Happy “road-a-versary” to us! Today is day 1,825 of our Trans-Americas Journey road trip. That’s five years of active travel on the road not counting a couple of stretches when we were unexpectedly stuck in one place for reasons beyond our control (looking at you, Chevrolet).
We’re not very good at math
Our initial description of the Journey predicted three years and 75,000 miles to cover North, Central and South America from the Arctic Ocean to Tierra del Fuego. We reached those totally unscientific guesstimates on our living room floor where we looped a piece of string back and forth along roadways shown on the maps for North, Central and South America in our National Geographic Atlas of the World, then measured the amount of string used against the atlas’ mileage key. Some of you may even have one of our original business cards with those profoundly outdated numbers on it. E-Bay!
An early milestone on the Trans-Americas Journey occurred on Day 155 when, after days of heroic never-say-never pestering, we managed to get ourselves to the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean) above Deadhorse, Alaska. The photo, below, was taken by the British Petroleum (BP) Prudhoe Bay oilfield police officer who was finally authorized to escort us to the “beach” so we could say we really had reached the Arctic Ocean. The guard had to momentarily put down the shotgun he was wielding to fend off cranky polar bears in order to snap the shot…
Somehow we are now celebrating our five year “road-a-versary.” We’re proud that we’ve blown our original estimates out of the water and not at all embarrassed that it’s taken us five years just to reach Panama (country number 10). We haven’t even dipped a toe into South America yet and there are still 13 countries, at least 70,000 miles and who knows how many more years in front of us (but you know how we are with numbers).
As we look forward to the road ahead, here’s a look back at some more milestones from the first five years of the Trans-Americas Journey.
Five years of the Trans-Americas Journey road trip, by the numbers:
- explored 10 countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama
- made overland crossings of international borders 36 times
- got turned back at one border (El Salvador eventually let us in)
- dipped our fingers into the Arctic Ocean once
- spent at least one night on 27 different islands
- spent at least 300 nights camping
- spent $27,963 on fuel (by far our biggest expense)
- visited 87 archaeological sites
- drove 132,185 miles (that’s 5.3 times around the earth)
- drove 1,548 of those miles in Belize and 1,555 of them in El Salvador (anyone else find those numbers eerily close?)
- saw 73 types of animals in the wild that we’d never seen before (and those are just the ones we could i.d.)
- craftily foiled six shakedowns by Latin American cops
- had five flat tires
- got stuff stolen twice (and returned to us once)
- visited 250 national parks (and counting)
- visited 57 UNESCO sites (and counting)
- spent 3,840 hours behind the wheel
- appreciated every minute of it
Visit our Facts & Figures page for more stats from the road
Today, on day 1,825, we celebrated five years on the road not at a frigid northern sea favored by polar bears and stubborn oil company executives but on Starfish Beach in Bocas del Toro, Panama where starfish and lucky us enjoyed the warm Caribbean waters.
Congratulations- I love you guys and you’re inspiring. Can’t wait to see what’s on the road ahead.
What a cool trip — and I would bet that by driving, even with all the fuel, you might have actually traveled for cheaper than flying (hmmm…)! Congrats, and safe travels!
I’m not so sure about that. That sum can buy an awful lot of flights, including a few first class RTW tickets.
This is so awesome! That’s LOTS of miles on the road. Congrats on 5 great years on the road! Another 5 to come?
Thanks, we certainly hope so.
Congratulations on your five year travel-versary! You’ve racked up some amazing experiences and stats there :) Do you think you’ll ever stop?
I’m sure it will come to an end at some point, but hopefully not in the near future
Congratulations! It’s a real achievement to not only have been travelling for so long but to still be loving it!! :)
I’m amazed at your estimate of the fuel costs, though. What a huge figure!
Sadly that figre is not an estimate, it’s exact…to the penny. Ok, I admit it, I have a comprehensive and anal spreadsheet.
Sadly that figure is not an estimate, it’s exact…to the penny. Ok, I admit it, I have a comprehensive and anal spreadsheet.
What an inspiring adventure. What an amazing five years!
What an incredible recap! Looks like you have had a life changing journey so far. We travel in much the same way – just about to hit one year of travel, and we are at ten countries ourselves (so we are a bit quicker, but we hope to change that)! You know what? I think it’s even better that way. Our plans for this coming year have us mostly in three countries, and that’s perfectly fine with us! Congrats on your road-a-versary!
Hopefully at some point our paths will cross
This is fantastic!! Congrats you guys =)
Sounds absolutely incredible…living life the way everyone should :-) here’s to many more years for you guys!
A beautiful place to celebrate! I was there with my mom celebrating her birthday last year.
Wow, an inspiration indeed, and to think you are now 8 months into year 5 chugging towards 6.