The goal was to take up to a year to drive our 1987 VW camper van from Vancouver, Canada to the Panama Canal, and back again. If that didn’t work out, we would settle for the “Grand Tour” of Mexico.
The notion of driving through Central America had been operating as a magnetic pull on us for many years and the timing for hitting the road now seemed just about perfect.
We were both ready to press pause on the corporate treadmill - me as a lawyer at a downtown firm and Adrienne with a large insurance company – and see if we could reclaim that freedom that we thought (probably incorrectly) had defined our early 20s.
The only hours we wanted to bill over the next year would be on the open road or on a beach with fruity drinks in our hands.
While we had a disastrous van breakdown in Newport, Oregon on the third day of the trip, it proved be the most serious setback we would have over the next year, as we navigated through crumbling infrastructure, sweet-talked corrupt cops, endured chaotic borders and had the time of our lives.