We bought our tickets to Ecuador!!!

by Kim on November 13, 2011 · 63 comments

Should I do it?” I ask Brian.  I am sitting in front of the computer and one-way airfares are pulled up on the screen.  I’ve found tickets at a good price with the perfect arrival time on the date we’ve agreed upon.  All I have to do is press confirm.

Why am I so nervous?”  I ask him.  “Are you“?

A little,” he responds, “Once you buy those tickets it’s really, really, really real.”

I pause.  My heart is pounding.  My heart should not be pounding!  Haven’t I been waiting for this moment for years?

I take a deep breath.  Click.

The screen changes and displays our confirmation number.

Brian!” I’m squealing like a five-year old “We just bought one-way tickets to South America!”

After a lifetime of dreaming, three years of saving, and a crazy year of selling our house and all of our stuff, our trip around the world is officially on the books.  This is really happening!!!!

First stop?  A land of natural and cultural diversity: Ecuador.

Ecuador’s Flag by Charlottesommerschuh, Flickr Creative Commons

A child during a parade in Ecuador by mavik2007, Flickr Creative Commons

Banos, Ecuador by Dogymho Flickr Creative Commons

The coast of Ecuador by AMagill Flickr Creative Commons

Quito, Ecuador by David Berkowitz, Flickr Creative Commons

We will spend 4-5 months in South America, moving overland through Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.  At the beginning of 2013 we will purchase our next one-way ticket to SE Asia.

Holy crap!!!!!!!  I have been floating on air all weekend.  This! Is! Really! Happening!

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmel November 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Woo hoo!!!! You guys are rock stars! In no time, we’ll be reading about your adventures abroad. I’m so happy for you!

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Kim November 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Thanks Carmel :)

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Katie November 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

YAY!!! Congrats!!! So happy for you guys!!

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Kim November 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Thanks Katie. We are so, so so, SO pumped!

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Amy November 13, 2011 at 7:35 pm

It doesn’t get any more real than buying a one way ticket! Congrats!

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Kim November 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm

No, it certainly doesn’t!!!

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Kieu ~ GQ trippin November 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Yahoo!!!!! (like a 5-year old). Can’t wait for you guys to hit South America! And Ecuador?! That sounds awesome. Congrats to you both.

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Kim November 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Thank you!! :)

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Cheri November 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm

So excited for you and ready to do the same. However, do you need to show proof of onward travel? I’m nervous about that aspect of booking from place to place.

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Kim November 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Hi Cheri,

I am also worried about this. I sent an email to Warren and Betsy at Married With Luggage to ask them about their experience and they said that they entered Ecuador without proof of onward travel two or three times (overland and by plane) and were never asked. However, I am trying to learn more from other travelers because I am still nervous. I found some information here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/90faD7/www.livingthedreamrtw.com/2009/02/proof-of-onward-travel-part-1.html. I will let you know when I learn more. I’m asking on twitter, FB, etc.

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Dalene November 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Huge CONGRATS guys! Ecuador is a great place to start!

Re. the onward travel thing – we had no issues there at all either, and we entered twice. The only country in South America that gave us grief about that was Colombia – I am sure you will be fine!

And the nervousness over buying plane tickets – we STILL get that, every time! :)

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

Dalene, did you enter from the US/Canada or from another South American country? I hear that the only real concern is that our airline might deny us entry since they would be responsible for getting us back to the US if we were denied entry by Ecuador. I’m not drastically concerned about it… but I don’t want to get in any trouble either!

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Dalene November 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

We entered over land from Peru and then flew in from Colombia. We had the same concerns as you when we left Canada (for Bolivia), and so bought a fully refundable one-way ticket from Bolivia to Peru to show anyone if they asked. No one ever did, and as soon as we got there we just got our full refund. So, that is an option for you if you are concerned, or else also check out Wandering Earl’s post on a work-around to this system (creating your own *fake* onward ticket). Apparently that works like a charm!

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for the info Dalene! I don’t think I could create a fake ticket… I can’t lie well!

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Ali November 14, 2011 at 12:50 am

Yay!! Congrats, so excited for you!!

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 8:28 am

Thanks Ali :)

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PostcardFromBK November 14, 2011 at 4:32 am

Congratulations! Buying that ticket will always rank as one of the best decisions you’ve ever made for the rest of your life :)

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 8:29 am

I’m pretty sure you are right about that!

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Gillian @OneGiantStep November 14, 2011 at 5:42 am

Yay! We are unbelievably excited for you guys! What a great milestone in the journey. I can just see you with that great big smile on your face.

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 8:29 am

Thanks Gillian :) I am definitely grinning from ear to ear!

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Sarah Chamberlain November 14, 2011 at 6:19 am

Yeeha! One step closer to realizing your dream, congratulations! I think we will be doing it in the opposite direction to you, SE Asia first, then South America later on, so we can exchange info, yay. Hopefully we can cross paths at some stage, how awesome would that be? :)

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

Yay!! Exchanging info will be perfect. Sarah, we have got to meet up somewhere! I’m sure that if we are both on the road long enough our paths will cross.

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Erin Smith November 14, 2011 at 7:12 am

I get nervous when I buy any plane tickets, but the RTW ticket is truly admirable. Best of luck. I can’t wait to read all of your travel stories!

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

Thank you Erin!!

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Miel November 14, 2011 at 7:51 am

Congrats! It’s real! That is fabulous. I lived in Ecuador back in 1998 and traveled up to Colombia and down to Bolivia. Awesome trip, back when you could travel for 3 weeks on $200 (including Macchu Pichu!) If you need any connections in Ecuador let me know. I still have contacts at a language institute in Cuenca (which I highly recommend!) high tail it out of Quito if you ask me!

Safe travels!

Miel

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

It is certainly not the case that you can hike Macchu Pichu for $200 anymore… nonetheless 3 weeks for $200 bucks! Those were the days, huh? ;) I keep hearing we should high-tail it out of Quito so we are only planning to spend a few days there and then use it as “base” to visit the cloud forest, jungle lodges, ect. before moving south to Banos. At least… that’s the way it’s going to work in my head!

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Lindsay Dance November 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

Congratulations Kim!!! I can give you a few suggestions for Ecuador too! When do you leave?!?!?

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Lindsay, we leave PDX in June and the US in August!

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Rhonda November 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Congrats! That is a big moment:) Good for you guys, the dream is getting closer

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Slowly but surely it is getting close. Thanks Rhonda :)

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Two Travelaholics November 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Congrat! We’re super excited for you guys! We might pull the trigger soon too. We were just looking at one-ways to Iceland yesterday. Eeeee!

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Kim November 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Eeeeee… awesome! You know about the free stopover in Iceland when you’re flying to certain countries in Europe, right? I am dying to go to Iceland btw.

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Deborah November 18, 2011 at 7:16 am

Kim, did you know that I used to live in Iceland? I have a brother who was born there! :)

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Kim November 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm

What?!? No! I am obsessed with Iceland. I.will.go.to.Iceland.

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Kjersti November 15, 2011 at 7:16 am

Congratulations!! I have had you in my Google Reader for some months already, but as our blog hasn’t launched yet I wanted to wait with showing my name online.. Stupid, right? But when I see a post like this, that mirrors exactly what I felt when we booked our one-way tickets – I had to say something. So hello, and congratulations again! :)

Love reading your blog by the way, it has been an inspiration to us during our pre-trip planning. Thanks!

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Kim November 15, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hello! I’m so glad you did say something. Congrats to you for booking your one-way tickets!!! I will check out your blog!! Thanks so much for your kind message and safe travels.

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Deborah November 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm

OMG! OMG! OMG!!! KIM!!! YOU’RE GOING TO SEE THE WORLD!!!!! I am over the moon!!! (Can you tell!) YEAH for you and Brian!! xoxoxxo

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Kim November 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Yayayayaya!!!!! Thank you!!! Guess what? We are also going to be roadtripping the USA and want to come to NYC! Maybe that wine and bread breaking will happen after all???!?!

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Bama November 20, 2011 at 5:35 am

I can relate to how you felt. A moment you were in doubt, but a few moments later you found yourself reading a confirmation/booking code. It always makes me smile :)

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Kim November 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

Yes, I just had to click “confirm” and all of those fears disappeared (and were replaced with a new set of fears… haha. Neverending!)

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rob November 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm

I am curious. It seems like you’re going to do your RTW in semi-unplanned stages. 1-way ticket to place X. Stay a while and then 1-way ticket to place Y. Rinse. Repeat.

What was your reasoning (if any) for doing this rather than buying a pair of RTW tickets?

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Kim December 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Rob, you are absolutely right. We have bought one one-way ticket and plan to do that from one continent to the next.

The reason we chose to do this instead of a RTW ticket is because we wanted the flexibility to go with the flow, take suggestions, etc. I didn’t want to be tied down to any itinerary at all, even if an RTW ticket would have been cheaper in the long run.

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rob December 2, 2011 at 12:29 am

Makes sense to me. Referencing your other comment about wanting to go a while then settle down, rinse, repeat I think your idea is a sound one. I’m not entirely sure that a RTW is cheaper anyway. Timing is important. I just checked and a return ticket denver to bangkok is just $1100 today. Almost $1000 less than when I was checking 6 weeks ago and decided to go to Turkey in March for $900 instead of Thailand in February for $2100. I’ll be looking forward to your reports on South America. I’m giving serious thought to spending time in Chile/Argentina/Easter Island next November or December…

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Kim December 3, 2011 at 11:05 am

Ah, I’m looking forward to your reports from Easter Island (if you go). The place intrigues me though the price tag does not. Safe travels, Rob.

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rob December 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Actually, the price tag isn’t so bad once you’re in Chile. I checked a few nights ago and it was a $400 flight. Today it’s $600, but clearly the prices fluctuate. I’ll definitely post photos and a report if/when I go.

jamie January 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

easter island is amazing! you should try to go, and rob is right, prices aren’t that bad once you’re in chile.

i live in valparaiso (a round the world trip that got sidelined by luuuuvvvvv) and my husband and i just decided to start saving to travel the world together. congrats, all the best, and give me a shout if you have any questions about traveling in chile.

Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker December 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm

No turning back now… :)

See you on the road!

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Kim December 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Yes you will :)

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Amanda @amandaelsewhere January 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

Congrats! Ecuador is such a beautiful country – a great first stop! Love love love that feeling of clicking purchase!

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Kim January 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

Thanks Amanda. Nothing beats that feeling of clicking “buy now” as far as plane tickets go.

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Skott and Shawna January 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Hey you guys – haven’t had a chance to stop by and say ‘hi’ for awhile, but just wanted to congratulate you both on finally being able to realize the dream. We will likely be home only a few short months after you start your journey, so I have no doubt we will be following you the whole way!!!

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Kim January 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Hello Skott and Shawna and thank you! We are so so so sooooo so beyond excited, I’m sure you know the feeling. Thanks to travellers like you we believed it was possible and now it (almost) finally is.

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Manish Kutaula February 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Congrats guys, live the dream

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Kim February 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Thank you!! We will :)

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Jessica May 30, 2012 at 6:37 am

Maybe not Ecuador, maybe not India, maybe not anywhere…but maybe somewhere, this tip (about how squirting lemon juice into a plastic bottle of water can help kill certain waterborne microbes) will come in handy: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/lemony-clean-water

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Thanks Jessica… very interesting!

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Kim January 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I will definitely keep it on the list. I do dream of going and if we can find a price we can afford we will definitely go!!! I hope we can go! I will definitely get in touch when we have questions about Chile. I just got my Chile LP and have been drooling over it. I can’t wait. Thanks and I love that you got sidelined by luuuvvv. :)

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