I always liked geography and map reading. It is an essential skill to have while traveling. We view maps on a broad and local levels. Libraries are wonderful sources of background information. They have a wealth of detailed information. We need to have an overview of each of the 9 countries so we begin by examine each one. The Internet is very helpful to get current information on weather and currency exchange rates. I enjoyed accessing YouTube to see what others have posted of the areas we will visit.
Traveling usually requires certain levels of physical activity that many of us are not accustomed to in our daily routines. What we commonly encounter during vacations is lots of walking and climbing many steps. At times one participates in water activities and swimming is part of the events. Thus, it's highly recommended to be or to get in physical shape. First step in preparation should be to talk to your doctor and inform hm or her of what activities you may be doing. I recommend continually going for walks on a regular basis.
Visiting the gym will be very helpful. One's goal is to build stamina. Too many of us work in desks and that is not going to cut it. One should be working out just for personal health but as one plans to travel, it becomes essential. There is usually a considerable amount of walking in visiting and taking tours.
I remember when we were in Pompeii in Italy. We walked all day in slight heat and cobble stones. I also recall when we visited the pyramids of Teotihuacan in Mexico; because we were in physical shape we were able to walk to the top of both the Moon and Sun pyramids. It was very special experience to reach the very top. The view was spectacular.
Building stamina is more important than building muscle mass.
I also recommend swimming as an excellent form of exercise. We normally go snorkeling and few times scuba diving on our trips so again I highlight that endurance is the goal. Since one of our excursions on this trip will be Machu Picchu in Peru we need to be sure that we have endurance and can walk comfortably in higher altitudes.
Trini also reminds me to keep exercising and to brush up on my ballroom dancing since we will be dancing a great deal during the cruises.
We begin our journey in just a few days so we must recheck our immigration, travel documents and finish packing. We will need to take clothing for summer weather and some warm clothing for when we visit the southern tip of the continent which is the closest point to Antarctica.