The List

MISSION #1 : ARGENTINA – Learn Spanish & Find a Job in Buenos Aires

On October 1st, 2009 I touched down in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With zero knowledge of language, local contacts or scheduled plan, this was my first my Tourist 2 Townie Mission – To learn Spanish and find a local job in Buenos Aires.

These were many of my specific goals for traveling and working in Argentina:


MISSION #2: COLOMBIA – Learn Salsa in Medellin

After Argentina, I moved to Medellin, Colombia on a mission to learn Salsa and prove that Colombia is much more than coffee beans and drug lords. Unfortunately, I fractured my ankle playing basketball two months into the quest so I wasn’t able to reach a competitive level with my Salsa moves. This was an unfinished mission.

These were many of my specific goals for traveling and learning Salsa in Colombia:


MISSION #3: PERU – Learn to Cook like a Peruvian Chef

After Colombia, I traveled through Ecuador and Northern Peru before settling in Lima. My biggest mission in the Peruvian capital was to eat my way around the city and learn to cook like a local. I gained a lot of weight, but the trip was a success!

These were many of my specific goals for traveling and learning to cook in Peru:


MISSION #4: BOLIVIA – Help Build Libraries with

From Peru, I moved to Sucre, Bolivia to begin volunteering with an organization called BiblioWorks builds and facilitates libraries in and around the city of Sucre. Based on the contribution to the community, this was a very successful mission. Through the donations of readers, we managed to raise $2,500 to fund the first ever Literacy Festival in Sucre.

These were many of my specific goals for traveling and volunteering in Boliva:


MISSION #5: GUATEMALA – Small Business Development with

After volunteering in Bolivia, I was addicted to the idea of helping others, so, I joined the family as a Kiva Fellow and moved to Sololá, Guatemala. In the Atitlan Region of Guatemala, I worked with local entrepreneurs to help fund their businesses through Kiva Loans. I met some amazing individuals and had the opportunity to explore the beautiful country.

These were many of my specific goals for traveling and volunteering with Kiva in Guatemala:


MISSION #6: Brazil – Learn Portuguese and Work at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

This was supposed to be my sixth and final Tourist 2 Townie adventure. This would prove to be the most ambitious and difficult task of them all. I lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where I slowly learned Portuguese through social interaction. I partnered with the Tourism Board of Brazil to travel the country and then worked with an Australian Tour Operator to Film during the World Cup. This was an incredible trip.

These were many of my specific goals for traveling and working in Brazil:





  • Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal
  • Explore Bhutan
  • Eat my way around Istanbul, Turkey
  • Visit the Greek Islands
  • Act like a baller in Dubai
  • Act like a baller in Monaco
  • Act like a baller in Las Vegas
  • South of France
  • Sail the Mediterranean
  • Morocco
  • Drink Vodka with Russians in Russia
  • Motorcycle through Italy
  • Be Myself in Spain
  • Get lost in Portugal


    1. Author

      Cody, this needs to happen. First the US and then hopefully other countries like Vietnam, Italy or France!!!

  1. SZ

    You can’t go wrong in Lima with the chefs and restaurants there, even the tourist traps and uber cheap comida chifa is amazing. But I think you need to add “Surf a long left at Chicama” to your Peru list!

    1. Author

      I definitely need to surf in Peru! I haven’t had the chance yet, but it’s on the list!

    1. Author

      I missed the chance when I was in Quito Jeff, I’ll definitely be back to Ecuador and experience much more the second time around.

    1. Tom Hunter

      I rode my motorcycle from Salar de Uyuni to Tupiza in 2004. Did it in a day with a couple of bikers up from Salta, Argentine. Part of the ride was 10 miles through the river bed because a bridge was out.

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  3. Luiz Fernando Reis Claro

    Regarding Brazil:
    I’m from Brazil, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro and, even though it’s too obvious, Rio is actually a very good place to learn Jiu Jitsu since the Gracie family is from here and the whole city seems to be crazy about the sport (me not so much).
    Now for the World Cup (which I’m really looking forward to): you should definitely check out the fixtures and stadiums at FIFA’s website so you know where to go if you want to see all those teams playing, because they might not play a game in Rio. Here’s the link:
    Besides that, Brazil has lots of wonderful cities to know. You might even find it easier to work at the World Cup on a smaller city like Fortaleza, Curitiba or Porto Alegre. And it’ll be definitely worth the trip.

    I hoep this helps! Great website man.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for the info Luiz! I wanted to look into the smaller cities like you mentioned, I just wasn’t sure on where to start, this will help big time.

  4. cecy

    stumbled across your blog; read some; hooked! mighty fine writing! I am currently working in the coffee industry, and the US office sent me to our colombian operations for origins training. Just went crop touring in southwest Antioquia. Noticed you wanted to visit Jardin and coffee farms. On the crop tour, while most coffee farm owners are in their 50’s; we visited this one farm where a young man of 30 lives on his own. He’s been alone on the farm since 14, and now has over 10 diff types of fruits, 5 diff types of veggies, 200+ hens, flowers, and lots of coffee. Most surprising situation, and very cool to hear his tale. If you go our agronomist has his number and I can get you guys connected. Really, after being here for 7 weeks and about to return to the US office, I can’t help but think how absolutely amazing Colombia is.

    1. Author

      This is awesome Cecy, I need to get in touch the next time I get to Colombia.. which will hopefully be very soon!

  5. sally

    I am Sally Cespedes,and I am from Bolivia.I met your father this morning.My mother-in-law is in the Portage Hospital right now.He gave me your web site …I am so happy that you are helping people in my country…thank you!!Why sucre?…How can you help me to do the same work in my little town in Bolivia?.The name of my town is
    Riberalta.(close to the amazon,and right close to Brazil)

    1. Author

      I would love to help anywhere possible! You should contact to see if they could get any programs rolling in Riberalta! Thanks for checking out the site : )

  6. Maurine

    How about sailing or kayaking in our astounding San Juan Islands, Washington….beats Pike Place Market any day! See you on Orcas…

  7. Rae

    This is awesome! How inspiring! I am 5 weeks into a year long (or however long the funds will last) trip and reading this has just pumped some energy into me! Thanks so much!

  8. Juan

    Visitar Santa Fe de Antioquia, acudir a la Semana Santa en Popayán, Visitar Villa Jordán en Manizales, divertirse en Panaca y el Parque del Café y visitar cuanto pueblo paisa pueda. Todo eso en Colombia.

  9. Michelle

    Travel RUTA 40 in Argentina. It runs along the west side of Argentina right before the Andes. Total length: 5200 km. The only COMPLETE road that goes through the whole country without changing its name. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

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  12. Sasha

    Don’t forget to add Burning Man to your list if you have not been there yet. The most surreal and transformative time and place on earth. Thanks for all the Brazil information, currently researching for my trip.

    1. Author

      Good call Sasha! I have been wanting to go to Burning Man since I lived in San Diego!

  13. NS

    Nice to travel to enjoy. But more fulfilling to travel to empathize. Why not travel to “actually live and share a local life” that is unfamiliar to you. For starters, say maybe taking to with the likes of the inhabitants of the city of the dead, Cairo Egypt… and working your way forward towards such empathetic traveling.

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