When we began telling people we were driving as far south as the road goes through Central and South America, most people thought we were nuts. I am still not sure if that’s an accurate assessment or not and I suppose only time will tell! Most of the people who thought we were nuts (and likely still think we are) didn’t realize that we didn’t invent this trip. There are probably thousands if not tens of thousands of people who have traveled along the Pan American Highway (PAH). Here is a great write up of the history, route, and other general information about the PAH.
Laughlin’s inspiration for the trip most likely came from me as she had much more important things to do on Saturdays than read page after page of blogs about overlanding – like work. My inspiration came from a variety of places but many of the most influential blogs are:
- Home on the Highway – James and Lauren drove their 1987 Toyota 4runner along the PAH and the blog is adventurous and humorous at the same time. I believe this was the first blog I stumbled upon and actually read. The blog is a bit outdated since they completed their trip in 2013, but they continue to travel a their Toyota RV and I continue to follow them on Facebook at Home on the Highway.
- Song of the Road – Sam and Erica’s blog provided a methodical documentation of their PAH adventure and provided some great information that many other blogs or websites did not. If I remember correctly, their write up about their ability to overcome the stress of quitting their good paying jobs and travel made me realize that this is something we could do too. I finished reading their blog just as they finished their trip in 2015. I don’t know if they have another blog or keep up on Facebook now that they are finished.
- Drive Nacho Drive – Brad and Sheena have a great blog about their preparations for driving the PAH and beyond. In fact, according to their blog, they ended up driving through 34 countries in their Volkswagen Vanagon. Information about budgeting and the cost of driving, well, around the world, was very informative. As a side note, they went to school and Northern Arizona University which is where Laughlin went to school as well, so it hit close to home with me.
- Desk to Glory – Richard and Ashley drove their 1990 Toyota Pickup from Vancouver, BC along the PAH and are now exploring North America. I stumbled on their blog when they were back in Vancouver working and saving to complete the South American portion of their trip. Their blog really grabbed me as I could follow along real time while they were traveling, not to mention, it is probably the most professional blog with great write ups and phenomenal photos! Laughlin actually followed them as well. Our Dodge will provide us a great deal of comfort along our trip but I sure do miss my 1990 Toyota pickup!
- There are many more blogs and resources I followed, which I won’t discuss but I will provide links here: The Road Chose Me, Pan Am Notes, Expedition Overland, Life Remotely, a2a Expedition, The Long Way South, Here Until There, Traveling Trio (we had Beth design our wedding invitations – check her work out!), WikiOverland, Ruined Adventures
As I said I did a lot of Saturday and Sunday morning reading, which looking at the list appears to be a bit of an obsession, but I suppose to take on a trip like this, you ought to be a bit obsessed! I am sure I missed many other sources of inspiration, but I will add them to this post when I come across them so make sure to come back to this blog post!