The Easy Way to Tour South America Lazy dad, hyper mum, four kids (one in nappies) tour South America for 6 months

The Easy Way to Tour South America


Sitting by a pool in Marrakesh in March 2008 in a rare moment of peace, reading Tim Ferris’s The 4-Hour Work Week and drinking the life’s-too-short koolaid, I turned to Paola and said “Let’s take a year out and go with the kids around South America”. We only had three children at that point, so it seemed entirely reasonable. While she loved the idea, Paola consigned it to the filing cabinet marked “Iyas’s latest random idea that will come to nothing”. And to be honest, although I often pulled the idea out of the cabinet to look at, she probably had it filed in the right place.

Having children had seemed to create an either/or scenario. Either you have and love and enjoy your children, or you enjoy the ability to drop everything and go do something different, free and fun. We had firmly chosen the first, and loved it while sad at the loss of the second. And in a lot of ways, we’d accepted this as an either/or scenario, while subconsciously hoping it wouldn’t need to be a choice. The book was just a catalyst to restart that thinking process of what we could or couldn’t do.

Three years and one more child later, we booked our flights out and back. Admittedly, the scope had changed somewhat. 4 children, not 3. And we use artistic license when talking about a South America that includes Mexico (cough), Cuba (ahem) and Cost Rica (nearly). And we’re taking 6 months rather than a year. But aside from that, the idea remained pretty intact right from the pool in Marrakesh to booking flights on the BA website. And we aim to enjoy the freedom and the children together as a family. Well, that’s the plan.

So, we’re going on 30th June. “We” are Paola (Mum) and Iyas (Dad), and our three sons (aged 9, 7 and 2) and one daughter (aged 3). We’re writing this blog mainly for us to record what we’re doing and be able to go back to it. But, it is also for any of our friends or family who have run out of adverts to read in the local paper and are looking for another way to while away a few minutes of extreme boredom. At a stretch, it could be useful for anyone contemplating a similar journey.

But I think it will be just for us to look back at and say never again :). Who knows.

Post Script!

What a wonderful thing this blog is to keep coming back to, and rather than “never again”, we say “when next?”. It has been the inspiration for many things, including my departure from the corporate world to start Freaky Rivet, a site that plans to provoke travel and activity in families. One thing I know – when we go on the next trip, it will be a challenge to use a blog called oursouthamericablog. Should’ve thought of that!

14 Responses to About

  1. María José y Emilio says:

    ¿Nos recordais en el Hi Hostel de Lima?
    por fin encontramos la dirección de nuestros anfitriones en la isla de Amantani (Lago Titicaca):
    Isla Amantani (Puno) Tlf; 950 009494 y 951 658526. Con los prefijos que correspondan.
    Tengo fotos, pero no sé dónde pegarlas. Así que si no os llegan, ponedme un correo para hacerlo desde allí. No uso redes más que para correos concretos, de ahí mi inexperiencia.
    Un cordial saluido, y que os vaya bien vuestro periplo.
    María José y Emilio (desade Madrid).

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  2. Carles Laura y Mª José says:

    Ei, muy buenas Familia!!
    No sé su ya os acordaréis de nosotros, vecinos vuestros en el Apartahotel de Manuel Antonio en Costa Rica!!

    Nosotros ya immersos en la rutina de la vida laboral y del ajetreo de la ciudad!!

    Os recordamos con mucho cariño y esperamos que vuestra aventura siga igual de bién que cuando nos conocimos!

    Un fuerte abrazo para todos y fuerte beso a los peques!!
    Os seguimos por el blog!!

    CArles, Laura y MªJosé!

  3. Paul Hanson says:

    Hi Iyas & Paola

    My God, what an adventure. I was trawling the net, looking at my sparse Facebook page where I saw Iyas had made a comment that he was happy to represent 20% of my friends (I only have 4 other friends on Facebook and no idea how to use it).

    I followed a link or two and here I find your amazing adventure. Wow, the 4 hour work week has a lot to answer for! I cannot imagine the logistics of travelling with 4 kids, or if taking it from Paola’s perspective, 5.

    “Inspirational” is what I have to say. So I notice that Australia is not in the trip. Hey, if you are including some of Central America, why not go the whole hog and include an entirely different continent?

    FYI – Rosemary and I now live in Melbourne and love it.

    Take care

    Love to you both & the children.

    Paul & Rosemary

    • iyas says:

      Paul – blimey after all these years. You were ahead of your time, mate, with your adventures (we won´t make it out to Easter Island like you did). I´ll suggest Oz to Paola. I´m sure it can be squeezed in – how far away can it be? Give my love to Rosemary, and keep a handfull to yourself. ever make it back to the homeland?

  4. Iyas, Paola and to the kids,
    After meeting you briefly on the Galapagos we often check out your blog and continue to be inspired by you!! You have an incredible story and seem to be living life to the fullest, teaching your kids some of the most important lessons this life has to offer which can’t be learned in a classroom or from a textbook.

    You have inspired us and taught us that the adventure does not have to end once you have kids. Thank you!
    Cheers to you all and we hope that you continue to enjoy your marvellous journey!

    Erika and Lee
    Fantastic Blog, great words!!

  5. bruno says:

    compartimos la cena de noche buena/navidad (24/12/11), en “el misti yellow hostel” en búzios… ha sido realmente un placer coincidir en esta vida y haber compartido aunque sea un momento… dicen que somos una ola en el mar de los demás… pues, me alegro que hayan sido una ola en mi mar y viceversa… Saludos a esa familia tan hermosa!

    Desde Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil…

    Buena vida para los 6!!!


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