The last leg of the Travis Traverse was focused on the Southern Cone of South America. It’s a beautiful area with lovely people, and we can’t wait to go back. While we were exhausted at the end of our trip, it’s a place we’re excited to return to!

Magical Montevideo

As the Omicron wave spread throughout South America, we decided to hole up in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. For a capital city, it’s pretty small. However, we really enjoyed cities of similar sizes that we’d visited before, like Cork and Porto. Another reason for us to be extra careful is that we’d booked a trip to Antarctica in early February, so we’d need to be extra vigilant to avoid travel complications.

What we found in Montevideo was a fun and charming city. While Uruguay isn’t at the top of most people’s travel lists, it’s a uniquely pleasant place with an uncharacteristically high standard of living and love for both steak and Carnival. Wedged between Argentina and Brazil, it was originally created as a kind of buffer state and has ended up being one of the most successful South American countries, economically, educationally, and culturally.

In our city apartment, we were able to recharge after our series of fast-travels during the holidays, establishing a yoga routine, cooking again, and enjoying the fresh seaside air. The weather and sunsets were spectacular – at least half of the days, I ended up jogging to the beach to catch the sunset with hundreds of other city residents.

Fortunately, we arrived just as Carnival celebrations were gearing up. The city really comes alive for this season, with groups practicing in parks, and parades almost every day. Not sure how we managed to line it up so well, but it turned out to be one of our favorite stops.

We also used the time to start thinking about where we’d return – comparing different cities and starting to research career opportunities. We were enjoying our trip, and we were also excited for our next chapter once the next few weeks were over.

After a relaxing couple of weeks, we took a ferry to Buenos Aires, just a few hours away.

Living It Up in La Plata

Crossing an international border by ferry rounded out our transportation – we’d already done it by road, rail, and air on this trip!

At this point, we felt like we’d dodged any major travel disruptions due to covid and started to get really excited about our Antarctic voyage. We had it all booked, brought our camera gear, and had scoped out where to stock up on the right clothing once we were in the city.

Unfortunately, right after we settled into our city apartment, we received a real bummer of a call from our tour operator. I was in the middle of unpacking when my phone rang, so I checked my messages a few minutes later to find that our Antarctic voyage was canceled due to an outbreak onboard. Well, shit. It sucked, but clearly it was a First World problem.

We both took some time to process the situation and then decided that we’d stay in the city despite the news and open ourselves to more opportunities since…well, we didn’t need to worry about missing our voyage to Antarctica anymore.

The silver lining in our trip’s cancelation (still a little salty, tbh) was that the city was super easy to get around, our Spanish was much better than it was at the beginning of the trip, and the country’s inflation meant that we could stretch our budget way farther than in any other country we’d visited. So we lived it up!

We took a week private tango lessons with the absolute nicest couple – Lucas and Berenice, y’all are the best! We ate like royalty. We strolled through the best markets that I’ve ever seen (one was over 12 blocks long!).

Maybe this was just what we needed to end the Travis Traverse? We were ready to wrap up our at this point, so Buenos Aires ended up being a great place to end things. We’re already talking about our next trip to Argentina (hopefully not in the middle of a pandemic and at the end of a half-year world trip)!

That’s All, Folks!

So there it is – we’ve ended the Travis Traverse world trip. After a couple weeks stateside with family, we were able to find a place in Richmond, VA! Traveling was nice, and now it’s time to go home.