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a vagabonding journey starting with a one-way-ticket

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First 6 months of my dream journey

Posted by Engin Kaban on June 24, 2010

First 6 months of my dream journey

After a 15 hour flight from Dubai, I arrive Sao Paulo by night on 24th of December 2009. As this is my first overseas flight, I was quite excited. I flew with Emirates Airlines. It was a very comfortable flight and the service was excellent. Some dishes were so delicious that I had almost the whole menu two times. I would never complain if they would announce to fly another 15 hours. I didn’t feel any jetlag at all after my arrival in Brazil; all was perfect. I guess my body does not react because of being used to irregular sleeping hours, so this’s just a piece of cake. Right after my arrival in Sao Paulo, I took a bus to Rio de Janeiro….

This is how my notes of my Latin America journey had started. With a plane landing in Sao Paulo in Brazil on 24th of December 2009. And today is 24th of June 2010. I am in Ciudad del Este, the border city of Paraguay. Exactly after 6 months.

What happened during 6 months, what has changed? No doubt, I have seen many different places. I met hundreds of people. I witnessed amazing nature. My Spanish improved from “not being able to speak a word” to a level of being able to do my daily stuff and even being able to chat with taxi drivers. My self-confidence was already at a high level, and it improved even more. I have been in various dangerous and risky environments and gained more experience about how to handle them. I have had 4 seasons; from hot beaches of Brazil to the snow and ice-capped mountains of Patagonia. 5 more countries have been added to my list of visited countries. I have had several good friends from around the world, most of  whom are South Americans. I have had bus rides that lasted for days. I have been guest to the houses of numerous people. There have been days that I was so happy and those that I was in terrible mood. I have tried many local food and drinks. I have written tens of pages about my journey.

I have fought with the ocean waves on Brazilian coasts. I have celebrated the New Year’s Eve on the beach in Rio de Janeiro with 3 million people. I have been attacked by pickpocketers in Uruguay. I have danced with girls wearing tanga in Montevideo Carnaval. I have visited several weird animals like penguins, sea elephants and guanacos in their national habitat in Patagonia. I have camped in winter conditions with my summer tent. I have seen “the end of the world”. I have terribly been surprised in front of huge glaciers. I have covered long distances on the deserted roads of Patagonia by hitchhiking. I have realized what “sea food” means in Chile. I have joined the “1st of May protests” in Santiago. I have watched the concerts in Buenos Aires for the 200th independence year celebrations of Argentina with 1,5 million people. I have tasted the famous meat and wine in the luxurious restaurants of Buenos Aires till I have trauma in my stomach. I have passed the chaotic bridge that is the border of Brazil and Paraguay 2 times on foot. I have visited the Itaipu Dam, that is the biggest hydroelectrical power plant in the world. In Paraguay I have shopped from shops that are guarded by security guys with shotguns. I have seen the Iguazu Falls, one of the biggest in the world, from both Argentinean and Brazilian side. I have been in 3 countries in 1 day. I have had the chance to watch a live rugby game for the first time in my life during the juniors world cup. I have experienced the nightlife in all big cities I have been to, hopped from one bar to another club till morning hours. I have watched the World Cup games with the fanatic supporters of South America in each country I have been to.

In short, I have lived my dreams, and I am keeping on living them…

I have no clue how fast 6 months passed away. It was so full and different that, every new day was a new excitement. I am doing my best in order to keep this level of excitement as high as I can. As I feel the need to give a response to those who ask me “for how long will you be traveling?”, I always said, and keep on saying “roughly 1 year”. So, now am I in the middle of my journey? I don’t know. Time will show.

The statistics of my first 6 months is coming soon. Still calculating…

Engin Kaban

June 24th 2010 – Ciudad del Este

4 Responses to “First 6 months of my dream journey”

  1. Piergi said


    You just remembered me that I am celebrating today my 23 months of travel, from July 24th 2008! And you make smile, too, because when I left Italy I was thinking I will be travelling for a year, maybe one and an half!

    Here I am, after almost two years, and the end is nowhere near . . .

    Good luck, my friend!

  2. Man, you are scaring me…

    We should discuss about all these again, face to face. I see you re in Peru. Maybe I’ll catch u somewhere again…

  3. Chris said

    Sounds like you’re doing awesome Engin! 6 months down, maybe another 36 more to go!!!!

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