Africa vs. South America – Poll Results and Calendar Winners

With the 2009 Presidential Inauguration behind us, it’s decision time as to where to go next.

Soviet Car with Heavy Load - Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Packing up and moving on out…to where?

A Hearty Thanks

First off, thanks to all who voted, commented, and sent us emails (some of you did all three) with thoughts and advice regarding the next segment of our journey. Your input is important to us and we may be in touch to follow up on your suggestions.

Poll Results

In order to count everyone’s vote, we considered the following:
1. Those who voted in the poll
2. Those who voted by commenting in the post (but did not vote in the poll)*
3. Those who sent us their vote by email
*If you’re wondering how we know this, the polling software indicates this.

Although we kept the poll open a bit longer, we took the results from January 24, 2009:

  • South/Central America: 49.3%
  • Africa and the Middle East: 48.9%
  • Other/No Opinion: 1.8%

In full disclosure, we were leaning towards Central and South America before the poll, but were interested in what our readers would have to say. Responses and firsthand advice pushed us over the edge.

However, the level of emotion in the comments and emails about Africa surprised us. This continent obviously leaves an impression and touches those who have been there, in a very special way. We look forward to experiencing that firsthand, but it must wait until next year.

The Grand Plan

Perhaps it comes as no surprise, but we don’t have a set itinerary for the next leg of our journey. The first couple of months will likely include intensive Spanish language study in Guatemala (probably Quetzaltenango). We have found that some of the most insightful conversations about a place can be had with fruit and vegetable vendors and talkative taxi drivers. Neither group, we’re told, speaks much English where we are headed.

We will likely continue south through Central America and circle South America as opportunities, contacts, and suggestions arise. We will update our Where We’re Going page as more details fall into place.

Thank you again for your support and please continue to send suggestions for Central and South America our way.

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  1. says

    Congratulations! I have several professional colleagues in the capitals of countries where you will traveling (e.g., Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia). They would love to help. I recently learned that many Latin families send their kids to Guatemala to learn the “best” Spanish. The “best” meaning that it is closest to the original form of Spanish. Good Luck!!

  2. says

    Thank you so much for the calendar! It’s always nice to be the winner – if not for talent, then for beauty, right? I guess in this case it was just plain luck. But whatever – I’m happy:)

  3. says

    @Steven: That is fascinating about Latin families sending their kids to Guatemala to learn Spanish that is closer to Castillian (or original) Spanish. I’ve already sent you an email about your contacts – yes, we would love to have them!! Thanks so much for your help.
    @Sara: Hope you enjoy the calendar…whenever you get back from your own adventure. Good luck deciding your next plans as well!

  4. Nguyen says

    Might not be feasible, but I would personally start in the southern most parts now because it is summer down there and work up towards our summer. Otherwise you’ll be starting in northern hemisphere winter, and heading into southern hemisphere winter. Winter is my least favorite season, you guys have the opportunity to avoid it!

  5. says

    @Nguyen: You’re comment came in at a very appropriate time! I’ve been juggling weather charts and maps and itineraries trying to make charts that would keep us out of extreme heat and rains, as well as cold weather (I really dislike winter). It’s impossible to avoid all bad weather, but I’m thinking to stay in the northern part of South America through southern hemisphere winter and then heading into the southern part (Argentina, Chile, parts of Brazil) later in the year. This all may change tomorrow though :)

  6. Guneeta says

    Hey Audrey and Dan,
    Though I know it might not be of much interest to you since you probably prefer spontaneity, but if you feel like mixing it up a bit: I have some close physicist friends in Colombia and scattered contacts in other parts of S. America… let me know if you’d like to be in touch with them. Either way, I’ll be keeping an eye out for more amazing pics and stories.

  7. says

    @Guneeta: I know that I responded on Facebook about this, but thanks for thinking of us. Although we enjoy spontaneity, having contacts (whether they are locals or expats) always lends itself to a richer travel experience. So please keep the suggestions and contact coming.

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