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The Excellent Adventure

Updated on January 2, 2009

Welcome to my adventure/mid-life crisis. I have done some travelling but have had very limited time in which to do it, A few weeks at a time usually.

I have always been jealous of people who can take a few months off to travel and swore that if I ever had the chance I would take it. Well it's at the point now were I either follow the dream or let it die so after much plotting and scheming I found a way that I could do it.

I have never been a "normal" person, the house in the burbs with the picket fence, the 2 kids and the mini van sends terror through me in my world it's a nightmare not a dream. I have done the career thing but found that the corporate world was also not my thing, seems that I can't make the kind of compromises needed to survive in that environment. About 4 years ago I started building a website after a couple of years of total frustration from trying to learn ASP programing, a few billion cups of coffee and more chocolate than I care to admit to eating I finally got it finished. It is a free site so it doesn't make much money but it does generate enough that it should cover the cost of food on my trip (road side stands LOL). The site is an international people search site called Lost Trekkers, if you are looking for someone please do drop by my stomach thanks you. I have been lucky enough to find a job working for the City that allows me to pick up work when I need it which is what is paying for my travels and I will be able to go back to it when I return... until itchy feet syndrome sets in again.

The adventure starts in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and ends in San Jose Costa Rica. I am going on the trip solo and will be backpacking it and chicken busing it (except for Mexico I am treating myself to 1st class buses). I have my footprint guide to Mexico/Central America; hot off the presses the 2009 edition and I have been doing a whole lot of research via the Internet. Being a solo female traveler has a few draw backs but I have found some great info in forums, articles and blogs. I will be going to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica (been in Costa Rica before), I have 3 1/2 months. I think I will spend a large part of the time in Guatemala. It looks to be the least expensive country and I want to take Spanish classes for about a month so I think it will be a great place to live for awhile. I have some must see places on my list but for the most part I'm going to go where the wind blows. So I would very much appreciate and tips, advise and ideas on places to go, things to do and see and places to stay (on a budget).

In preparation for the trip I have been doing some shopping. The backpack was the most difficult item to find and involved trying on a lot of different kinds. This being my first time taking this kind of trip I'm sure I'm going to find that I don't need one this large but I'd rather have extra room than not enough. The main issue being if I do fill it up I won't be able to get around without the assistance of a Sherpa :-) I have visions of falling over backwards and doing the turtle.. The pack has a detachable day pack which I think I will find very useful. I'm not sure if I will need it but I also got a pack protector, a steel mesh that goes over the pack to prevent anyone from slicing it open and getting the stuff in it. I got it more because it has a tether on it so I can lock the pack to stationary objects for short periods of time. The info I found on the Internet from people went both ways on the need for it so I'll see how it goes. In total I spent about $300.00 in Mountain Equipment Coop including purchasing a water proof case for my laptop, rain cover for the pack, re-chargeable battery's and charger Canadian flag patches for the backpack. I also picked up a 3 prong to 2 prong plug adaptor, cloths pegs, an all purpose knife bottle/can opener screwdriver combo a first aid kit and some duct tape.. I think I am set but I have a few more weeks to remember anything I may have forgotten.



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    • trekkershar profile image

      trekkershar 5 years ago from Canada

      hey Ben, sorry just saw this today... not sure why if I just missed it or it just showed up or they recently put the notification on the home page from somewhere else? weird cause I do login here once a week.. I found that pack was not very good, the small one was okay but the large one was heavy and it has a metal frame that was very uncomfy. It was a 2 piece one, little one zipped on to the big one, but only if the big one was not fully loaded. I ended up getting a new one for last years adventure from MEC as well, stayed away from the frame set up:-) Thinking after all this time you probably got one. Again, apologies.

    • profile image

      Ben 6 years ago


      I'd like to look up the very same pack you have on your post. What model is it? I know it is MEC, but do you know what it is called. I'm looking for more info on it.