25th of May I wrote about being back at the drawing board deciding what I was going to do next on my travels.
Well I finished teaching in Manizales, Colombia and headed back to Medellin – my favourite city so far (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I want to live here!) – I’ve even joined a gym and have gone before classes in the morning.
WHATS THE PLAN?
At the end of July I’m buying a converted van from a Swiss guy who has been driving the van from Argentina to Colombia. He flies home at the end of July/August and so we’re planning to meet sometime around the end of July in Colombia.
I’m then going to drive the van to Argentina….this is something I’ve wanted to do since I saw Top Gear drive across the Andes.
WHY A VAN?
I originally just wanted a car, but then realised that with a van that I could sleep in, I’ll save money on accommodation. This type of travel will be totally different to the typical backpacker/hostel route and that’s what appeals to me. I want to feel more independent and have more of a challenge each day figuring out a route rather than just hopping on a bus.
Also, whilst there is obviously the high upfront cost of buying the van, I will be able to sell it in Argentina to a traveller going the other way. So assuming I sell it, the cost of the overall trip comes out a lot cheaper than normal travel where you’re paying for hostels.
ABOUT THE VAN
The van itself is a Chevrolet Astro (about the size of a small transit van). It has a double bed, solar panels on the roof and when you open the back doors there is a small kitchen with hob, sink and fridge. It’s basic but has everything I should need! It has had alot of work done on it recently when the guy converted it, and I used all my dad/brother mechanic tips to ask lots of good questions about the van.
IN THE MEANTIME
It was the middle of June when I decided to buy the Van and agreed a price with the current owner, but he won’t be finished with it until the end of July. Therefore I had/have 6 weeks between finishing teaching English and getting the van.
So I used this time as best as I could. The return back to my Ciudad Favorita; Medellin to learn Spanish.
WHY SPANISH IN MEDELLIN?
- Learning Spanish has become my new travel goal. I don’t want to return to England until I can speak a fairly decent level; I don’t expect to be fully fluent, but I want to be able to hold decent conversations. PLUS…I’ll need Spanish much more when I’m driving myself from place to place rather than just using local buses etc.
- I genuinely want to live in Medellin, so being here another 6 weeks gives me chance the test the waters and ensure I still love it before setting off through the rest of South America.
So there we have it! Spanish lessons and a van…. Exciting times ahead!!! I’m already two weeks through Spanish school and loving being back in Medellin. The Spanish school I’m at is called Blink, and I totally recommend it! Great place! They offer an all inclusive Classes, Bed & Food package for an amazing price.
However, the sleeping quarters, whilst very comfortable are a bit crowded and so two other students and I are moving to an Airbnb tomorrow to have our own private rooms.
So we’ll go from having an all inclusive package at the school to paying just for classes, but worth it I think since I’m here for another month.