Travels.. Travels.. Travels..

I have been busy planning a trip to go down to South America and live and work from there for a while. I have been thinking to work on a few startup projects and iphone applications. I thought if I have to do that, I might as well do it from South America than doing it in high-rent San Francisco. So, gave my 30 day notice to my landlord and moved out of my apt last weekend and all packed up for my trip. Now most of my belongings are in my backpack, my scooter at Sabine's place and some clothes and books at Pravin's.

I finally finalized all the travel plans, secured all my visas, bought the tickets and ready to go on to my 6 month travel adventure !

While I am excited about the trip,it's a little scary too at the same time – so many unknowns in a long term travels + I don't speak any spanish too.. (but that should be fun) 🙂 While, a big chunk of the trip will be mostly touristing it off, I will also be working on a couple of ideas and iphone applications while down there. I figured if I had to do these, I could as well do these from South America rather than from SF.

I'll be leaving San Francisco next week to travel within the US for 1 month and  then depart to South America for the big trip on April 7th and back to San Francisco on August 28th, just in time for Burning Man !

I'll share the dates and places that I'll be traveling and if any of you want to join me on any wing of the trip, would be great to travel with some friends !

Here are the dates when and where I'll be..

April 7th -> April 21st : Colombia (2 weeks)
April 21st -> May 12th : Peru (3 weeks)
May 12th -> July 11th : Argentina (2 months)
July 11th -> August 14th : Chile (1 month)
August 14th -> August 21st : Costa Rica (1 week)
August 21st -> August 28th : El Salvador (1 week)

I researched quite a bit for the tickets to buy and all and believe it or not, I got this itinerary for under $2000. Basically I bought two one way tickets and the other countries happened to be stopovers. The two tickets I bought were Miami – Argentina and Chile – San Francisco. I researched flights and their stopovers on the STA Travel trip planner, where u put a city A and destination B, and it gives u all the airlines that travel that route and where you can get free stopovers. Then I went to the airlines sites directly to buy my tickets. If the stopover is along the way and u buy a multi-city ticket in that order, you will get the stopovers for free. But if you do it in wrong order, fare prices are very high !

I had to get visas for Colombia, Peru and Argentina and fortunately Chile/Costa Rica and El Salvador do not require visas from  Mauritian passport holders. It was a catch 22 getting the visas though. I had to actually buy the tickets before I apply for a visa, but if I don't get a visa, I can't travel. Fortunately though, I managed to get all the visas that I needed. Peru and Colombia had consulates in San Francisco itself and that was easy enough. But for Argentina, their consulate is in Los Angeles and one need to have a personal appearance in order to apply for the visa. So, I had to come down to LA to apply for it. Visas are expensive and with added travel costs, it does add up to quite a bit on one's travel budget.

As usual, I'll be blogging about all my travel updates at http://blog.dosooye.com/ ! In the lower right corner, there's a subscribe button and u can subscribe to the blog without joining the site and each time I write a post, it'll send it to oyu by email.

If any of you have been to any of these places and have tips/recommendations/advice/friends from there, please do share as I don't really know people in that part of the world and would be good to know some locals 🙂

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