like we need mountains to get going. While our two oldest got to travel so much(and they are on their own now), our youngest three haven’t got to experience anything other than the US and Mexico. I want that to change. I have health challenges and I don’t want to wait around until I’m too old or too sick to travel.

        The positive going for us is that my wife is now a US citizen and has a blue passport. While visa considerations used to be an issue, they aren’t any longer.

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        • VBJ April 20, 2024, 9:12 pm

          It sounds like you are just waiting for that proverbial straw … like I was with my car. There’s always that one tick that will push you over the line. Don’t worry, it will happen soon 🤣

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