And now, the end is near

26 Nov
Van for sale

Van for sale, sunset not included


Guarapari, Espirito Santo, Brazil

[by Paula]

After 88,000kms, 18 countries and more than 1,500 days on the road, we’ve decided that now is the right time to bring this Latin American adventure to an end and return to Europe in early 2016.

In between brief bursts of panic, we’re really excited about making plans and getting ready for the next chapter.

We don’t know exactly where we’ll be living, or what we’ll be doing but hey, these are just minor details. For most of the last four years we’ve had very little idea where we’d end up each day! As long as we’re somewhere with an indoor toilet and hot water, we’ll be up on the deal.

Some people ask us how on earth we’ve managed to live in what is essentially a large car for so long without losing the plot and/or killing each other. Others wonder why we don’t just live this dream forever. We’ve frequently asked ourselves both questions.

So why come back?

In short, we want to be closer to our families and friends.

We’ve done everything we set out to do, plus so much more that we couldn’t possibly have envisaged. This ‘two-year’ trip became a four-and-a-half-year rollercoaster of unbelievable experiences that I won’t try to sum up now. We feel ready to quit on a high, on our own terms, before risking becoming broke, jaded or tired with travelling. Much as we love the life, living in a van is not something we really planned to do forever.

We’ve been extremely lucky to have been able to supplement our original travel budget with decent freelance journalism work, but we’ve reached the stage where we really need to do a lot more than we can realistically manage from the road. We’d also like to be more involved again – in terms of our profession, trade unions and wider politics.

So the van is up for sale, in Argentina. Gulp! Want it? – click here for details.

As ever, there are still several unknowns but we do know we’ll be returning there from Brazil in January to wrap up the loose ends and arrange our trip back.

Do I even have to point out how much of a wrench it will be to leave our little home, and all of this, behind? For all the so-called hardships of life on the road, we know we’ll miss it horribly.

Since we made this decision we’ve had a few wobbly moments. At the weekend we scrambled up a sand dune before descending to eat the freshest fish imaginable on a Brazilian beach, washed down with an ice-cold Brahma. We looked out at the ocean and thought ‘yeah, can’t wait for that European winter….wait…just what the hell are we doing?!’.

But we’re also really enjoying planning our next big adventure, wherever that may be. Not to mention looking forward to spontaneous phone calls, a social life, hot baths, smelly cheese and our very own toilet.

But all that can wait just a little while longer. For the moment, we’re loving Brazil and savouring every moment.

It´s crap here, so we´re leaving.

It´s crap here, so we´re leaving.


Monday morning, Caraiva, Bahia, Brazil

Monday morning, Caraiva, Bahia, Brazil


The commute home from the beach, Itaunas, Brazil.

The commute home from the beach, Itaunas, Brazil.


Days: 1,515

Miles: 44,332

Things we now know to be true: We did it our way

17 Responses to “And now, the end is near”

  1. Doug Charlton November 26, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    Heck, if you want to be close to friends get up here to Canada! We are devastated and excited all at once. I had thought our next get together would be in some exotic jungle or mountain hideaway down south but I suppose a bit of pub fare will be fine as well. We wish you guys all the best with your next chapter. Abrazos! Doug and Al

    • seventeenbysix December 1, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

      Sorry guys! Wish we’d been able to meet again down here, but one day, somewhere else…

  2. janispaqu November 26, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    You should have no problem selling your van in Argentina, especially if you can get the word out to the expats there. I lived for a couple years in Ecuador and only saw one RV the whole time I was there!!

    • janispaqu November 26, 2015 at 11:19 am #

      I’ve enjoyed your blog so much, and I’m sure you have very mixed feelings about ending this part of your life’s journey, but I’ll bet there are more exciting adventures awaiting you. Hope you will keep blogging!

      • seventeenbysix December 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

        Thanks for following. Yeah, mixed feelings of course but we’ll always travel as much as we can. That’s not over!

  3. Stevie November 26, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    Holy smokes! It’s been a good run. And you guys got us thinking about buying your van and starting over! Really, we’re thinking of doing Europe next year, but the second option was coming back to S.America. Hmmmm….

    If we end up in Europe, we’ll have to hop over to your little island to say hello 🙂


    • seventeenbysix December 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

      hey guys, buy it!!!! Your bijou Brazilian beach home? We’re not sure exactly where in Europe we’ll be but we’ll definitely let you know. Would be great to see you. x

  4. Julie November 26, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    What an amazing adventure you’ve had. Can’t believe it’s been more than four years. Great times await you back in Europe I’m sure. Thanks for all your fantastically entertaining blog posts. Xxx

  5. Tony Fryer November 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    It’s been one helluva journey just following along! If you’re ever back in the USA, a guest room in Central Texas awaits!

    • seventeenbysix December 1, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

      Hi Tony, thanks! Will we have to go outside to pee?!

  6. Toni Kaus November 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    I have so loved being along for the ride!

  7. Digby & Martine xx November 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    WABI SABI ~ “nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect” ~ all good things come to pass so please look us up when you’re next in London as much we can learn from you before we head off next year to start our own PanAm in a Van journey. Suggest we invite Manuel & Gill (Red Burrito) to join us and celebrate your journey’s end at The Ivy in Marylebone ~ our treat!

    • seventeenbysix November 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

      Well we´re obviously not going to say no to that offer!!! We´ll keep you posted …. cheers. x

      • Digby & Martine xx November 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

        Muy bien! Looking forward to raising a glass or three of fine Boschendal with ya’ll in Blighty. Buen viaje…D&Mxx

  8. Lynda Barnetche December 15, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    Hey Paula and Jeremy, we’ve enjoyed your blog and have followed in many of your footsteps, taking a lot of your camping suggestions! We spent last night at Camping Bordemar in Delcahue, Chiloé. Remember that place? There isn’t an option here for me to attach a photo of the magnificent view we had here last night. You most likely have one on your blog, though. 😜. Best wishes to you in your future travels and blogging.

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