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A Week-In-The-Life of Adam and Darcie of Trekity

Darcie Connell and Adam Costa are travel writers headed south from Guatemala to the tip of South America. They are the founders of Trekity; a new travel site with over 800 destinations. Please enjoy this week-in-the-life of Darcie and Adam as they wend their way through Central and South America.

This post was originally published in 2012. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and formatting.

This is our life and work on the road. We travel slowly to focus on work and the world around us without having to chase down accommodations every night and shady internet connects. While some of our days are overwhelmingly fun hiking up volcanoes, walking historic cobble stone streets, and eating cheap and delicious food, the majority of our days are spent behind the neon screens of our laptops, pounding away at the keyboard. A writer has to eat, right?

Alfombras

Day One: Wednesday

The week is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Not only are my wife Darcie and I planning the successful launch of our new travel site, we’re jet-setting from Guatemala to Miami and then down to Quito, Ecuador. It’s a lot of miles in an admittedly odd direction.

But that’s life: the twists and turns are where the fun lies.

It’s the straight lines which get me. Staying in one place too long. Eating the same foods. Walking the same routes. Drinking the same booze.

I know, tough right? After all, this is the life we fought for…and believe me, it was worth every damn punch.

But every trip has its end. And our time in Antigua, Guatemala comes to a close.

Antigua

After three months here I’m excited to go… but there’s a nagging feeling this may have been it…the place where Darcie and I might drop our backpacks, plant a garden and settle in for, well…ever.

But now it’s settled. The tickets are booked. And we leave on Saturday.

Day Two: Thursday

It’s early. Really early. I haven’t been sleeping well – maybe four hours a night – and it’s beginning to take its toll. I creep downstairs and read a Robert Ludlum book.

Darcie, however, sleeps like a champion. Eight hours a night like clockwork with the occasional afternoon nap on weekends.

No matter. Today is gonna be busy, so it’s good I’m up early. After a half hour or so with Patriot Games I fire up my cruel mistress: the laptop.

It’s interesting, isn’t it?

How something can provide so much freedom and yet feel so restricting? As professional hobos (editor’s note – hey! That’s my schtick!) for the past several years I’ve come to rely on my laptop – and consequently, internet connections – far more than I care to admit.

Fortunately, the connection in our apartment works, and I’m able to jump into work.

This morning, I’m cracking away at a guest post. Since we’re new on the travel blog scene, we’ve got an uphill battle of getting noticed. Darcie contacted hundreds of travel sites this month alone, pitching guest posts and trying to build long-term relationships with those willing to listen.

As people accept the posts, we sit down to write.

Poco a poco (little by little), as they say in Antigua.

Darcie wakes up and we enjoy a cup of coffee. It’s gonna be a long day.

Day Three: Friday

Today something terrible happened. Darcie’s parents’ dog Sadie – an odd mixture of Labrador and Pit Bull – passed out during her morning walk.

A trip to the vet revealed she had an enlarged heart and was in extreme pain.

They were putting her down within the hour.

All Darcie kept saying was “I wish I could be there…I just wish I could be there…”

And so did I.

Sadie

Day Four: Saturday

Today we fly to Miami.

It’s an odd emotion, leaving. Usually I’m more excited to see somewhere new. Almost always, in fact. But a few places have been hard to leave.

There was that bungalow on Ko Lanta. And our high rise apartment in Austin.

And now, Antigua.

We clean up the apartment and wait for our shuttle to the airport.

I pour two White Russians and we talk about our memories here: the charming Spanish instructors who taught us to speak (decent) Spanish, the wonderful, winding alleyways through colonial ruins and the bright colored alfombras (brightly colored carpets made of sawdust) that lined the streets during Semana Santa.

“Do you think we’ll ever come back?” I ask.

“Maybe someday,” Darcie replies, “but not anytime soon.”

Day Five: Sunday

Everything’s bigger in the U.S.

Hangovers are no exception.

Let me tell you, last night was rough.

We flew from Guatemala to Miami, hopped in not one, not two, but three cabs to get to our friends’ hotel on South Beach.

The cab fare was more money than a week in Guatemala. Shocking.

We doctored a bottled of whiskey there, then headed out for insanely oversized (and overpriced) cocktails and people-watching.

Miami is an interesting blend of African, Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. Rednecks rarely make it this far south. As locals say about Florida, “The further north you go, the more southern you get.”

I wake up early and decide to grab breakfast at the Cuban café down the street. Sitting there at the café bar, nursing a Sam Adams (how-I’ve-missed you!) and speaking Spanish with Cubans something happens.

Happiness hits.

My time in Antigua has made me a different person. I can speak another language, which has opened up my world in many, many ways.

In other words: it’s made me a better person.

And now we’re headed to South America for six months.

Day Six: Monday

Whew. There is…no…air…in…Quito.

At 9,350 feet (2,850m) you really feel the difference…especially when flying from sea level.

But we’re glad to be here. It’s a new continent for both of us, and our place is awesome. Seeing that we work from home (wherever that is) we usually live outside of town, where money goes farther.

Here, $900 USD a month gets you a nice three bedroom, three bathroom apartment overlooking the city below.

Oh, and a Ping Pong table.

Today – I’m sad to say – is the first time I’ve ever been out of breath playing Ping Pong. It must be the elevation, right?

Day Seven: Tuesday

New place, new surroundings.

Do I miss Antigua?

Nope. I’ve never missed a place in my life. Seriously. I hate looking back, and Darcie and I are already talking about flying to Buenos Aires in a few months.

It’s what we do. It’s who we are. And should we continue moving for the rest of our lives, so be it. I could see us in our mid-sixties, still wandering the earth (you know, like Cain from Kung Fu) always in search of something new, something exciting.

But that image of the garden? It’s still there, waiting.

The home of Adam and Darcie of Trekity in Quito Ecuador

Adam and Darcie are now living in Quito, Ecuador, and will be heading to Buenos Aires in early June. In addition to founding Trekity.com, they also run Travel Blogger Academy which teaches bloggers how to build and market their websites.

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17 thoughts on “A Week-In-The-Life of Adam and Darcie of Trekity”

  1. Adam and Darcie, I loved reading your guest post. I had a chance to check out the Trekity website and really like what you two are doing. My husband, Tony, and I both quit our jobs to travel the world and pursue our passion of starting a business together. We are 4 months into our trip and finally starting to slow down on the travelling part of the trip to take time to build our blog and brainstorm business ideas. I will be sure to follow your journey, as I imagine we can learn a lot from you two.

    Also, I’m sorry to hear about Darcie’s dog… It is moments like those we wish we could be home too. My sister just gave birth today and I wish I could be there to meet my newborn nephew. But there never is a convenient time to travel! Life still goes on back home but it is no reason to hold you back from your dreams!

    We wish you luck on your upcoming trip to BA. We loved it there so let us know if you need recommendations on things to do/see in the city – We mostly just ate out a lot though… The food there is sooo good!

    Reply
  2. Hi Talon, I believe Darcie contacted you about guest posting. By the way, do you live in Cuenca? We’ll (probably) be rolling through there in ten days or so and would love to meet you and your son for a beer.

    Or milk 😉

    Reply
  3. Hi Meg,

    Thanks for your kind words, and congratulations on your new nephew!

    And – like so many previous travel plans – we’ll be heading to BA in early December, right before we fly home to California.

    What places/foods would you recommend? We’re both HUGE foodies (but not huge people… yet) and would love to hear your recommendations!

    Reply
  4. Hi Baron,

    We’ve heard things about safety issues, but we lead pretty boring lives – out during the day, home before nightfall for cocktails.

    Knock on wood!

    Reply
  5. Thanks Adam! I laughed pretty hard when you guys said you were huge foodies… but not huge. We are in the same boat – But Italy was VERY deadly!

    BA has amazing food! We stayed in Palermo Soho which has tons of places to eat.

    For steak, go to La Cabrera in Palermo for happy hour from 7:00-8:30 every night (EVERYTHING 50% off)
    For brick oven pizza/italian, go to Siamo nel Forno in Palermo
    For sandwiches, go to a‘Manger in Palermo… Best sandwiches ever!
    For healdo Tufic, Freddo, or Volta

    Also check out either Casa Mun or Cocina Sunae for a Closed Door Dining experience (very popular in BA). Both places are Asian fusion and Phenomenal!

    And we did a sponsored food blog trips with Buenos Aires Food Tours and Cooking with Teresita… Highly recommend checking them out!

    Here’s a dining guide for more options!

    http://pickupthefork.com/restaurant-guide/

    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  6. Meg, you are a goddess among (wo)men. Darcie and I have hit a wall with Ecuadorian food – namely, wine is expensive.

    Can’t wait to get steak and red wine – thanks SO much for your advice!

    (did I mention we like wine?)

    Reply
  7. I will confess that I have mixed feelings about your blog.

    On one hand, it looks like a lot of fun and adventure to do what you are doing and I would be lying if I didn’t want to do it for myself.

    However, I am not seeing much about the locals and their needs. Isn’t there a lot of poverty in the places you are visiting?

    I went to Jamaica a few years ago, and after seeing how the masses there lived, how many people were being exploited, and the sadness of so many, my heart was truly changed. I wanted to help them.

    Maybe you are missinng an awsome opportunity around you.

    Reply
  8. Hi April,

    Yes, you are correct. It can be difficult to see so much poverty around the world. You bring up a good point and we’ve been thinking about adding a volunteer section to Trekity.com for those that want to help. You’ve just confirmed our thoughts so thank you for your feedback. It’s much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Adam

    Reply
  9. @April – Thank you for your comment. I’m not sure who exactly this comment is directed at: Adam & Darcie (the guest posters above), or me (Nora – The Professional Hobo).
    For me – The degree of poverty I see and experience varies. In fact, I’ve spent the majority of the last 5 years living and traveling through more developed nations (which wasn’t a conscious decision; rather a function of opportunity and circumstance).
    Living in Grenada I’ve certainly seen people who live very simply, but I wouldn’t have said they’re impoverished – or sad.

    I’ve also risen to the call more than once and turned my life upside down to provide invaluable disaster relief (organizing top-level aid where aid organizations have failed) – once in Thailand, and once in Australia. And if I found myself in a situation where I had another “calling” of sorts, I’d do it again. So I sleep pretty well at night!

    Dealing with poverty as a traveler is a very tricky thing. How do you swoop in as an outsider and truly help people who you see as being sad and having less than you, without insulting them?
    I honestly don’t know the answer to this question. It’s not an excuse to NOT do anything (by any stretch!), but I think it’s a reason to be very careful about HOW to do it.

    Reply
  10. Hello Nora, Adam and Darcie,

    I apologize that my original post was not clear, there were a lot of thoughts going on in my head that I was trying to communicate in a short comment. Although it was intended for Adam and Darcie, I am glad to have engaged you in this conversaton also, Nora.

    One of the missed opportunites I see is in the writing. Adam was mentioning in the blog that they were trying to get a lot of guest posts on other travel sites. From what I can glean from their blog, my guess is that their writing will be of the “Top 5 Pubs In Prague” type writing. Obviously, these are interesting to a lot of people and have their place.

    However, also interesteing to a lot of people, but missing from most big travel sites are things like information and booking on volunteer vacations. I hope that will be good addition for your site.

    Also missing are human interest stories – i.e “A Day In The Life Of A Guatamailan Child” – and hard jounalism – i.e. “How American Textile Companies Are Exploiting Jamacian’s In the ‘Free-Zone'”.

    Reply
  11. @Nora,
    Just a quick response about engaging the locals and seeing what their needs are. You are correct that you can’t just swoop in, you have to take the time to get to know the people. When they see your true concern and care, most (but not all) cultures will usually open up and share what their needs are.

    Reply
  12. @April – Thanks for the clarification! You won’t find me generally writing much about volunteer vacations on this site for two reasons:
    1) I rarely do volunteer vacations myself (for a variety of reasons, including some in this old old (slightly scathing) article I wrote about voluntourism):
    http://www.vagabondish.com/voluntourism-volunteer-tourism-in-depth/
    2) It’s not part of financially sustainable travel. I tend to work/volunteer in trade for my accommodation, but the ventures are usually a little different.

    And the human interest stories and hard journalism can certainly be found in various travel blogs and sites. Many of my fellow travel blogging colleagues have experiences on the road that inspire such pieces, but none of us tend to have a steady enough stream of those experiences to formulate entire websites around them. I’d say that the majority of the hard-journalism stories we bloggers have that we want to share, we’ll sell as freelance writers to larger publications.

    But trust me – it’s out there….one such site that I think you might be inspired by is Uncornered Market – Dan and Audrey travel with a focus on microfinance and volunteering. Their writing is awesome. Check it out!
    http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/
    https://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2009/11/a-week-in-the-life-of-audrey-dan-uncornered-market/

    Reply
  13. Hi April,

    Trekity´s focus is providing destination details based on personal preferences. We definitely want to add a volunteer section once we have enough content to support it.

    Trust me, you won´t find ¨5 Pubs in…¨type posts on the main website. It´s all hard hitting, factual details.

    Cheers,

    Adam

    Reply
  14. Don’t let Aprils remarks rent space in your head. We want to know about the best 5 bars in town and where to have a good meal and some sex. You follow your gut feelings and write from the heart. The rest will follow. Cheers

    Reply

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