Drumroll please……THE TRAILER!

Here it is, in all it’s low-resolution glory!  I have been sitting in a coffee shop for hours trying to upload the HD version, but the internet always poops out midway through!  So, I guess I will have to wait until our house internet gets fixed to upload the full-quality video, but here is a compressed version for your viewing pleasure!

Photo Credits:  Jeff Ratcliff, Arvind Balaraman, Bill Longshaw, africa, Evgeni Dinev, nuchylee, Luigi Diamanti, Simon Howden, Dino De Luca from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net   Galyna Andrushko, Achilles Moreaux, Rewat Wannasuk, Misha Shiyanov, Dario Diament, Pcphotos, Grigory Kubatyan, Piccaya, Cosmopol, Svx94, Mark Breck, Antonio De Azevedo, Celso Pupo rodrigues from www.dreamstime.com


Not much news since we bought our flight tickets.  (Which is still big news!!!)  The reason for the lag:  We are friggin’ busy!

Zach works 50 hour weeks AND every other weekend as an electrician.

Mel has a relatively new job, is moving, and training for a triathalon.

I just got a new job but still have two weeks left at my old one.  So between the two I’m working 60 hour weeks and at least 20 straight days without a day off.

AHHH!!!  We are TIRED and frustrated that we don’t have more time to work on things like the trailer, social media, and fundraising.  But the $$ we are making now is enabling us to take off on this year of awesomeness.  I know I will handle tiredness so much better when I’m tired from doing something awesome, like hiking Machu Picchu. 

Eyes on the prize…Also I know I will be able to work more on LAP once I’m back to only one job and only 40 hours a week.  I just can’t wait to get there!

Reading List

I always try to read and research a lot about places before I go there.  I think it’s important to read more than just the travel guides and actually delve into the history and literature of places I’ll be traveling.  It gives me a lot more insight and helps me not feel like an idiot when talking to locals.  Here are the books I’ve already read or plan to read in preparation for this trip:

I read this in the fall and hope to read more of Marquez's books.
This is the book that Hugo Chavez famously gave Obama as a gift. It's supposedly a really critical history of imperialism in Latin America. I can't wait to read it.
Zach is reading this now but I call it next! Maybe I'll make him write a book report on here when he's done.
I found all of these books used on amazon.com for a couple dollars each when I searched "South America"

And of course the two essentials:

This will be our Bible.
I'm trying to do one chapter per week of this book.

 That’s what I’ve got so far!  Please leave any recommendations in the comments!

In Arizona Planning…

by Zach

So, planning a big adventure like this takes a lot of work. Especially when you have to pack everything you think you will need into what you can carry on your back. And as if that’s not enough, we really have no idea what is awaiting us when we touch down in Medellin. As of now I have a stack of things in the corner of my bedroom that will fill about half of my bag. Here is a list of almost all that will fit in my bag:
1 t-shirt
1 sweater
2 pairs of underwear
2 pars of socks
1 pair of pants
Camping towel
Sleeping bag
Water bottle
Stocking hat
Nook full of books
Travel documents
Hygiene products
This will fill up most of my bag. There will also be the video equipment and tent which we will distribute between the three of us. And I will have stuff in my pockets. I hope to have an exact list of every item we will bring made up soon. As of now it’s late and my 7 am LAP (La Aventura Project) funding project (i.e. my lame-ass job) awaits me so stay tuned for more updates, and word on when the trailer will be posted!

Planning Calendar

Any trip or vacation inevitably requires a lot of planning.  When you’re going to travel for an entire year on very little money it means even more.  Filming a documentary about the experience adds some more items to the to-do list for sure.  Oh, and you’re trying to raise money beforehand for the making of said documentary?  Hope you love that planning and organization!  Here’s a tentative checklist I just thought out about what we need to do each month before the three of us hit the road (err…sky) in October!
January:  Film the trailer when Melissa comes from Ohio to visit Zach and me in Arizona.  Decide on a fundraising goal.  Save $ and study Spanish.  (23rd-Zach’s Birthday!)
February:  Edit and complete the trailer.  Save $ and study Spanish.
March:  Extend our publicity to facebook, twitter, youtube, and anywhere else we can think of.  Get a real website or at least buy our own domain name for this one.  Save $ and study Spanish.  (9th-Melissa’s Birthday!)
April:  Create a kickstarter.com page and start bringing in that money from those arts supporters!  Read more about South America.  Continue raising money.  Make some awesome promotional materials like stickers, posters, etc.  Save $ and study Spanish.
May:  Read more about South America.  Save $ and study Spanish.  (18th-Carrie’s Birthday!)
June:  Buy our flight tickets from Columbus, Ohio to Medellin, Colombia.  Develop more story ideas for documentary.  Save $ and study Spanish.
July:  End our kickstarter campaign and assess how we did and how much more money we need to raise.  Finalize a (very) rough itinerary.  Buy rest of video equipment like batteries, cases, hard drives, memory cards.  Save $ and study Spanish.
August:  Zach and Carrie quit jobs at end of month, arrange friends to crash with in Ohio.  Zach and Melissa get shots.  Save $ and study Spanish.
September:  Zach and Carrie go to Burning Man (!!!!!!!!) then road trip back to Ohio.  Finalize packing list.  Buy any equipment still needed.  Film preparation.  Join WWOOF and find a first host farm in Colombia.  Study Spanish.
October:  Finalize arrangements for financial obligations/storage of stuff.  Find a couchsurfing host in Medellin for our first few days.  Hope we know enough Spanish to survive.  Pack and say goodbye to friends and family!  LEAVE ON OUR GRAND ADVENTURE!!!!!!!!!!
That’s all really rough and I know I’m going to think of tons more things we need to do.   But writing it out in calendar form like that actually makes it all seem doable.  Not everyone works like me, but I always do much better when I have things planned out far in advance.  This breaks it into reasonable chunks.
So as for the two recurring themes of this list…anyone have any ideas other than kickstarter for fundraising?  And does anyone have any suggestions for good Spanish practice books and websites?  (I have Spanish for Dummies and Rosetta Stone but I need some more worksheet-type practice I think.)