¡Viva Ecuador! A La Aventura!

Trip Start Nov 24, 2007
Trip End May 15, 2008

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ˇAmigos! ˇFamilia! ˇBienvenidos! After 24 grueling hours of extended flight and airport time (a cheap ticket demands such), Maya and I have officially arrived at our destination, Quito, Ecuador safely. And so our trip commences...

For those of you who don´t know, after graduating from the University of Oregon (Go Ducks) last June, the two of us spent the next five months living, working and straight up busting our arses in Enterprise, Oregon for the USFS. Call us ex-wildland firefighters! Not only was it an excellent job (who gets paid to work outside all day?) but it was an abnormally hot and dry summer so naturally we were fortunate to spend many a days and nights on the fireline. No. It may not have been the most glamorous of jobs one would choose as a post college occupation, or even a common one at that, but we enjoyed it thoroughly and barring any huge changes we likely will be returning next June. Truth be told, there just aren't many jobs out there that one can do seasonally like fighting fire (especially in a place as beautiful as Wallowa County) and earn enough money to subsidize a trip like this. I am pretty impressed with Maya for sticking it out so strongly in a workplace dominated by alpha-males! At times, myself included! Metaphorically, on more than one occasion (off of the fire line that is) she had to fight fire with fire... standing up to quell sexist remarks at the get-go. This of course does not pertain to Enterprise. LOL. Quite easy to foretell, by the end, Maya made her point firmly known. I guess in a way it was just her preparation for the Latin machismo complex that awaited her!

So. To those who think you have to be wealthy to travel to far off places or receive a huge handout from your parents in order to make ends meet, we are your inspiration. Life is for the energetic. You don't have to sacrifice career aspirations.  with a little planning, sacrifice and due diligence it can be done easily. So go. Don't wait and do not look back.


From now until May 15th, we will be mostly traveling overland through Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and into Costa Rica for our flight home. Nothing however is set in stone. This is more like the rudimentary plan. The what, when, where and how are still entirely left open for change as we go. Uncertainty is part of the fun. With that, what we DO know is that instead of tripping across the entire continent of South America in a meager six months, we've narrowed it down to a region so that we have more time to see things and less ground to cover in order to do so. The main reason for heading north. The last thing we wanted to do was become overzealous and start skipping from one famous tourist attraction to another, spending hours and hours in a bus. Our intent is to experience more of what each unique country has to offer more intimately than what we would do coming for only a brief amount of time. Quality over Quantity. Always. We surely want to take things slow, absorb and give back as much as we can, do some unforgettable things together along the way and most of all travel, explore and be free for a change.  Since we both have spent a combined time of more than a 14 months in Spanish speaking countries and have spent time studying it a great deal already, we are looking forward to comfortably being back in a familiar but at the same time, new and exciting 'terra incognita'!

We hope that you can keep tabs on us and enjoy our adventure along the way...

Craig Weigand

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