Shannon and Patrick Seymour
We left British Columbia in our 1994 Mitsubishi Delica Spacegear with plans to drive to the very tip of South America.
Comox Valley, British Columbia via Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
When did you start your travels?:
Reason for taking this trip:
Adventure, exploration, and curiosity. It was an idea that Patrick had with a friend about 10 years ago.
Why did you decide to drive?:
For the opportunity to go at our own pace, to follow any road or trail that tickles our fancy, as well as the ability to sleep in the van.
Are you also taking along pets?:
Are you also taking along children?:
What type of car are you driving?:
A 1994 Mitsubishi Delica Spacegear
Did you make any modifications to your car for this trip?:
We took most of the interior out of the back of the van, added a Westphalia-style bed, a giant pullout drawer, a solar panel and battery, an inverter, a home theater projector, and did a major overhaul of all mechanical parts (the vehicle is over 20 years old).
How did you save up or finance your trip?:
We both worked hard and banked as much money as possible by being frugal and renting a house in lieu of buying. We banked my paycheck and lived off Pat’s.
How long do you plan on traveling?:
Where do you plan on driving? :
From the tip of North America to the tip of South America (Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina)
What were your family’s and friends’ reactions when you told them about your trip before you left?:
Friends and family were supportive, albeit a bit confused as to why we would take a year off to travel. We got some pretty hilarious reactions from our neighbours and some co-workers that couldn’t quite grasp why we would take a year off to drive the Americas: “All they way from North to South? Like all the way, all the way? But what about bandits and breakdowns? What about your careers? You’re nuts.”
What languages do you speak? Will you learn more on your trip?:
Both of us have taken some Spanish courses and have a very basic grasp of the language, but we have never been completely immersed in the language. I speak French and find that the similarities between the two languages help with grammar and reading. We have brought some Spanish workbooks on the road and have “Learn to Speak Spanish” books on tape to listen to when we drive. We are also interested in doing a homestay somewhere in Central America to help us pick up a bit more of the language.
Do you have a favorite place that you've visited?:
We have only been on the road for a couple months, but so far we really loved the beauty and excitement of the Dalton Highway; the animals and glaciers in Valdez, Alaska; the surprising oasis that is Liard Hot Springs; the culture and history of eastern United States; and the back roads of the American Deep South.
What was the weirdest thing you experienced on your trip?:
Chasing rainbows in the midnight sun as we adventured across the frozen tundra along the Dalton Highway in Alaska. It was both unexpected and surreal.
Do you have any advice for others who may be considering driving the Americas?:
Do it! Be prepared, make a realistic budget, get in your vehicle, and do it. Because it you don’t, you’ll never know what adventures awaited you.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 16:25