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Old 02-25-2007, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts on Central America...help me plan my wanderings

Freespiritz needs out!

I've been getting the itchy feet hardcore (and don't tell me that I've only been back in the US for two months!) I know I'm going to Cali and Jamaica soon, but I'm only heading to Italy in January, and so if I'm spending another semester in Maine next fall, I've decided that I need to get out of the US for the summer, or part of.

So far the plan is to fly into Honduras and chill with a friend on the coast for a week or two (she lives literally right on the beach! :D).

After I've had enough of hedonistic beach luxury (if ever), I kind of thought I'd just go wandering, at least through Guatemala, maybe Belize and El Salvador - that is, pretty much literal wandering without too much planning until either time or money gets short, but I'm thinking at least two months (There's a Japan trip on the sidelines that most likely won't happen).

I've never done a trip without a pretty good itinerary and solid idea of what I was doing. I've never done a solo trip of this sort and this length (only solo'd Borneo). I've especially never done a solo trip through an area where, especially as a female, I don't look localish and I don't speak a lick of Spanish.

I talked to my roomie and she thinks I'm going to get raped/die. But then again everyone thought the same thing when I said I was going to Boston to meet five guys from the internet...but I'm still here!

Anyway, I'm looking for the good tpunk input and I'll be hoping to get good advice as plans progress. For now I just need the usual reassurance and practical precautions. Is this a good idea? What should I be preparing for? Should I do this? Anyone who has been in a similar situation in the area? Thoughts? Random fortune cookies you'd like to share? I'm here and waiting! :D
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:24 PM   #2
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Freespiritz needs out!

I've been getting the itchy feet hardcore (and don't tell me that I've only been back in the US for two months!)[...]I've especially never done a solo trip through an area where, especially as a female, I don't look localish and I don't speak a lick of Spanish.
But you've only been back in the US for two mon-anyway

You can go from not speaking a lick of Spanish to being able to get by in a month or two if you start now. $25 bucks can get you a beginning Spanish CD and a Dictionary/Phrasebook. You'll do fine!

You may look more localish than you think (especially from a distance) the locals are your 100x great grandparents :D

--Joey
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:07 PM   #3
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Does no one else have anything to say? Anything whatsoever about the area would be appreciated.

And oh, I realized that it's not even been two months back. Heh. But such is my life.
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:16 PM   #4
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I've got something to say, I don't like you anymore. In the time I've been planning my trip here you've been to like a million different countries and make the rest of us look like hermits. Save some travel for the rest of us.

Aside from that, have fun.

...and don't worry I still like you
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:26 PM   #5
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Lol, I was worried for a moment there raoulduke. I was thinking, I still like beer, pizza and video games, he can't possibly not like me anymore!

And there's plenty of travel left over for you guys, don't worry...and I am definitely far from being the most-traveled person on these boards, although I'm doing what I can to change that!
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:43 PM   #6
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hahaha, yeah you're still pretty cool
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:28 AM   #7
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I'm sorry FS, but I've never been to Central America.

Have fun though!
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:52 AM   #8
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I talked to my roomie and she thinks I'm going to get raped/die. But then again everyone thought the same thing when I said I was going to Boston to meet five guys from the internet...but I'm still here!
Who do they think we are? A bunch of druken barbarians?

I have had several friends in Honduras and they lived among the poor of the poor and there is no need to worry. Great country!
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:12 AM   #9
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Sounds like a fun trip!! You shouldn't worry, as long as you keep an eye on what's going on around you (just as would in other countries) it shouldn't be an issue that you're alone. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is from one of my guidebooks that's floating around my apartment. It said the biggest threat that a tourist can have in most Central American countries is getting hit on by local guys at bars. And then you do what the local women do, ignore them. If they press, say you're waiting for your husband. I've heard that the last line there works a bit better if you put a ring on your left rign finger (makes it a bit more believable).

If your sticking to hostels and the backpacking route I see now problem with it...I'd only worry about the seedy parts of town.

If you were planning on hitting Costa Rica I'd say you come visit me and Chris at the farm we'll be working on. We'll have horses and doggies to take care of though.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:32 AM   #10
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I LOVE horses and doggies! Don't know if I'll make it to Costa Rica but if I do, it would be a blast to hang out, Amber.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:39 PM   #11
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It would be a blast!
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:09 AM   #12
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Hey, sorry for taking so long to reply, my dear.

Central America is awesome, IMO. I've been to all of its countries except Nicaragua, and enjoyed them all. You have no bigger chance of getting raped and killed (as your friend worries) than you do in Maine! I'd read how dodgy that El Salvador was, for example. And that the people weren't very open like other central americans. I would say they ended up being the friendliest of Central Americans.

I love its Mayan ruins, its hilly, jungle scenery and friendly folks. I say go for it, my friend!!

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Old 03-09-2007, 09:24 AM   #13
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Thanks Mike! I read all your travelogs on CA countries while you took your time replying. Feel free to recommend any must-sees!

Knowing me, I'll most likely go for it. I guess my main concern is the language barrier. If I spoke Spanish I would be outta here in a heartbeat!
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:52 AM   #14
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Soooo...I got my Central America on a Shoestring LP and a Latin American Spanish phrasebook and an Italian dictionary (but that's for next year) in the mail today...so I can start figuring out what to do. I know I'm going to be distracted from my work by reading and planning!

Anyone have any must-sees?
I'm working on a budget of US 25/day for two months.

My Honduran friend just told me she'll be house-sitting on the beach at Roatan and will have a car so we're set for some amazing chill times! :D I'm probably going to fly into San Pedro Sula and spend the first two weeks chilling and scuba diving on Roatan.

Suggestions on where to go after that are appreciated! Countries/places, anything. I'll definitely be heading to Guatemala, and need to see Tikal...and Semuc Champey looked beautiful.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:51 PM   #15
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Default Honduras!!!

HI GUYS!!! Im originally from HONDURAS...THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!!! You will definately love it!!! And I have to agree with most of the members here : It is not dangerous, Its like everywhere you go...just use your common sense!! Roatan is beautiful!!! You will find people from all over the place here. Mainly Italians...when you go to Roatan go to TONY'S PIZZA in the town of WEST END.....OMG!!! AUTHENTIC PIZZA FROM NAPLES ....I am from Tegucigalpa, The capital about 3 hours from San Pedro.....but definately try to hit up the MAYAN ruins as well..it has a great little town filled with backpackers from all over the place....try this to get an idea..

www.letsgohonduras.com

Feel free to ask me any questions........as might know from my previous posts...im in the middle of quitting my job to hit up EUROPE for a couple of months.......

ATTENTION EVEYBODY: DO you want to get the whole COSTA RICAN experience without having to pay MIAMI, FLORIDA prices??????

Then check out the BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY OF HONDURAS!!!!!!!!!!!

VIVA HONDURAS!!!!
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Old 03-20-2007, 05:07 PM   #16
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Heh, it's mainly not me that needs to be convinced to go. I'm a little nervous, but I feel that often places with a less-safe rep end up having the most genuine and friendly people.

My parents, however, have told me that they don't want me traveling alone (anywhere), especially through Central America. It's the normal conv that we have every single time I announce another trip. *sigh* They know I'm prone to do whatever I want, but I like being able to go with approval, even if it be reluctantantly dragged out of them. They've even told me that they'd sponsor my flight and living costs if I agree to detour to....Vancouver to volunteer instead.

I haven't had time to state my case, but if anyone has any region-specific ammo for me to shoot at them (or if you want to come with me and thus allay their fears of me not having a companion), let me know.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:29 AM   #17
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Hahaha... how would it llok to them if you promised you'd go to a "3rd world country" with someone you met off the internet??

Hahaha... I hope you get to go though, I love how much Carlos loves his country!
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:53 AM   #18
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They've even told me that they'd sponsor my flight and living costs if I agree to detour to....Vancouver to volunteer instead.
Hahahahaha - my parents are ALWAYS trying to do that to me. Not that Vancouver isn't wonderful, but it's not an adequate substitute for Honduras. I always get "go to Epcot!" when I talk about traveling...or "you know you get free room and board in Pennsylvania!!"

If only I weren't already spending too much money this summer, I'd so be down. I hope you have a blast!
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:02 AM   #19
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I don't tell them that I'm going with someone "I met off the internet", I just tell them that I'm going with a friend... I mean, the whole point isn't really to make me safer, it's to make them feel better.

I know, Vancouver is nice and all, but I want to go somewhere different. Somewhere that I haven't been to before.
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:56 PM   #20
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You've already been to Vancouver?? Oh gosh, if you keep it up you're gonna run out of places to go to soon!!!
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