forks in the road the cookbook

Download the Free ebook now!

Buy us a beer

  1. Quick facts
  • Total days on the road: 586
  • Currently in: USA
  • Miles Driven: 36821
  • Countries Visited: 17
  • Days Camping: 389
  • Days Indoors: 202

   See all the stats here!

  1. Get Updates via Email

Delivered by FeedBurner

Trip Information

In this category you’ll find general information about our current trip from Seattle, Washington to Ushuaia, Argentina. We left home on October 6th 2011, and plan to arrive in Tierra del Fuego in early 2013.

Our planned route, itinerary and budget are documented in the articles below. As we travel, answer questions and have new information about our trip, it will be added it here. Visit the What’s New tab for our most recent posts.

PanAm Reports

Written by Kobus on November 10, 2012

{jcomments off}Welcome to our reports page! When we leave every country we publish information on our budget, wifi and internet, border crossings and where we slept. Here you'll find links to overview pages to these four types of reports. Click the links in the overview pages to get the nitty-gritty details.

We also publish information on our vehicle, route, and gear, but it's not here. Visit our trip shenanigans landing page for all the details.

accomodation reportsbudget reportsborder crossing reportsphone and wifi reports


Download our Free ebook: Overlanding Mexico & Central America

Written by Kobus on August 15, 2012

Ebook front cover.{jcomments lock}At long last, our crowning achievement is finished after several days of nonstop work, excluding that night we went through a bottle of rum and two bottles of wine, of course. In the process of painstakingly recounting our trials and tribulations for your enjoyment, we've gained a profound understanding as to why so many writers are alcoholics.

Introducing:Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die. And Other More Rational Advice for Overlanding Mexico and Central America.

So what's this all about? In case the title isn't clear (blame Jessica) it's a guide for people who want to travel by car in Mexico and Central America. It is filled with information we gained during our eight-month journey from Seattle to Panama. It also contains advice for planning and preparing for an overlanding trip based on the hundreds of hours of research we did before leaving home.

Best of all, it's free! No strings attached. All that we ask is that you pass the word along and share the book with others.


Download for Kindle

Buy the Print Version

What's Inside?

  • 315 pages of advice on planning, what to expect on the road, and specific information about each country between the USA and Panama.
  • How to choose a route and departure date.
  • Planning a budget, itinerary and more mundane preparations such as immunizations and insurance.
  • Tips for choosing, buying and outfitting your vehicle.
  • Advice from us and other overlanders about our favorite gear and modifications we've made to our vehicles.
  • How to handle money while you travel.
  • Advice for staying safe on the road.
  • What to expect in terms of the language barrier, accommodation options and how to stay connected via phone and internet.
  • Country-specific information such as border crossings, expenses, phone and wifi reports, road conditions and tips for saving money.

Share this Book

If you found this useful, we encourage you to share it with others. Our goal is to help as many people as possible to realize the dream of traveling the Americas by car. It’s a journey unlike any other, and one that will permanently change how you look at the world.

To follow along with our travels subscribe to our RSS feed, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Questions, comments or corrections? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Accomodation: Campgrounds, Hotels and Hostels

Written by Kobus on May 5, 2012

{jcomments lock}Want to know where we stayed while driving down the Pan-American? Here's our list. We spend more than half of our time tent camping, and occasionally opt for cheap hotels or hostels with secured parking.

Download an Excel spreadsheet or a GPX file that contains all of these listings, just with fewer details.

The links below contain a map of our route, per country, with a detailed list of each place we stayed containing GPS coordinates, costs, facilities and photos.


Border Crossings

Written by Kobus on April 24, 2012

{jcomments lock}Dealing with border crossings is one of the most stressful parts of our drive down the Pan-American. We started the habit of putting together a report for each border after crossing into Mexico. Our goal is to include the steps, costs and a full writeup of our experience for each border we cross.

Of course, we can’t promise this info is going to remain accurate forever. But we've found that the the more information you are armed with at the border, the less stressful the situation will be. If you are crossing borders not listed here, check out Drive the Americas for more information.


Central and South America Internet and Phone Reports

Written by Kobus on April 24, 2012

{jcomments lock}Below you’ll find a list wifi reports covering each country we've traveled through during our PanAm trip. We are working and traveling, so it's necessary for us to have consistent and stable internet access. We've learned that information online and in guidebooks is vague at best.

Included in these guides is information about how to purchase, activate and use prepaid phones and USB modems. We continued to be surprised at the hoops we have to jump through in each country to buy and activate a simple SIM card so hopefully you'll find this information useful.


Budget Recaps

Written by Kobus on April 24, 2012

The links below will take you to our detailed per-country budget reports. We’ve broken down what we spend on food, hotels, camping, gas, and everything else. Also included are useful tips that we've learned to help us stay on budget while traveling. {jcomments lock}


How Much Will All This Cost?

Written by Jared on November 9, 2011

A bag of money.{jcomments lock}One of the most common questions we are asked is, "How can you afford to spend so much time traveling?" People tend to confuse what we are doing with what most Americans do two or three weeks a year - go on vacation. Long-term travel is more like daily life than a vacation. It can even be cheaper than living at home.

We spent a year and a half planning and saving for this 16-month adventure. There's no magic involved, just a lot of research, spreadsheets and number crunching. This article explains what we think the trip will cost, how we broke down the different expenses, and what we spent before leaving home.


Quick Facts

Written by Kobus on October 24, 2011

{jcomments lock}Below are a few statistics we've gathered on our journey. This should help put things into perspective and give you an idea of the good, bad and ugly that we've faced thus far.

Last Updated: July 3, 2013

Miles Driven: 36821

Continents: 3

North America
South America

Countries Visited: 17

Chile x 4
Argentina x 5

Days Camping: 389
Days Indoors: 202

Days of Rain: 115

Days Spent Working: 147

Fish Caught and Eaten: 13

Broken Fishing Rods: 1

Band-aids Used:

Kobus: 32 + 1/2 roll of rolled gauze

Number of hands burnt: 2

Natural Disasters Survived: Lost count

Earthquakes: 3
Volcanic eruptions: numerous (one captured on film, check out Facebook!)

Street Tacos Consumed: 25

Beer Breweries Toured: 3

Coffee Farms Toured: 3

Cigar Factories Toured: 2

Robbed: 1

Costa Rica - two stoves, two gas bottles, a whole mess of kitchen utensils & Kobus' shorts!

Tents Replaced: 1 (Kobus & Jess)
Tent Poles Replaced: 1 (Jared)
Tent Patches Used: 7

Vehicle repairs

Oil changes: 3
Rear axle seal replaced: 2
Break pads replaced: 2 rear, 4 front
Light bulbs: 6
Flat tires: 6
Skid plate bolts replaced: 3

Cars towed by Blue

Out of the sand - 2
Up a steep hill - 1 (nacho)

River Crossings:

Guatemala: 2
Costa Rica: 34
Colombia: 3
Peru: 2
Bolivia: 4

Confirmed road kills:

Guatemala: 1 (black bird)
Panama: 1 (yellow fly catcher)
Ecuador: 1 (small brownish bird)
Peru: 1 (small black bird)
Chile: 4 (all small birds)
Argentina: 3 (small birds)
Uruguay: 1 (brown blur)
Brazil: 2 (small brown bird and one snake)
USA: 2 (rattle snake and little brown bird)

Searched / Passed through at Security Check Points

Mexico: 4/26
Honduras: 3/13
Colombia: 3/30
Ecuador: 1/1
Peru: 8/13

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by Jared on September 19, 2011

Route in Google Earth{jcomments lock}Lately we’ve had a lot of people asking us about our trip. Just about everything we do is in some way related to getting us out the door and headed south. Friends, family, the UPS delivery guy, dentist, insurance brokers, the friendly man at the hardware store... They all want to know what the hell is wrong with us. Responses range from "Are you crazy?!" to "Holy shit, do you have room for one more?"

You guys know how this FAQ thing works - below are answers to the questions we are asked daily. Feel free to comment or email us if you are wondering about anything else.


Itinerary and Route

Written by Kobus on September 5, 2011

In case you are curious here is our planed route down to Argentina.  {jcomments lock}

our route

 The google map below is our actual route with campground stops listed. For more details on our accomodations see the listings here

Below is a list of all the countries we will be driving through, our estimated dates of arrival and days we plan on spending in each.

Update June 2013: We've just added our our actual entry dates and days spent for each country. 

Country Days in Actual days in Planned date of arrival Actual Date
USA 30 28 10/6/2011 -Trip Start  10/6/11
Mexico 60 70 11/7/2011 11/5/11
Belize 7 11 1/6/2012 1/14/12
Guatemala 60 61 1/14/2012 1/24/12
Honduras 7 1 3/14/2012 4/6/12
El Salvador 7 11 3/21/2012 3/26/12
Nicaraugua 17 14 3/28/2012 4/6/12
Costa Rica 18 38 4/15/2012 4/23/12
Panama 28 21 5/2/2012 5/28/12
Columbia 28 48 6/1/2012 6/20/12
Ecuador 21 20 6/29/2012 8/3/12
Peru 45 43 7/20/2012 8/23/12
Bolivia 21 24 9/15/2012 10/5/12
Chile 60 52 10/6/2012 11/25/12
Argentina 60 92 12/6/13 11/01/12
and 1/25/13
Antarctica 14 11 02/06/13 1/30/13
Uruguay 0 6   3/23/13
Brazil 0 37   4/3/13

Welcome to Shenanigans

Written by Kobus on June 5, 2011

What's the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy shit on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

{jcomments lock}Hello friends. Welcome to our new section, Shenanigans. Not evil shenanigans, mind you. Our shenanigans are cheeky and fun.

What is this about?

This is our travel blog. It’s where we write about our adventures, mishaps, disasters, and well, shenanigans. It’s not meant to be a resource for becoming location independent, like the rest of this site.

This section is all about the lighter side of things. It’s for friends, family, and anyone else who wants to know a little more about where we are and what the hell is going on.

As many of you know, we are currently living is a strange tree house in Seattle. But on October 1, 2011, we’ll begin our long drive south to Tierra del Fuego. Since we’re less than 4 months away, some serious planning is going on.

Check out this section for updates on how the Google searching, Amazon buying, vehicle modifying and trial packing frenzies are evolving.

Warning: It could get ugly.