Tag Along to South America!

Written by Payton Lee in S. America

The Breaking Trail team is planning an adventure to South America. Since we love sharing our travel experiences, and don’t want our readers to miss out, we will be giving you all the details every step of the way.  Not only will you get to learn about Latin American culture with us, but you
The Breaking Trail team is planning an adventure to South America. Since we love sharing our travel experiences, and don’t want our readers to miss out, we will be giving you all the details every step of the way.
will also get an inside look at how we plan our trips, including the Seven P’s for an Epic Trip which is our outline for preparation. Tag along, join us, and help us break some trails in this South American adventure.


(Part 1: Prior)

Sometimes you know exactly what continent, what country, what region, and what city you want to travel to. Sometimes you know nothing but that you want to travel.


The first step of preparing for a trip is critical but can be time consuming. For our South America trip we know the continent and have narrowed down a few country choices, but are open for nearly all options. In our case we are going to use the 7 P’s outline as a way to help us pinpoint our trip.


Prior to taking any trip it’s important to answer the following three questions: WHERE, WHY, and WHAT?

We started talking about South America over a year ago. We took a Spanish night class in the winter of 2013, and also a Spanish teacher’s course in the summer of 2013. These really got us excited about traveling to a Spanish speaking country and Argentina became a popular choice for discussion. In the winter of 2014 I met a fellow ski instructor who was from Argentina and would be going back to live there after the season. That flipped the switch, and the trip was on. As we started researching and talking to people about it, other places such as Columbia and Peru also became of interest with possible connections as well. 

We have explored much of Europe and continue to broaden our USA travels, but we have been feeling the itch to see a different aspect of the world. South America, our sister continent, is bursting with its own unique culture. Spanish and Portuguese are the two dominating languages, and therefore present us with a similar challenge Europe had with language barriers. However, with our previous background, present studying, and local encounters with the Spanish language we hope to make the transition a bit easier.

Europe is full of history and unique culture. Many of our distant relatives came from these European countries such as Germany, Austria, or Poland, so we feel a close tie with them. Yes, America was an escape from the tyrants and gave freedom and hope to our ancestors, but these travelers also brought with them many good parts of their culture. As Americans we sometimes forget that our culture is the best of all worlds because we are a true melting pot. This is why Europe felt so at home to us and for many other Americans that travel there as well. With that said, we are anxious to explore a new culture, one that is not so similar to our American heritage. We want to learn about new people, places and their history that makes them unique. Through exploration of distinct landmarks, structures, cities, and local food and drinks we will immerse ourselves in South American ways.


Of course the other draw to this continent is the beautiful views of the coastal and rainforest highlights. However as many know, it can also be a very scary place with crime, drugs, and dangerous people. Because of this knowledge prior research is going to be a crucial part in keeping it a safe, fun adventure.

What Do We NEED to Know?

These need to know questions are important to answer before getting too far along in the planning process. The following help us learn what is necessary for this trip, if the trip is safe, and if the trip is even possible.


Is it a peaceful safe place?

Will there be extreme weather?

What is the language and do we know it?

Do we need a passport, visa, or special privileges?

Are there any cultural practices or festivities that may alter transportation plans?


Stay tuned to find out what we NEED to know about South America…


Payton Lee

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Constantly Teaching, Forever Learning.


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