A family of three traveling through South America (Part II)


Don't miss PART II of the interview to Simón Laprida, who's traveling 35,000 km with his wife and his two-year-old son in a caravan through Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. You can access the first part of the interview here.

How do you finance your trip?

We are renting a property which gives us a monthly income. Besides, we sell videos, and our sponsors Adobe and TRIPIN Argentina also help us. However, we are using our savings. It’s not easy, it’s a big effort we’re making.

Do you plan on always sleeping in the caravan or do you sometimes sleep in hotels?

We’ve already slept in hotels and people’s homes. But always on invitation. When Inés’s parents visited us in Mendoza, we slept in a cabin. And when we were in Uspallata, some friends received us at their home.

We’re comfortable in the caravan, I don’t think we would rent a place to stay. But it’s interesting to get to know new and local people, I’d like to keep doing that.

North Patagonia - Photo: Simon Laprida

North Patagonia - Photo: Simon Laprida

What would you advise people living in cities, or people who dream of doing something like you’re doing?  

I don’t like giving much advice, I don’t consider us to be better than others. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and many people like cities and growing professionally there. Cities are full of challenges, that can be exciting. I would only tell people to live according to what they feel: if you’re in a city and you don’t like it, leave, move somewhere else. Basically, search for happiness. Don’t jump into the void, you might get hurt. It’s better to plan ahead and organize the change you want to make. But first it’s important to listen to oneself.

Last, if I were talking to people that want to do something like we’re doing, I would tell them to be creative and to evaluate if they have the potential to finance their adventure. I would suggest them not to copy anyone else, and to make use of their own virtues.

Not everything in our trip is pleasurable, but it’s undoubtedly a great experience and we’re very happy to be able to do it.

Are you different from other families that are doing trips like this?

Definitely. Everyone travels their own way, and that’s the only way, doing things that feel right for each one of us. We’ve met many travellers and they were all different. We met Pablo, the crazy bicycle guy, who travels alone, through lost mountain paths, with a super low budget, but doesn’t need anything else. He travels around 7 months a year, and then looks for jobs in cities to spend the winter.

We also met a family from Córdoba province, with a three-year-old daughter, that live and travel in an old van, selling handmade goods. We came across retired people traveling in a caravan.

I think we’re quite conservative, which has to do with our style, we don’t improvise much, traveling with Teo has great influence on our trip.

Volcan Uspallata - Photo: Simon Laprida

Volcan Uspallata - Photo: Simon Laprida

Have you had obstacles so far?

There are obstacles all the time. There’s an Argentine saying that goes: “If it’s a problem it has a solution, and if it doesn’t have a solution it’s not a problem”. So far, the greatest problem we’ve had was breaking the steering system. You can read more about this here (in Spanish). Thanks to this, we got to know the Moyano family, who helped us so much! We learn a lot from the people we meet along the way.

What would you like to learn during this trip?

I think the best thing to do is be open to what the trip brings to us. As someone I respect a lot once told me “if I ask you questions, I already know what your answers will be”, so we’d better let the trip speak for itself.

Teo, Ines and Simon’s son - Photo: Simon Laprida

Teo, Ines and Simon’s son - Photo: Simon Laprida

Do you have a bathroom and a kitchen in the caravan?

Yes, we have a kitchen, it’s little, but the sink and the kitchen stove have a cover, so when we cook, we have more space. The sink drains to the outside, but we were recently told about a house that keeps water in a drum and we think this is not a bad idea. When we’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s fine, but in cities, we can’t let the kitchen grey water drain to the street, even though this has already happened to us.

We have a bathroom, with a chemical toilet, the shower isn’t working yet.

Do both of you drive?

We both drive, Inés is great at it and drives in every terrain. But I drive more often. We don’t usually drive for too long, so we don’t get tired.

How many kilometers do you estimate to travel each day?

It depends on the place we’re at. The whole trip will be about 35,000 km! We planned to do this in two years, but we’ve been moving slowlier than we thought.