ROAR: You are on a fantastic adventure driving on the Pan American highway. For people that don't know much about it can you tell us what it involves and where it goes?
TIM: Sure, the Pan American highway is one of the longest roads in the world (about 30,000 miles) and connects almost all countries of the Americas, from Canada to Argentina. It starts in freezing Alaska, goes through hot and humid Central America, over the Andes, until it reaches the again freezing Patagonia. It is only devided my a ~100mile drug mafia infested jungle between Panama and Colombia that is not drivable. In one sentence it's an adventure from start to finish.
While I'm not always on the Pan Americana itself, but branch out to explore more of the countries along the way, I'll keep coming back to the road again and again, as it is the lifeline that runs through the continent.
ROAR: So why did you want to do this trip?
TIM: I started overlanding right after college when I drove across California for a month or so. The freedome to go everywhere got me completely hooked to explore the world on 4 wheels. Therefore buying a car and going south on the Pan Americana was the logical next step to my previous travel. In addition I had never been to south america before, but had heard and read a lot of great things about it, especially with regards to surfing! Lastly I always wanted to learn Spanish, so I decided to throw myself right in there and see what I pick up along the way.
ROAR: What have been some of the best parts of the trip so far?
TIM: That's a difficult one, as there have been many. Top 3 of the top of my head:
- Surfing in Central America. Nothing beats surfing perfect empty reef breaks while only wearing board shorts.
- Mountain trekking in Colombia. Being alone with the mountain is one of the most humbling experiences there is in my opinion.
- All the friends I've made along the road. Can't thank everyone who helped me enough! Old and new friends have made this journey what it is and have allowed me to get where I am now. Manny thanks for that.
ROAR: Are you doing it solo or with friends?
TIM: I drove most of the trip solo, however never really felt alone as I constantly meet new people along the way (via instagram, by pure chance, or long planned in advance).
My brother has joined me for some surfing in Costa Rica and Panama, which definitely was an epic time, and I'm super excited when I can finally pick up my girlfriend in Quito at the end of this month, who will join me for the rest of the way down south!
ROAR: What type of work allows you to do such an awesome adventure?
TIM: I work in consulting. As my work is soly project based, I could convince my employer to grant me a 6 month sabbatical.
However I'm convinced that many people could get out there and do it, if they'd really wanted to.
Many of my friends in the US switch jobs at least every two years, why not take some time in between?
From my experience it does not take a lot of money to go along the Panamericana. Traveling in Central and South America is quite affordable, due to the low costs of living. I can only encourage everyone to get out there and explore what lies behind the next corner
ROAR: What's next for you when you finish?
TIM: I will go back to Germany and continue my career in consulting. However I'm sure the next overlanding journey lies in the not to distant future - I always wanted to see lions in Africa...
Follow Tim's exciting adventures on instagram @onthepanamericana