Revealing my Travel “Plans”

I can hardly believe that July is here already (Happy Canada Day everyone!!).  It seems like just a couple days ago I was spending the holidays on the other end of the South American continent in Ushuaia, Argentina.  Has a half a year really passed already?  Have I really gone from the entire length of South America in the past 6 months?  Over the past 6 months I have been on an Antarctica expedition, tracked jaguars in Paraguay, took part in Brazilian carnival, hitchhiked across the Guianas and so much more.  As I sit in my apartment today I can’t help but wonder how my next 6 months can possibly live up to what I have just been through.  However, as I look at the calendar I have meticulously created on Google.  I am as excited as any time in my life. So at the risk of sounding like a blogger, here are my travel plans.  They are also shown in the google map below the post.

Antarctica

Me Photographing Penguins in Antarctica – Jan. 2011

General “Plans”

As you may have guessed, I will be on the move quite a bit over the next little while.  Did you really expect me to begin standing still?  For a wandering vagabond, even a couple weeks at one of those vacation home rentals is far too stable for comfort.  I will, however, travel this time using a hub, a base of operations if you will.  I have decided that I will spend about 30-40% of my time here in Medellin, Colombia working on my secret project (nope, still not telling you what it is), while travelling continuously the rest of the time.  According to my preliminary plans my travel will include visiting the parts of the Americas that I have missed, as well as retracing some of my previous steps and re-visiting places that I loved.

Highlights

  • A Return to Central America: As I posted before, I will be returning to where my solo backpacking all began at the end of July.  Central America holds a very important place in my heart, and going back is something I am very excited about.

    Cerro Chirripo

    Cerro Chirripo, Costa Rica – Jan. 2006

  • Panama to Colombia Overland: I have always wanted to cross from Panama to Colombia overland (there is no road between the two countries), and I will finally do it this time.  I still haven’t worked out the logistics and probably won’t hike the Darien Gap (although if encouraged and a part of a team I would do it).  I will likely do a combination of hiking and boating to get across.
  • The Galapagos: This one still isn’t 100% and the details are being wrinkled out.  However, I am very optimistic that it will all go through.  I have been to Ecuador 8 times and have never been to the Galapagos, as a photographer, this would be a dream come true.
  • Home for Christmas: I’ll be honest, I am terrified about the prospect of going home to Canada at wintertime.  I am a horrible Canadian, in that I really hate the cold, but being with family for Christmas after being away the past two will be really nice
  • Haiti: I will be in the Dominican Republic for my sister’s wedding in January so how could I not take the chance to go to Haiti?  For whatever reason, I have always felt a huge draw to visit Haiti.  Something about the country has been calling be for years.  I plan on spending a couple weeks volunteering in some capacity, maybe in a sports setting if possible.

“Plans” Can Change

Obviously, as a traveller, I know that my “plans” will have to remain in parenthesis.  I fully understand that the term “travel plans” may be one of the world’s great oxymorons, and I do expect minor, if not major, deviations for the plans.  But the deviations are half of the fun involved in travel.  I am not one of those people who sticks to “plans” strictly, in fact I am not one who make plans in general.  However, with some important events coming up in the future, I felt like I needed a plan, and hey, planning is half the fun anyways isn’t it?

The Itinerary

Without rambling on much more, below you’ll find my travel plans for the foreseeable future:


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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31 Comments

  1. Looks like you have a lot of fun adventures ahead of you! I really hope the Galapagos trip works out! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures.

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    • @Andrea, nice of you to check in :D. Yes… it should be an exciting 6 months. Here’s to hoping it can even come close to the past 6 months.

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  2. Dude, the Darien is possible – I interviewed and wrote about Tim Harvey’s crossing (another Canadian Adventurer) but you’ll end up getting thrown in jail. If you do the Darien, you need to have a contact in Panama with bail money…

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    • @Jeff – I have a plan to cross a “segment” that is actually completely legal and has been done fairly regularly. It will really only involve about 10 hours hiking. I am hoping, however, that someone contacts me about crossing the gap completely. I can’t afford to go with a guide company (It’s abotu 1200$), but if I can find 2-3 people to come with me I’ll do it.

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    • @claire – I fully admit that these plans will likely change… I know myself too well. However, with the sis getting married, I had to try draw something out in the sand or else I would get caught in the wind and miss the wedding haha

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  3. I’ve always had a huge draw to visit Haiti as well. In fact I was in the middle of planning a trip there just weeks before the horrible earthquake. I still want to go so badly. Best wishes with all of your exciting travel plans.

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  4. Probably going to be in Colombia in October- hopefully we can meet up!

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    • Sounds good. I will likely have a place here in Medellin by then so I might have a couch for you to crash on if you make it here!

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  5. I’m interested to see how you do the overland crossing between Panama and Colombia goes. I actually looked into it with a friend when I was planning my Latin American adventure. Very dangerous. Very difficult.

    But if anyone can do it…

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    • @Steph, As soon as I heard there was no road between Panama and Colombia my adventurous mind said “challenge accepted” That is maybe #1 on my list… only 2 months until I find out if it’s possible.

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  6. Looks like another 6 months of great adventure. Look forward to some more great posts.

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    • @ted… it should be some fun! Here’s to hoping it lives up to expectations!

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  7. Sounds like you are set and ready to go. Your plans sound like fun!!! You should chat with Matt from http://expertvagabond.com/ I know he’s mentioned crossing from Panama to Colombia by land. Maybe y’all can do it together~

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    • @Jaime, I think Matt will be there before me. I have chatted with him about this.

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  8. I’m so excited for you! Those sound like wonderful plans. I cant wait to hear about your latest travels and adventures. And yes….the thought of going to Canada for Christmas sounds terrifying. Brrrrr itll be cold but im sure itll be nice to see your family.

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    • @Colleen, Thanks. I can’t believe how scared I am of the cold now. I had a dream last night that I was turned into an ice cube on the beach and everyone was having fun around me! haha

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  9. I’ve heard a lot about the Darien Gap. It seems to be one of the last wildernesses, but also a dangerous one. Hopefully that changes someday and more people can make the epic hike.

    Look forward to reading more of your adventures!

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    • @Jas, I can’t get there in time I don’t think. I’m going to try… but if not it will be Baranquilla… “plans” change though… as you know!

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  10. Very exciting! I’m especially keen to read about your travels from Panama to Colombia.

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    • When the day finally comes that I leave South America it will be very sad. Some tears will definitely been shed. It’ll be like leaving home… I am pretty sure that South America is home now.

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    • Vago, maybe next summer… what’s the best month to go to Morocco?

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  11. Nice travel plan. You already have everything planned out.

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    • Yup, and the plan to dismantle the plan if need be 😀

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  12. Great plans, I’d love to go to Central America, probably will be just after my stop in Asia..

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  13. Wow, what a crazy schedule! Yay for Toronto in December :]
    And Trinidad should be fun too.

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  14. Lots of fun things in store for you! Can’t wait to hear all your adventures. I love how you are open to change. I would be dreading a Canadian winter too. I’m complaining enough with our slightly mild Aussie one

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  15. We are impressed, your current way with words-at all as well as the format in your weblog may be the majority of helpful.

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