Chris & Nate

We left Nate's home in Vermont, US, in September 2016, heading to Chris' home in São Paulo, Brazil, where we plan to arrive in July 2017. To get from home para casa, we are driving a compact Suzuki SX4. As we are going the opposite direction Mexicans, Central and South Americans go to cross the border pursuing the American dream, we challenge ourselves to raise US$ 1 per km we travel to be donated to the Open Door Clinic, a non-profit, free health clinic in Vermont that assists Latino workers.

Hometown: 
Starksboro
When did you start your travels?: 
09/10/2016
Reason for taking this trip: 
Going from home para casa enjoying the amazing American continents.
Why did you decide to drive?: 
The original plan was to sell the car in California before crossing to Mexico, and avoid dealing with paperwork for the car during the trip. We wanted to see Central and South America on bicycle and public transportation. However, two things happened and we changed our minds: the bikes were stolen in Texas + the car didn't attract any buyers. So we decided to drive and don't regret it. It's been an amazing trip.
Are you also taking along pets?: 
No
Are you also taking along children?: 
No
What type of car are you driving?: 
Suzuki SX4
Did you make any modifications to your car for this trip?: 
Not before starting the trip, as the plan was to sell it in California. But once we realized we were driving all the way to São Paulo, we decided to make a bed in the car. We found a carpenter in Mexico City and worked together with him for three days. We now can sleep in our compact car if needed.
How did you save up or finance your trip?: 
Multiple jobs for a few years.
How long do you plan on traveling?: 
11 months.
Where do you plan on driving? : 
US East Coast to Florida, fly to Cuba, back to Florida, South Coast to Texas, up to New Mexico, West to California, South to Mexico. Central America. South America on the Pacific Coast to Santiago, then start to head East to Buenos Aires. North to São Paulo.
What were your family’s and friends’ reactions when you told them about your trip before you left?: 
First reactions: "What? Mexico is dangerous!" + "Central America is dangerous!" + "What about Zika?" But then: "Safe travels!" + "Enjoy!" + "I wish I could do it" + "I will travel vicariously through your photos"
What languages do you speak? Will you learn more on your trip?: 
Chris' mother language is Portuguese. She can also speak English, Spanish, French and some Japanese. Nate's mother language is English. He can also speak Portuguese, Spanish and some French. We are learning a lot about native languages along the way and improving our Spanish.
Do you have a favorite place that you've visited?: 
Many favorite places. Some of them are the Cherokee Reservation, NC, and Antelope Canyon, AZ, Viñales (Cuba), Chiapas (Mexico), Tikal (Guatemala), Hopkins (Belize), Playa el Zonte (El Salvador), Lago de Yojoa (Honduras), Isla Ometepe (Nicaragua).
Do you have any advice for others who may be considering driving the Americas?: 
You can have amazing experiences in places people didn't like. You might not enjoy places that people rave about. It's your trip, do your thing. If you are on a tight schedule, remember that the extra day you spend somewhere you like today might mean you miss other amazing places in the future. Go with an open heart!
fromhomeparacasa