Posted by: Dave | January 13, 2009

Preparing for a big trip

Since early November, I’ve had a trip planned to do a 7-day hike to Machu Picchu with some friends. Since late December, I’ve planned to tack on an additional month in Argentina beforehand. Some of you may see it as irresponsible or imprudent to go halfway around the world while unemployed, and you may be right. But rare are the opportunites in life to take this kind of time to do something that you love. Traveling in Argentina will be an incredible opportunity to explore a country that has vast wilderness and is active in protecting it. Hiking to Machu Picchu will be a fascinating way to learn about past civilizations and test my individual meddle above 12,000 feet.

My friend Kristin orchestrated the Machu Picchu trip in conjunction with her 6-month adventure in South America and Africa. Kristin and her friend Ally are in Argentina already, and I’ll meet up with them and we’ll head to Patagonia and Mendoza before they head to Bolivia. I’ll head to Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls, then meet up with them again in Cusco, Peru to do our awesome hike to Machu Picchu.

I leave a week from today and I’m just realizing how much I’ve done to prepare for my trip… and what remains.  Let’s look at what’s been done so far:

  • Shots. A lot of them. In the course of 2 days last week, I had Hep A, Hep B, Flu, Typhoid and Yellow Fever shots. I also started taking anti-Malaria medication and I have filled prescriptions for antibiotics just in case. My instestines are already thanking me for that one.
  • REI: home away from home. I think I’ve been there every day for the past 5 days now… as they’ve had a massive clearance sale… and just because it’s the best store ever. I got a sweet new daypack and a killer sleeping bag… and a bunch of other random key travel items (pack towel, etc).
  • Research. Reading about Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Mendoza, Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu, Cusco and other exciting places has filled a lot of time.
  • Organize auto-pay for bills while I’m gone.
  • Learn to use my new Nikon D80 camera. With a new camera, there’s always a learning curve, and I haven’t had to deal with shutter speed and aperture since I was photography editor of the high school yearbook (seriously). I can’t wait to use this camera “for real” …
  • Set up a blog!

What’s not been done:

  • Pack.
  • Figure out what pack/bag I’ll be packing.
  • Find a job for when I return.
  • … that’s it!

“That’s it”… famous last words. I’m sure this weekend will bring more planning and work than I’m expecting. Not to mention that finding a job is not a small to-do item!


  1. It looks great! I can’t wait to see the pics from South America!

  2. Imprudent? Baloney!! Everyone that will be following you adventures is jealous, including this Professor of Practice!
    Explore, expand and enjoy each and every day. And in addition to taking photographs, don’t forget to keep a journal.
    God’s speed, my friend. Ray

  3. Dave!
    Have so much fun! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures and see all the beautiful pics.
    I am so jealous of all that lies ahead for you on the trip. Be safe!

  4. Go get ’em tiger.

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