Two Dogs, a Van, a Wedding, and a Latin American Adventure

I write the first entry of this blog while living in Istanbul, Turkey. I am spending time here working and learning the language. Many think it’s a little odd learning Turkish just months before we embark on our Latin American journey. Maybe they’re right… I should back up a bit and provide some foresight into this adventure.

Three years ago while living in Portland, Oregon, my then boyfriend, (now fiance) Tom, suggested we save up money, jump into his VW Vannagon, and drive to the tip of South America. It sounded incredible, a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was so excited about his idea and he was thrilled I was willing to tag along. We talked about it for some time, but then reality sunk in… I was in grad school and while he was making good money, he wasn’t making enough money to save a sufficient amount to support us for a year while traveling the Americas. We promised each other we wouldn’t take this idea off the table completely, we would just brainstorm ways to make it come true.

Since then, I landed a job with a great nonprofit organization and obtained my masters in International Conflict Resolution. Tommy got offered a great job in Southern CA, and after talking with my boss, she agreed to let me work remotely so Tom and I wouldn’t have to pass up this opportunity. We were so excited… our Latin American adventure was back in action. We would live frugally and put money into savings and turn our dream into a reality. In January of 2011, Tom and I, and our dog Melika headed south and moved to Wrightwood, CA with the goal of embarking on our journey on August 1, 2012.
In the past year we also temporarily inherited my brother’s dog, Hydro.

In November of 2011, Tommy proposed. And I said yes…of course! We hadn’t had much time to discuss what we wanted for a wedding, etc. because my sister’s wedding was only three weeks after the proposal. Her wedding was in Kenya. We had an amazing time exploring Kenya and Tanzania. Everyone’s return flight went through Istanbul, Turkey where I had to say goodbye to my family and Tom as I was staying to conduct outreach and education for my work. Tommy and I had spent far too much time on Skype trying to decide where we should have our wedding. Finally, it was decided we would get married in Costa Rica.

Initially we both had our reservations about a destination wedding, but concluded that Costa Rica is a place we both love and that it would be really special to have our family and friends come and celebrate with us half way through our adventure. We take off for the trip in September, 2012 and our wedding will be in February, 2013.

Tommy has been working hard modifying the Vanagon…a.k.a. the Mother Ship, to be mechanically sound and redesigning the interior and attachment storage space so we can bring our toys… surf boards, mountain bikes, etc. He has asked me to pick out some nice fabric while in Turkey so that we can make curtains for the Vanagon… I think he forgot that I am probably the least crafty person he knows and I don’t know how to sew. Oh well. There is still a lot of work to be done to the Mother Ship, but I am confident that we will get it done.

Thank you for reading our first post. We will keep you updated on our planning, our travels, our wedding, and all of our adventures.

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Categories: Travel, Wedding | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Two Dogs, a Van, a Wedding, and a Latin American Adventure

  1. Jana

    Love it! Looking forward to new posts and pictures 🙂 Love, Jana

  2. leslie

    What happens next???

  3. Ester and Tudy

    Thanks for sharing! Tudy and I enjoyed and tell Tommy “Yo soy tu numero uno, Capitan!”

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