From Alaska to Argentina:
Hi! We are Ron and Chantel from the Instagram account "fulltime.vanlife" and have been on the road with an Adria Twin campervan since November 2020.
After almost 1.5 years of putting our first ever campervan through places all over Europe (from Spain and Portugal to Norway, Sweden, Montenegro and Albania), we have now arrived in Guatemala.
How did that come about?
Well, there was this TV report from Terra X about the Pan Americana Highway - the longest road system in the world - and before we knew it, we had already booked the shipment of our Adria Twin campervan from Hamburg to Halifax on the east coast of Canada.
From dream to reality: How we spontaneously shipped our van to Canada
We didn't plan this idea, which seemed a bit crazy at first, and we didn't have to do much preparation either.
After we had informed ourselves both online and at information events about the various providers of shipments and their procedures, everything suddenly happened very quickly in April 2022: Since our actually booked ship was three weeks late, we were able to spontaneously transfer our van to an earlier ship and had exactly two days to get the campervan ready for shipment and drive the last 500 kilometres to Hamburg.
It took three weeks from the time we dropped it off at the port until we were able to receive our Twin back in Canada, delighted and fortunately completely undamaged.
Highlights of our trip through Canada, USA, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala
On more than 50,000 kilometres driven since then, we have of course seen and experienced a lot.
First, we drove the Trans-Canada-Highway from east to west through Canada all the way to Alaska, from there down the west coast into the USA, once across Mexico into the Caribbean to Belize and finally to Guatemala in Central America.
We would like to briefly present our personal highlight in each of the five American countries we have travelled through so far.
Encounters with wild animals and breathtaking landscapes:
Our road trip through North America
For the beginning of our journey on the American continent, we couldn't have imagined a better country than Canada.
The friendliness, openness and warm-heartedness of the people is simply unsurpassable. We were also greeted by sights such as Niagara Falls, the metropolis of Toronto, small towns beyond the Arctic Circle and the popular Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Rocky Mountains.
This is also where one of our favourite moments of the trip happened, when a mother grizzly bear suddenly emerged from the bushes with two cubs and crossed the road just a few metres in front of our van.
The USA awaited us with so many highlights that it was really hard to choose one.
For example, there was the festival in Cheyenne, which we only found out about by chance because we had parked nearby, and where the artist "Tones and I" performed.
Most impressive for us, however, were the many different landscapes and national parks in the west of the USA and among them especially Yellowstone with its uniqueness and at the same time diversity of nature.
It is home to more than half of the world's geysers, countless hot springs such as the colourful Grand Prismatic Spring and the picturesque Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Mexico welcomed us with huge cacti, impressive animal experiences such as snorkelling with whale sharks or the release of freshly hatched baby turtles, as well as photogenic rock formations in the Grutas Tolantongo, the numerous cenotes and diverse Mayan ruins.
However, our very first ride in a hot air balloon over the ancient city of Teotihuacán at sunrise made a special impression on us.
In its time, with 200,000 inhabitants, it was not only the most populous city in the Americas, but also one of the largest in the world.
Pure Caribbean feeling:
The unexpected discoveries on our trip through Belize and Guatemala.
Although we were already officially in the Caribbean on the Yucatan Peninsula, we only really got to feel this unique flair in Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America.
Instead of heading for the touristy holiday island of Caye Caulker and the Blue Hole (after all, the second largest coral reef in the world), we decided to drive the Coastal Highway right through the lush green jungle to Placencia.
Situated on the tip of a peninsula, the town is home to one thing above all: authentic beach life and a relaxed Raegge atmosphere.
Just over the border into Guatemala is another highlight of our trip: The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal not only impresses with its literally outstanding architecture, but also with its location in the middle of the tropical rainforest.
Especially in the morning, when dense fog envelops the remains of the once important Mayan city and immerses it in a mystical atmosphere, the sounds of the many different birds and other animals living in the jungle stand out all the more.
We also liked the small island of Flores in Lake Petén-Itzá and the Semuc Champey nature reserve.
After the Pan-Americana is before the world trip:
Our plans for the future
In the next two months we will continue our journey through Central America to El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica until we reach Panama. Here we have to send our Adria Twin back on a ship to circumnavigate the only break in the Panamericana (the Darien Gap) and reach South America. There we want to travel extensively and get to know as many countries as possible.
Besides crossing the equator, we are particularly looking forward to the mountain world of the Andes and the southernmost landscape of Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia. We have also planned a detour to Antarctica. And even after that, we would like to continue driving around the world in our Adria Twin campervan, possibly on another continent like Africa, Asia or Australia.
In any case, we remain excited about what the future holds for us!
Follow us on Instagram to be part of our journey.