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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
1,679 days a wanderin'

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Year Two Status Report

May 31, 2017
by John

Two years on the road, we cannot believe it either. While we had planned for a multi-year trip, it is still unfathomable when we reach superfluous milestones such as this. Since we had never traveled before starting our Pan American journey, we really didn't have any idea of what we were in for. That probably translates into us being the kids that are slowing the class down by asking too many proverbial questions. Fortunately it's a class of two, so we can pass or fail together.

Gracias, Honduras

Practicing share the road

Some Basic Stats

Total Miles Driven: 30,920

Gallons of Diesel: 2,087

Average MPG: 14.82

Best MPG: 18.22

Worst MPG: 11.46

Average Cost Per Gallon of Diesel: $3.19

# Nights Spent in the Van: 478 (65%)

# Nights Spent Elsewhere: 253 (8 afloat, 11 house sitting, 74 mooching off of friends and family, 160 in a hotel/apartment/rental home)

What We've Learned

Clean is Relative

Exactly like time, but Einstein probably wouldn't agree with our layman's interpretation. We're also not referring to just taking timely showers, as if that's a thing anymore. The five second rule is more like "How long has that been there? Looks OK to me". Licked clean is clean enough but never for company, we still have some semblance of manners. Good clothes are for going into town for supplies, good meaning not as dirty as everything else, or more importantly, doesn't stink.

There is No Such Thing as Missing Out

Or more appropriately, you cannot do and/or see it all. We are much happier living in the moment instead of forcing ourselves to adhere to a prescribed itinerary. If we make it, miss it, or somehow forgot about it...such is life. Are there a few things we will do our best not to miss? Absolutely, but our day to day is a balance between exploring the sights and hanging out in camp. Some of our fondest memories are big family style dinners with lots of overlanding friends in dirty parking lots, we wouldn't trade it for the world!

Inspiration is Everywhere

While it is easy to become inspired by nature's beauty sprinkled all across this world, we find ourselves noticing it more in what was once viewed as the benign. The work ethic of the 4 year old shoe shine boy (hucking it before and after school), the determination of the aggressive taxi driver whose incessant honking will eventually snag a fare, the bravery of the women and young girls who sell fruit and other food in the middle of the highway, and, of course, the hard knock life of the street dogs who always welcome a couple easy days living under a gringo's car along with some scrumptious scraps.

Perfection is Foolish

One we still struggle with, me more so than Mandi, but not all things need to be taken so seriously. There are times when we need to make sure everything is absolutely tip top, or as good as we can accomplish, but those times aren't as frequent as we tend to think. Close enough in most things is more than enough...who really cares anyway? Slightly under cooked rice...pot scraped clean; zip tied chairs...someone's ass is still in it; a fork when you need a knife...hands. Out of all the crazy work around halfass ingenious shit we've seen the locals and overlanders do, the world kept spinning along.

Many Things Are Not What They Seem

A hard one for us at first since life outside one's home country seems a bit bizarre or even lacking. Our first inclination was to want to change things to be like what we were used to. That quickly was subdued under the realization of what culture really is, something that took experiencing for us to begin to grasp. While there are things that bother us, garbage handling being high on the list, we appreciate the differences in each of those we have had the pleasure of meeting and the communities we were able to glimpse. Instead of thinking "what they need to do is..." we think "wow, there is so much we can learn from their way of life".


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Say what? (9)
May 31, 2017 at 06:58 PM
woohoo! Congrats to 2 years on the road, surviving the US, and reuniting with your ride in sunny Latin America;) As we were driving to Idaho today for our new job ;) I was reading your post aloud to Jim and he was nodding along with it. So very accurate about what is important and what is not. Enjoy getting back into life on the road and chat soon. XXXXX
May 31, 2017 at 07:49 PM
Good stuff well said is a pleasurable after-dinner read. Totally identify with more than a few of these. Thanks for stating them! And remind me to bring my own silverware when we meet up for dinner at a cool campsite somewhere- just in case the licked stuff gets mixed up.
May 31, 2017 at 07:54 PM
lol, good idea Geneva.. I tell ya, I camped with these guys for three months and ya just don't know!! lol
May 31, 2017 at 08:54 PM
Thanks Rhonda and Geneva.

Camp hosting in Idaho should be a whole new experience Rhonda, just make sure Jimbo wears that fly Guatemalan shirt to all the gatherings (too bad he didn't get the entire outfit). It's never a bad idea to always bring your own cup and plate too Geneva...we're not the only ones that lick our dishes clean ; )
Elik
May 31, 2017 at 10:40 PM
Congrats, John and Mandy, on the continuation of a wonderful adventure !
Jun 1, 2017 at 07:21 AM
Congrats and glad to see you guys back on the road. Yes to all of this!
Jun 1, 2017 at 11:13 AM
Thanks Elik and Josh!

As you guys know, we go slow, so expect more folksy wisdom in the future...not that you guys need it! We have a few things to fix on the van then back into the wilderness, ok, maybe just out of the city.
Jun 1, 2017 at 02:45 PM
Congrats on your milestone! And thanks again for the stats, as helpful as always for our trip planning. Hope the price of diesel stays reasonable. ;-)
Jun 22, 2017 at 03:29 PM
Thanks Dennis! Sorry for the late reply, this got lost in our email. Diesel hasn't been that bad, it is usually cheaper than petrol. As always, please ask any questions if you need additional information.
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