If you’re reading this, you’re a traveler. Us too! We’ve been traveling full time for more than 13 years on our Trans-Americas Journey working road trip through North, Central, and South America. That is, until now. After more than 4,700 days with the freedom to stay or go as we please, the Coronavirus pandemic, related travel restrictions, border closures, and stay-at-home orders have temporarily taken away our ability to travel anywhere except the supermarket or the pharmacy. However, with your help, we can still tell travel stories that keep you dreaming about future travel in the Americas until the day when you can start planning post-pandemic trips.
Locked down but lucky
Thanks to the generosity of friends, we’ve been safe and secure in a remote community near Mendoza, Argentina since March 10. We feel grateful every day to be in a safe and lovely living situation in a country that has taken swift and strict action including a nationwide quarantine, closed non-essential businesses, social distancing, mandatory masks, closed land borders, and no internal or international flights until September 1. Anyone found violating those rules can be fined or arrested.
So far, Argentina’s pandemic numbers have remained very low, flat, and stable. For example, the country has a population of 44.5 million which is about 10% more than the state of California. At the time of writing, there were 300 COVID-19 deaths in Argentina. Meanwhile, California, with about 10% fewer people, has recorded nearly 10 times as many COVID-19 deaths at 2,585.
To know more about what it’s like being away from your home country during the pandemic, hear our story, and stories from other far-flung long-term travelers, in this episode of Rolf Potts’ Deviate podcast.
Using our time to inspire your future travel dreams
We’re using our quarantine time to focus more than ever on new posts on our Trans-Americas Journey travel blog so you can bookmark inspiration and information for future travel. We obviously won’t be doing any actual traveling until it’s safe and reasonable to do so. Luckily, we’ve got hundreds of travel stories to tell based on adventures we’ve already had in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile (Patagonia! Salt Flats! The Amazon!). But we really need your help to keep telling those stories and sharing that travel information.
Workers everywhere are hard hit by pandemic-related economic issues. With virtually no one traveling, the travel magazines, websites, and other outlets that we freelance for have taken two hits: one from the weak economy overall and another directly from the travel bans put in place to slow the spread. Every week we get the news that another publication has gone out of business or another outlet has stopped assigning freelance stories as their budgets shrink and they search for a way forward in a (temporarily) travel-free world.
At this point, our main source of income (our freelance travel writing and photography) has all but dried up and all of our travel writing is happening on our Trans-Americas Journey travel blog. We’ve never monetized our travel blog or sold ads on our website because we value the beauty and credibility of our posts. However, in 2014 we joined the Patreon platform as a way to help readers choose to support our work by pledging a dollar amount per post (we’re publishing 4-8 posts per month).
We are very grateful for the support we’ve received from a cadre of loyal Patreon supporters through the years. That support has helped us overcome some formidable obstacles on the road, including the cost of shipping our truck from Panama to Colombia around the roadless Darien Gap. But now we need to ask for YOUR support as well as Patreon becomes our most reliable form of income.
If you like what we’re doing on our travel blog and you’re able to help in these extraordinary times, we hope you’ll join us on Patreon. It’s fast, easy, and secure, and you can choose to support us per post at any level you like.
For example, if just a fraction of the readers of our Trans-Americas Journey travel blog pledged a dollar per post–for a total of $4 to $8 per month–we’d have the basic budget we need to cover core road trip costs and keep bringing you future travel inspiration and trip planning tools.
Plus, supporters get bonuses including exclusive content, personalized trip-planning calls or emails with us, automatic notification whenever we publish new travel blog posts, and more.
We don’t know what the future of travel will be. We do know that our peripatetic readers will want to be part of it and we need your help to keep telling stories about travel in the Americas, publishing inspiring photography, and reporting crucial (and honest) trip planning details during the pandemic and beyond.
Please consider investing in future travel by supporting us on Patreon today. If you can’t support us with money (or even if you can), please leave your thoughts as comments on specific travel blog posts that move you, be sure you’ve liked our Trans-Americas Journey Facebook page, watch and thumbs-up the travel videos on our Trans-Americas Journey YouTube channel, follow our Trans-Americas Journey Twitter account, and send all of your travel-loving friends and family to our Trans-Americas Journey site and travel blog.