The Next Step "O logras ser feliz con poco..."

corey mark la paz

“Mi madre hablaba como la aurora y como los dirigibles que van a caer.” – Vicente Huidobro

I’m exploring options for the next few week/months/years/decades/millennia of my life after flying to Lima next Tuesday. At first I thought I’d stay in Lima a week and then make my way into the mountains.

But now I realize I have…

Options?

Option 1: Play it safe

Stay in Lima a week or two, go to small town outside Lima, go to Huancayo, a city six hours east of Lima located at 3,400 meters above sea level in the mountains, stay a couple weeks in Huancayo since weather wouldn’t be hot and it has cheap Airbnb’s.

Make way into the jungle…

The jungle.

Option 2: José Mujica

Stay a week in Lima, make way to Cusco, make way to Puerto Maldonado, cross into Brazil, go to Rio Branco, see a bit of both Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon, make way into Paraguay, then Uruguay, drink mate with José Mujica, then make way down to Buenos Aires, down to Chiloé, then Ushuaia.

Fly to Svalbard.

Option 3: Paraguay

Make way to Bolivia, spend a couple weeks in Bolivia, make way to Paraguay.

Paraguay looks…nice.

Option 4: English, mate, Svalbard

Fly to Santiago, fly to Valdivia, make way to Chiloé, stay with Marcela and Pablo on their farm for a couple months, teaching English, writing, and drinking mate. Then make way to Ushuaia. Fly to Svalbard.

Option 5: The southernmost “community” in the world

Choose one of the above, and in addition to going to Ushuaia also go to Puerto Williams, Chile, southernmost town in the world, and from there take boat to Puerto Toro, southernmost community in the world. Learn how to catch king crab.

Option 6: Babies

Make way to Córdoba, Argentina through Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay. Meet girl. Start pronouncing double “l’s”  like “sh.” Starting pronouncing single “l’s” like “sh.” Have 3-30 children. Stay forever.

Option 7: None of the above

Miss flight to Lima. Stay in Guadalajara.

 

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Spring Break Svalbard! Or, the longest flight in the world

How much would it cost to fly between the furthest south airport in the world and the furthest north? How long would it take?

This was what I was thinking about as I lay in bed last night, in only my boxers, attempting to escape the Guadalajara heat.

But of course I couldn’t just let this question fester.

So I got to work.

ushuaia to svalbard

Too long to fit on Google Flights’ maps.

Our adventure starts on May 19th of this year in the wonderful South American city of Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Ushuaia is known, amongst other things, as the furthest south city in the world. Technically, Puerto Williams, Chile might be further south, but technically Puerto Williams might not be a city.

From Ushuaia we get on a $170 flight to Buenos Aires, where we stay a few days, dance a little tango, drink a little (we get mildly drunk) wine, and have dinner at 11pm, because that’s apparently the earliest it’s sociably acceptable to eat dinner in Buenos Aires on a weekend.

Now we need to get to Europe. So, we board a non-stop (!) flight from Buenos Aires to London, operated by Norwegian Air UK, on May 22nd, for just $574.

buenos aires to london norwegian

We’re getting close.

Fortunately, we only have one night in London. I say fortunately because London is expensive, and probably rainy. The very next day after arriving from Buenos Aires we get on this gorgeous, sleek flight from Heathrow to Svalbard with a sumptuous layover in Oslo, i.e, nine hours, i.e. long enough to walk to the gas station and get a hot dog, before heading to the Spring Break capital of Norway: Svalbard.

london to svalbard SAS

At 78 degrees north, Svalbard is one of the furthest north inhabited places in the world, and definitely one of the most accessible. It boasts the furthest north commercially accessible airport in the world, no work visa requirements for American citizens (as per the Treaty of Spitsbergen), and for having a law in which you must take a rifle along when leaving the city limits in case of polar bears. How many other cities do you know what have this rule? Exactly. Grab your bikini.

The total price for this jaunt, between the furthest south airport in the world and the furthest north, using the route I found last night, would be just over $900. If you bought the tickets all at once together it would cost over $2,000.

So again, grab your bikini, because: Spring break Svalbard!

 

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