Brendon Vince is currently in Guatemala but when we spoke to him he was in the last stages of planning his exit from Montreal, where he had for the past two years been working in the video games industry. A 26 year old Australian and self confessed nerd, Brendon caught the travel bug while travelling throughout the US and Canada and more recently got his first taste of backpacking and hostel life when he was in Los Angeles and San Francisco for a week.
Where are you going and for how long?
On the 31st of October I’m leaving my life behind in Montreal with nothing but the clothes on my back and my backpack to travel through Central & South America. I plan to start In Cancun, Mexico and work my way down to Panama. From there I’ll either fly or get a sail boat over to Colombia and travel through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia finally ending in Chile or Argentina.
I am hoping to do this in six to eight months. However this is only a rough plan as I have no time restrictions or home to come back to. The only thing really limiting my travel plans is money.
Have you told the boss yet?
This was a little bit reversed for me, seeing as the company I was working for recently did a massive round of redundancies and as a result I was out of a job. This was one of the contributing factors towards me deciding to travel.
Planned to death or casual meander?
Definitely a casual meander, Sure, I have a rough plan on where I want to go but having said that I haven’t made any bookings or concrete plans besides my initial ticket to Cancun. I think this approach is best for me as a solo traveler. I didn’t want to be stuck to a set schedule. I’d much rather just take each day as it comes, see who I meet, go with the flow and see where my journey takes me. If I end up still in Central America in seven months’ time so be it.
What do friends and family think about this?
My family are very supportive, It makes it a lot easier that they are already used to me being away as I had to leave them when I moved from Australia to Montreal a couple of years ago. My friends are surprised and excited. I’m sure a lot of them must think that I have completely lost the plot for deciding to sell all of my possessions and leave to travel. But mostly they are just jealous.
I’ve gone through some pretty major life changes in the last three months. I just came out of an eight year relationship, that combined with the fact that I lost my job really got me re-evaluating what I wanted to do with my life. I was sick of the rat race and working nine to five behind a computer screen and wanted a change a chance to see more of the world and find myself.
Plus the timing was perfect as the lease on my apartment is expiring this month. I figured if I wanted to travel I wouldn’t get any better opportunity than this.
How much is it going to cost and how are you financing the trip?
I will be backpacking on the cheap so I am estimating the trip will cost me between $7,000-$8,000 CAD for 6 to 7 months of travel.
As for financing the trip there are some benefits of getting laid off from your job. One of those was that they had to pay out the 500+ hours of overtime that I had accumulated over the past year. This resulted in a pretty decent pay out. That combined with me selling pretty much everything I own helped me fund my trip.
Any paid or volunteer work plans?
I don’t have any plans to look for paid work while I am traveling through Central and South America as I won’t have a working visa for any of the countries I will be traveling in. I am however considering getting a working holiday visa for either Chile or Argentina and working there once I have finished my trip. Either that or I might look for online work if I can find any.
In terms of volunteer work, yes that’s definitely something I want to do during my trip. I think it would be an amazing experience. I have also been looking into WWOOFING as a way of extending my trip. I haven’t really researched a lot about any particular organizations in particular yet I figured I will just see what opportunities I come across on my travels.
What, or where, are you most looking forward to?
I think the thing that I’m looking forward to the to the most is that feeling of freedom when everything in my apartment has sold and it’s just me and my backpack on the open road with no set schedules. Just taking each day as it comes. That, and getting to meet lots of new amazing people on my travels.