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"How long should we travel for?" seemed like a relatively easy question to answer. Up until this trip, our vacations usually lasted between three and ten days, and we had only once traveled for more than two weeks at a time. Since we wanted to take at least six months off work, we discussed the pros and cons of traveling longer. We eventually decided a three-month travel adventure would be long enough given our prior trip lengths, short enough to meet our budget, all while allowing us to spend adequate time with family back home in India.

Answering the "Where do we go?" question was more challenging. We'd had our sights set on South America for a while, from back when we lived in Singapore. It felt quite far and inaccessible then, but traveling from the US was going to be somewhat easier. Could we, however, visit every country? And, see everything we’ve always wanted to see? Do it all in just three months? All while sticking to our budget? We needed to prioritize and plan wisely.

We started with what we knew. My fascination with the seven wonders of the world landed Brazil and Peru on the list. I had previously visited Colombia for work, and was keen to explore more of it with Suhas. We had seen the Uyuni salt flats in this music video long ago and always wanted to visit, so Bolivia made the list. Finally, Chile and Argentina made the cut because both of us wanted to experience Patagonia. The Galapagos were on our mind too, but we decided to leave Ecuador out due to very complex visa procedures (Indians need a visa and it's not cheap). Venezuela seemed too risky to visit given the political and economic turmoil. Ultimately, we decided to keep it to just six so we could spend meaningful time in each country.

Then came the hard part. Deciding where to go in each country other than the highlights, what to see, and when. A general rule of thumb was to allocate up to two weeks per country, and at least three days at a specific location to make sure we could experience more than just the touristy spots. After scouring several travel blogs, scrutinizing maps, checking ticket prices, learning about visa requirements, and so on, we finally settled on our list of places to visit in each country – 35 unique destinations overall.

While researching Argentina, we realized how close Ushuaia (its southernmost city) was to Antarctica. Turns out, the most popular and fastest way to reach Antarctica is by taking a cruise from Ushuaia. The more we researched Antarctica, the more we wanted to go, the only thing stopping us from locking it down being the cost. It was going to be quite expensive, so we deliberated on it for a few days before we decided: “let's do it!”. If we didn’t do it now, we probably were never going to do it. Antarctica became the final destination we added to our itinerary.

And that's how we crafted our ambitious itinerary through Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Antarctica. Check out our detailed itinerary here or the map here for our travel stops.


Where do we go?

Anusha Sekhar

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