It’s a wonderful feeling to know that if I won a million dollars today, I wouldn’t actually change my plans. Both my travel plans and my future plans would pretty much stay the same. Details would change, I’m sure – I might eat at a better restaurant or take the more expensive tour, but my goals and way of travelling would be consistent with what I’m doing now. At the moment, I want to experience a fairly typical Latin American lifestyle. With or without money, I think a good way to achieve that is to stay with a family and volunteer, as we’re doing now. Admittedly, this farm is set up for international volunteers, but we’re eating Costa Rican style and learning how people in this part of the world live. A sudden influx of cash wouldn’t really change anything in that respect.


This baby would be replaced with a digital SLR and a waterproof camera, though!

Over the next few months, Ellen and I don’t really have plans. We intend to visit our cousin Daisy in Colombia at some point before March, but other than that our itinerary is open. We are a bit torn about whether to go north or south – every country in Latin America holds such appeal that we’re having trouble deciding. If we had a million dollars, we could make decisions a bit more easily, perhaps, because we would know that we’d be able to afford to fly back if we changed our minds. But on the whole, we’d still be travelling overland and by boat because we enjoy going slowly and watching the land pass us by rather than arriving out of context in a new destination. My long term plans, too, are fairly open. I’d like to make a career out of writing over the next few years, especially travel food writing and a few children’s books. Even with enough money to not need to work, I would still want a career for my own feelings of happiness and self-worth. If I had a million dollars, I’d be able to go ahead and write some of my book ideas without worrying about whether they’d be publishable when I’m finished. So overall, a change in my financial circumstances wouldn’t make enough of a difference in my life to matter. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel the need to worry about where I’ll live when this trip is over. I’m keeping my eye out for someplace that feels like home, and keeping my ears open for opportunities that might suit me. We’ll see where I end up. Wherever it is, I won’t need the money in my bank account to feel like a million dollars.