Preparing for a trip like this one takes time, I began in 2009 but when you work two jobs you have little time, But this journey has been in my mind for a long time. I remember that back in the late 90's I wanted to take plung and go for it but I didn't have any information about anybody doing this trip, without internet it was very difficult to collect information, So, very soon I forgot about it.
But now October of 2016 I can see that I spent a lot of time trying to put everything together back in 2009. One thing I did I looked a lot of websites on the internet but even back in 2009 there were just a hand full of People traveling the Americas. But now in 2016 it is easy to find probably a couple of hundreds site with a lot of information from camping places, border crossing, hotel, Etc.,
For me this journey was a challenge because I was planning to do this by myself and I have time in which I thought about quitting the journey. Right now (this october 2016) I am very happy I didn't quit and was able to finish my journey without any trouble at all.
Now let me share this with everyone. I remember back in 2009 I began saving a lot of money by cutting all my expenses to almost zero, just buy what I needed. I began looking to websites of People doing the trip at the time then I began planning my route, once I have my route I began looking on the internet for information about those places, cities and thing to see. This is very important because you don't want to be driving around without a clear direction of where to go, so take your time and try to plan a route that would be the most comfortable for you.
There are a few thing you need to know: Prepare, Prepare, and more Preparation. The more you do it the easier this trip will be for you. Remember to take time to think things very carefully this will help you same time.
Later I began working on my truck, I put some night time light in front and back of truck, a roof rack, actually I put two, one for the front head lgihts and the gas cans and in the other I put the rest of my stuff ( some photos below) I also put a new radio, one AC-DC converter under the passenger seat and some light switches for the front and back lights.
- Here are some the thing i took with me on my trip:
- Gas cans
- Water cans
- Refrigerator ( Portable )
- A camping tent
- Portable stove
- AC-DC converter
- Sleeping bag
- Portable fan
- A portable generator with battery charger and tire inflator ( Compact )
- A portable Table and chair
- Hazard triangle ( you will need one in Guatemala )
- fire extinguisher ( you will need one in Guatemala )
- A laptop
- I pod ( make sure you create a few playlist in itunes )
- A DSLR camera with a few SD cards and one tripod ( I didn't have one tripod )
- Sun glasses ( I took a dozen with me They get lost very easy )
- A pair flip flop maybe two, a couple of tennis shoes
- One GPS ( extremely important make sure have maps for the countries you are planning to visit )
- A good phone
- A extra back pack ( small )
- One magic Jack ( This item became the most valuable device I took with me I used it everyday to call home, family and friends ( for $29 per year )
I can not tell you how much this device was helpfull on my trip I recommend it 100% you will not regret it.
This list above are just some the things i took with me and I actually used them. When you begin to create a list for your trip remember one thing " Don't take anything that you will not need things like; A guitar. Space in your vehicle with become a luxury after a while and star buying stuffs that you don't need.
One thing you will need for sure, One Book (Journal) You may want to record every detail of this trip names of towns, cities, places, you want as much information as possible, one reason is because when you are updating your website it will be a lot easier ( trust me on this one ) also when your are done with your trip this is going to help a lot.
Everything I have wrote down here are things that i actually planned ahead on my trip and after i finished with the journey there are a lot things I didn't need, I took too much clothes, shoes, food etc., So when planning your trip your are going a lot of things you will not need, So think twice about item you really need like: medication, vacinations ( specially if you are going to be outside USA for a long time ).
Right now there are a lot of website with a lot more information spend some time searching and reading what they have done and how they have done it. this will help you
decide what to bring with you, One thing I did, I wrote thing that I may need, keep a notebook with all this information.
For me, the preparation went fine, Right after I finished with my truck I went on to work on my list and route and all the things I wanted to see on these cities and towns across the Americas, once I finished adding all the information on my notebook ( This took a very long time I would say a few months) I purchased all the items I wanted to take with me, But I was always thinking on my expenses, remember the more you buy the less money you are going to have, So Save, Save, Save and Save.
The last 3 moths before departure I began working on werbsite ( this is the new style) I finished it just a couple of days before I left.