We love the change, the challenge, and the variety that comes with constantly being on the move, but we do occasionally miss knowing our way around. Stumbling upon this family-run restaurant in Quito helped us feel grounded. We found comfort in their food and their company and felt truly welcomed. Sometimes what seem like the most banal, everyday moments, like having breakfast, can become some of the most powerful memories, if you’re open to it.
Traveling is all about new things. New places, new faces, new foods, new languages, new weather, new bus systems. Traveling with family is about spending time together, taking in all these new things, and grounding them in the familiar. It’s about taking the time away from your regular lives to connect, share experiences, and enjoy. After several months of wandering around Latin America, I really appreciated the chance to be “at home” for a few days.
Although it’s no one’s travel dream to spend a night being jostled around on a bus, we’ve found it kills a few birds with one stone: it’s a great way to cover some serious ground (at least 10 hours of travel), get (some) sleep, and avoid paying for a night at a hostel.
It’s funny how you can burn through all the major attractions a city in a day or two if need be, or stay an entire month and still not see it all. We only had 10 short days in Panama, but we filled them up well with beach, mountains and a big city!
Whether we’re huddled together at a bus station making a game plan, at the beach, or in a nice hostel, we always have our phones handy. We’re using Android phones and these are the apps we just can’t travel without.
Panama has a great mix of things to do and they’re all within easy reach of Panama City. Personally, we soaked up the sun in Bocas del Toro, got in some great hikes in Boquete, and then settled into the buzzing metropolis of Panama City for a few days.
Costa Rica is probably Central America’s most popular tourist destination, and for good reason. Although the country is quite small, it’s absolutely packed full of biodiversity, things to do, and places to visit.
Before we cross a border, Andrea and I always take at least a few hours to get our bearings and plan for the next country. We do research online, but also rely on word of mouth.
We really enjoyed exploring Nicaragua and recommend it to backpackers. It’s very easy to navigate and you can see everything from colonial cities, to volcanoes, to lakes, to great beaches all within a few hours. Travel is affordable and the people are welcoming.
Since Andrea and I have started this journey wandering through Latin America, we’ve gotten used to making new friends on the road. In Nicaragua, we were lucky enough to spend time with some old friends.