The World Nomads Podcast: Uruguay

A well-kept secret, unspoiled coastlines, the longest continuous sidewalk in the world and tips on becoming location independent.


Photo © Getty Images/Julio Etchart

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The World Nomads Podcast: Uruguay

In this episode, discover why this South American country is a well-kept secret with unspoiled coastlines, and tips on becoming location independent

What’s in the Show

01:58 Sara from Airtreks with a flight deal to Uruguay from LA return.

05:21 Surf's up in Uruguay

08:35 Popular destination for digital nomads.

11:15 Johnny FD "...what I had realized is that even though I enjoyed kickboxing, I enjoyed scuba diving, when I had turned 30, my body started kind of, you know, just, I don 't want to say breaking down, but I knew I couldn't do this forever."

16:52 Travel News and where you can pick up germs at an airport you may not have thought about

20:02 Dan Pierson "... Uruguay ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, freedom of the press, size of the middle class, prosperity."

27:44 Sarah from my 21st Century Odyssey

33:44 Quiz Question answer

34:38 Where to next time

Who is on the Show

Dan Pierson is a travel adventurer featured in a previous episode as an Amazing Nomad after walking 500 miles across Cuba. Dan’s adventures have taken him to more than 50 countries including a stint living in Argentina where he visited Uruguay for a month-long stay. Dan is also the founder of the Bolt Collective - “…the basic idea, you bring a community of like-minded explorers together and you use their collective purchasing power, so pool their resources. To unlock travel experiences.”

Sarah and Tim are on a 20-month-long honeymoon and have been featured in previous episodes. We follow their 21st Century Odyssey, now rebranded to Organized Adventurer, the places and the arguments. This is the photo they talk about in the podcast, moments after having an argument over a waterbottle hiking Little Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka.

Sara from Airtreks has put together a World Nomads itinerary that includes Uruguay. Airtreks specialize in multi-stop international flights, check out the deal in resources and links.

We have discovered in this episode Uruguay is popular among digital nomads. Johnny FD describes himself as “a location independent entrepreneur” and has some great advice on following in his footsteps. Check out his blog where it lays his finances on the table for all to see, what he earns, how he earns it and what he spends it on.

Resources and Links

Scholarships Newsletter: Sign up for scholarships news and see what opportunities are live here.

Check out Airtreks deal for South America including Uruguay leaving from LA.

Want to Re-publish This Episode

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Want to Talk to Us

We want to hear from you! If you have any travel insurance questions to Ask Phil, want to give us feedback on the episode, or have suggestions for topics you'd like us to cover, email us at [email protected]

Sign up for Podcast News

Explore your boundaries and discover your next adventure with The World Nomads Podcast. Hosted by Podcast Producer Kim Napier and World Nomads' Phil Sylvester, each episode will take you around the world with insights into destinations from travelers and experts. They’ll share the latest in travel news, answer your travel questions and fill you in on what World Nomads is up to, including the latest scholarships and guides. The World Nomads Podcast is not your usual travel podcast. It’s everything for the adventurous, independent traveler. Don’t miss out. Subscribe today.

Next episode: Amazing Nomad Felix Weber

About World Nomads and the Podcast

Explore your boundaries and discover your next adventure with The World Nomads Podcast. Hosted by Podcast Producer Kim Napier and World Nomads Phil Sylvester, each episode will take you around the world with insights into destinations from travelers and experts. They’ll share the latest in travel news, answer your travel questions and fill you in on what World Nomads is up to, including the latest scholarships and guides.

World Nomads is a fast-growing online travel company that provides inspiration, advice, safety tips and specialized travel insurance for independent, volunteer and student travelers traveling and studying most anywhere in the world. Our online global travel insurance covers travelers from more than 135 countries and allows you to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.

The World Nomads Podcast is not your usual travel Podcast. It’s everything for the adventurous, independent traveler. Don’t miss out. Subscribe today.

Speaker 1: Welcome to the World Nomads podcast, delivered by World Nomads, the travel lifestyle and insurance brand.

Speaker 2: There 's something about the islands here that touches people's souls.

Speaker 3: Hopefully, we make an impact in the world that people stop killing and culling sharks.

Speaker 4: It looked like snot, and it smelled bad. But don 't let that put you off. It was good for you.

Speaker 5: Where else in the world you going to see the condor three meters right in front of you?

Phil: No.Absolutely.

Speaker 5: There.12 kk out.

Kim: I 'm not sure if I want to see the condor three meters in front of me.

Speaker 8: So many things in our society that are throw -away, and we see those things on our beaches, on our coastlines.

Kim: Has anyone ever popped themselves?

Speaker 9: Sometimes the Germans can come off as cold.

Speaker 10: I think it 's important to remember what has happened, but also look forward into the future and be positive about it, and that's, I think, what Germans are.

Kim: It offers travelers the opportunity to teach English to children and experience the Panamanian...Oh, that 's going to be on it. The-

Phil: Speaking of teaching English.

Kim: Yes. I 've got to learn to speak it.

Phil: We were all told that you can 't take a leak into the river. You can't urinate into the river, 'cause there's a parasite that will swim up your urine stream.

Speaker 11: Yeah, Phil.You -

Kim: And you 've used [inaudible 00:01:11]-

Speaker 1: It 's not your usual travel podcast. It's everything for the adventurous, independent traveler.

Kim: Hi, and thanks for choosing to listen to the World Nomads podcast, where in this episode, we 're going to find out more about Uruguay, or Uruguay. It has a certain pronunciation that we as Australians can't kind of get our tongues around.

Phil: Okay, Uruguay -

Kim: Oh.

Phil: in the southeast of South America. It 's got Argentina on the west, and Brazil to the north and the east, and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean on the south and the southeast. There are about 3.3 million people in the country, and most of them, 1.8 million of them, live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, Montevideo.

Kim: Oh, well, Sarah from AirTreks returns in this episode, and she has a World Nomads deal flying from LA, taking in Uruguay, and
return, and just listening to you talking about that concentration of people in Montevideo, I almost said Monte video.

Phil: Monte video.

Kim: I did. Is it any wonder that there are these beautiful, remote beaches that you can go and just get lost on.

Phil: I know. I think the theme that we will find from today is that this is, I hate it 's such a cliché, but it is a hidden gem in South America, isn't it?

Kim: Yeah, absolutely. So, Sarah will touch on that. Uruguay is a favorite among Digital Nomads, too. And Johnny FD is going to share some tips on how you can travel and work. Dan Pierson, now remember, Dan, we 've featured him, and he's an amazing nomad. He walked across Cuba. He shares with us why he loves Uruguay, one of his favorite places. And we also welcome back another previous guest in Sarah.Sarah and Tim on the 20 - month long honeymoon.

Phil: Yes.

Kim: Yes.

Phil: Any more arguments?

Kim: Yes.

Phil: Let 's find out.

Kim: Yes. We 'll find out, and we'll also touch on their trip that included Uruguay. But we can 't start without your quiz question.

Phil: Okay.Pretty simple one today. Name a famous Uruguayan.Uruguayan.Sorry.

Kim: It just...Just say it how we say it.

Phil: Okay. Name a famous Uruguayan.

Kim: That 's better.

Phil: Okay.

Kim: AirTreks, Phil, is a leader in multi-stop international travel. We 've spoken to Sarah from AirTreks before, but we have her back on the podcast to tell us why 
Uruguay is so, so special.

Sarah: Well, for one thing, it 's sort of difficult to get there. For most international destinations you'
ve got to go through Santiago, or Buenos Aires, or through Brazil. And to get to most of the country, the best way to get around is actually not by plane, it 's by bus or by boat. And there are some really remote and beautiful places in Uruguay that I think is on everybody 's bucket list or should be. 

Kim: All right. Well, share a few of those, then.

Sarah: Well, I mean, I have two that I wrote down that I think are, they 're actually not that hidden gem anymore. They're two of the most popular places to visit. One is Cabo Polonio, which is pretty remote. That 's one of the most remote, and beautiful, and natural places you can go to in Uruguay. And Colonia de Sacramento, which is actually one of the most accessible places, it's a quick ferry ride from Buenos Aires. You can also get there from Montevideo.
There are just so many really great natural places to visit and see in Uruguay. That 's one of the reasons that I would want to go there, to see all the different coastal regions. And also in the interior, there's a lot of really beautiful, different natural landscapes, obviously.

Kim: So, being remote, that natural beauty is being preserved.

Sarah: Yes.Definitely.

Phil: But what is like? I mean, is it like Patagonia? Is it arid? Is it lush? What sort of natural landscape is it?

Sarah: Well, I think you 've got a few different types of the natural landscape there. I think the further you go into the interior ... Do you know, they actually have a wine region there? With a particular type of grape that's only grown there. I can 't remember the name of it at the moment. But you have a lot of different climate zones. I think when a lot of people think about Uruguay, they think about, "Well, there's a lot of beautiful beaches.
Because I think those are the images that we see. But I think there's kind of a diverse ecological variety throughout the country. Especially the closer you get to Brazil and Paraguay, you get more into the rainforesty type.

Kim: There seems to be, too, each podcast that we do, increasingly, we 're finding surf havens. And Uruguay is a surf haven, as well.

Sarah: Yes. I actually did not know that, but I believe it. They have tons of, a lot of miles of coastline. I think a lot of people that go there do it as a mini -
break from Argentina. So, they 're in Buenos Aires and they say, "Oh, I'm just going to go for a few days.
But if I were going to go, I would probably try and go for three weeks, maybe five weeks. Because I think that there are so many different things to do there. They definitely have gauchos. I learned recently that the Carnival there, it's one of the longest carnivals in the world, it's 40 days of nonstop parties. I mean, I guess that's the duration of Lent, but I think that would be a fun thing to go and see there. Definitely do some wine tasting. Do a lot of hiking. Some of the remote coastal areas are things that I would definitely like to visit it. 

Kim: What about culturally, too, the cobbled streets that you see and read about?

Sarah: Absolutely. I always look for books written, that are set in the places that I 'm going to, are written by authors who are from the country that I'm visiting. Because I think that understanding a little bit about the history of a place and what inspires its artists is one of the coolest ways to experience those cultures when you 're there visiting.

Phil: I 've actually been thinking of South America as kind of like Southeast Asia was 20 years ago-

Kim: Yeah.

Phil: ...25 years ago. So, when that was like the ultimate backpacking destination. I think that focus is now turned over to South America because there is so much to explore and it 's not over-developed-

Kim: And it 's safe. 

Phil: And it 's safe, and there's a pretty amazing sort of variety of culture.

Sarah: Yes, definitely. And do you know what else we 're seeing in South America is that people that want to work and travel, Digital Nomads, or people who want to take a sabbatical from work and go travel around are going to South America, also? So you see people spending a month in Buenos Aires, working from a co-working space, spending a month in Lima, working from a co-working space, spending a month in Montevideo, working from a co-working space. There's
a whole culture of people who are working and traveling in that region, as well. One of the things that I like about Uruguay because we do specialize in complex, multi-stop trips, is that you can 't really fly directly there. So there's always an opportunity to add a stopover. You 're coming from Australia, stopover in Santiago, add Buenos Aires, also, maybe. Stop over a few places in Argentina on your way there. Stop over in Peru on your way back. And the same is true for North America. If you're paying for a flight to Uruguay, you can get more value for your money, like, you go to more places. Because you have to connect somewhere on your way there.

Kim: And Sarah has created a budget-friendly itinerary for us to share with our podcast listeners. It goes from LA to Lima, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and back to LA. Check it out in show notes. And in that chat, Sarah mentioned Uruguay as a popular destination for Digital Nomads, and increasingly, people are traveling around the world, they 're either working online for the existing company, or they're making money out of travel. Now you interviewed this guy.

Phil: I know. He 's like one of the most popular ones. He's very successful, and the great thing about Johnny FD is he shares his success. He shows how he does it. I thought I 'd talk to him and ask him to show us how he makes money and travels the world.

Johnny FD: Yeah, so I had a corporate job in California, and I went to Thailand on vacation exactly 10 years ago pretty much today. And I discovered how nice it was just to be able to walk around in flip-flops and a t-shirt, and do things like go scuba diving, which is something I never thought possible. It 's something I've
always seen on the Discovery Channel, on National Geographic, but I never thought I could do it. And the very first time I went scuba diving, I thought, "This is it. Why am I putting off life? Why am I working so hard to one day retire and be able to, hopefully, still have the energy and physically be able to do these things? Why not do it now?"

Phil: So, what did you do about that?

Johnny FD: Well, luckily, I had just read Tim Ferriss 's book, The 4-Hour Workweek, literally on the plane ride over to Thailand, and I had everything fresh in my mind. Because it was a three-hour boat ride from Phuket, Thailand, out to the island that I went diving on, I had a lot of time to think. So, I borrowed a pen and paper, and I just started writing down one of the exercises that I had remembered from the book, and it was basically if everything didn't work out. Let 's say I quit my job, sold my stuff, and I moved to Thailand, and it didn't work out, how long would it take me to get back to exactly where I was? So, I had to write down, find a new apartment, get a new car, get a new job, buy new clothes, buy new appliances. And realistically, it would only take four months to get back to exactly where I was, and if anything, I 'd probably be better off. Because I would have new stuff. I'd probably have a new job that I liked even more. And during those four months, I could just stay with family or I could stay with friends. That 's when I decided. I said, "Let me give this scuba diving thing a shot." They had a training program that wasn't that expensive. To be a dive master is just, you can do it for about $1, 500, a thousand five hundred. And after that, you 're not going to earn a lot of money, but you're going to be able to follow your passions, and be able to dive, really, anywhere in the world while working. So, that 's what I did for the next, basically, three or four years.

Phil: For a lot of people, that would be enough. That sounds like living the dream. But you took it a little bit further, as well?

Johnny FD: While I was scuba diving, I decided to also pick up the Thai sport of kickboxing, of muay thai.So I started training and also, basically, driving around Thailand, going to different gyms, different camps, to do that. So I had found my second passion. But what I had realized is that even though I enjoyed kickboxing, I enjoyed scuba diving, when I had turned 30, my body started kind of, you know, just, I don 't want to say breaking down, but I knew I couldn't do this forever.
And I remember there was this old British guy named Dave that was just so grumpy all the time, and I couldn't 't understand why. Because we would wake up on this beautiful island, it was Koh Tao in Thailand, and all we had to do, our only responsibility for the day was to go scuba diving, and then just hang out at the bar. And I thought, why is this guy so grumpy? And I realized it was because he was stuck. You know? He probably started off really loving scuba diving, really enjoying his life, being on these islands. Having the option to be able to not just dive on that island, but to move to the Caribbeans or Borneo, move to Australia and work there. And I feel like if I stayed much longer, if I stayed another five years or 10 years, I would probably lose that passion I had for diving,
for meeting new travelers, for waking up early and seeing the sunrise. I didn't want that to happen. I'm still going to scuba dive, but I want to be able to make enough money to be able to go as a guest, and not have it be tied to my job anymore.

There wasn't 't a lot of information about being a Digital Nomad or making money online. I had never really met anyone. The only person I had heard of was Tim Ferriss, and I didn't have access to him. Nowadays it 's a lot easier with podcasts, like Travel Like A Boss, or blogs like, and all these other people that write about living this lifestyle. None of that existed before. 

So, the only thing I could think of was publishing a book. And I figured, "Hey, I had figured out this way where I was able to quit my job and live around, not only Thailand, but really around the world, following my passions, doing what I loved, and living really cheaply. I bet a lot of the lessons I've learned from this process, other people would benefit from, and if anything else, you know, if nothing else, people would enjoy the story, because it was pretty fun, exploring the world on a $600 a month budget for the past couple years."

So I wrote a book called 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap. And I self - published it on Amazon Kindle, and it worked.
You know, I realized, "Wow, it's actually possible to make money online. I just need to figure out how to market it better, so instead of making $200 a month from the book," which was 't enough to even live in Thailand at the time, too, "If I can make $600 a month." I knew that was enough to continue living in Thailand pretty much forever. And that's how I got into the world of online marketing was really just trying to figure out how I can better market my books.
Phil: You 're pretty open about how much you make now and how you go about making it. Why aren't you keeping this secret to yourself? Why are you sharing this?

Johnny FD: Honestly, it was a big crossroads when I first decided to publish an income report, probably 3 1 / 2 years ago now. I'd been writing them every month. I haven't missed a single month in the last three years, and I did it because I think the first income report I ever saw anybody write online was Pat Flynn, and he was making something crazy. I think he makes like $1 million a year or something.

Phil: Wow.

Johnny FD: And even though it was inspirational to be able to see someone achieve that high of a level, I didn't think it would be possible for me, because it was so far ahead, and I figured, there's a lot of people who are going to be in that same position, where they 're just looking and be like, "Okay. Like, that's great
for him, but that 's not possible for me." And at that time, I was only making about $2,000 or $3,000 a month, which to me was amazing. Because that was more than enough to live in Thailand. It was enough to save. It was enough to travel. And really, it was the dream. And I figured, "Hey, I bet you there's a lot of people who just want to get to this point, and if they can see someone else who has made it to this first level, that could inspire them to
try to do the same instead of just seeing this big number that it 's hard to get to." 

And what 's really great is as my personal income had grown, and I had started adding additional streams of online income, people saw that journey. So, people can literally go back to 2013 and look at my first income reports, and kind of just follow that journey slowly there, and they can say, "Okay. Yeah. I can see how he did that. I can see how he added in a new stream here. I can see how he grew this one, and I can see how he got to where he is now, which means I can see myself doing that, as well."

Phil: Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day in Nepal to have a chat. It 's been fantastic talking to you.

Johnny FD: Yeah, I really enjoyed it, and I hope everyone happy travels wherever you guys are. If you guys have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on social media, or just leave a comment on my blog.

Kim: We will have a link to Johnny FD 's blog, and he does include a travel income report.

Phil: Yep.

Kim: It 's really transparent. This is how I've earned the money. This is how much I earned, and this is what I 've spent it on.

Phil: You know, I think the thing about that is that you have to be dedicated to it. You actually have to put in the work to start off with though. There 's no such thing as a get rich quick scheme, and I think you need to put the groundwork in at the beginning, and then it just rolls on and rolls on. And I think that's the trick.

Kim: Yeah, he 's got plenty of great advice, so you need to check out his blog. Hey, let's get some travel news.

Phil: Okey-dokey. Scientists have revealed that the place in an airport that harbors the most germs, and no, it 's not the public toilet, it's the trays at the security check.

Kim: Ew.

Phil: All those shoes being placed in the trays, plus unwashed hands putting personal items in them. The most common virus detected was rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. So it might be, it 's not the aircraft air conditioning that's giving you that cold when you 're traveling. You're getting it from the trays at the check-in, at the security check -

Kim: Okay, 'cause, yeah, a lot of people complain they've picked up colds from the air conditioning.Yeah.

Phil: No.

Kim: No.

Phil: I think it 's the trays.

Kim: Now, what 's your routine when you take a seat on a plane?

Phil: I take -

Kim: Random question.

Phil: Random question. I take hand wipes, antibacterial hand wipes, antiseptic hand wipes. And I 'll wipe down, especially, the remote control for the TV, and all the services that you're going to be touching.

Kim: How many times have you been sick when you 've flown?

Phil: Yeah, a couple times.

Kim: Really?

Phil: Yeah.

Kim: I 've never had an issue.

Phil: Yeah?

Kim: Yeah.

Phil: Well maybe you 're the one dropping all the germs everywhere [inaudible 00:17:55].

Kim: Maybe I am. What else is happening in travel news?
Phil: Florence is banning visitors from eating panini, pizza, or focaccia, on the pavement and shop doorsteps.I know they 've been cracking down on it, but now it's an official city law, and you can be fined anywhere between 150 and 500 euros. The ban applies to streets and piazzas around a very popular delicatessen in the city center. It 's called the All'Antico Vinaio, the Old Wine Merchant, and it 's between the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Vecchio.
Kim: Not the sandwich place that brings tears to your eyes when you think of Italy?

Phil: No. Well, that 's what I was just going to say. This is described on Trip Advisor as the home of the world's best sandwich, but we know that 's a lie.

Kim: Yeah. We do. Go back to the podcast on Italy and you 'll hear all about that-

Phil: That 's right. And the sandwich down in Sicily that made one of our travelers cry it was so good. Anyway. Watch where you eat your snacks. 
Conde Nast, UK has released its best list. The best country, best city, all that sort of stuff. Best country it says is Italy, obviously. Best city, Paris.Best country
for people, Thailand.Yep.And the best city for architecture they named as York in the UK. Which is true. It 's beautiful. 

There we go. And in the U.S., Lifehacker has listed the best and cheapest places to travel this fall. Chicago, San José del Cabo, Copenhagen, Barcelona, San Diego, and Boston are all about 30 % cheaper to fly to at this time of year, and the accommodations, you know, comparably cheap, too. So -

Kim: That rolled off the tongue, didn't it?

Phil: Yeah.Thanks very much.

Kim: Comparably.

Phil: Comparably.



Kim: Thanks for that, Phil. Now, remember Dan Pierson? We highlighted him as an amazing nomad after walking across Cuba. Dan 's adventures have taken him-

Phil: Wait a minute.

Kim: Oh, those in glass houses, eh? That 's terrible. Dan's adventures have taken him to more than 50 countries, including Uruguay. Welcome back to the podcast, Dan.

Dan Pierson: Thanks so much. I 'm thrilled to chat about one of my favorite places in Latin America.

Kim: Look, you 're just back from Norway, but you're really happy to talk about Uruguay.

Dan Pierson: Thrilled to talk chat about Uruguay, which is one of my favorite countries in the world, and a place I discovered very much, kind of very[inaudible 00: 20: 08] and serendipitously while living in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, back in 2008 - 2009. A friend of my mom 's ... I grew up in New York, and a friend of my mom's, her family happened to own this tiny little hotel on the coast of Uruguay. So they invited me to come out that January. Of course, it 's summer in the southern hemisphere. And just discovered this tiny little village, and had just the most phenomenal time. So it's really, really tucked away and there are so many different hidden gems across the country, so all this to say I'm very passionate about that country. It 's such a wonderful place.

Kim: We spoke to Sarah from AirTreks earlier in the podcast, and she said that a lot of that coast is really remote.

Dan Pierson: Cool. The places I 'm more familiar with, you arrive on a boat, for sure, or at least you can. There's a, it 's actually the fastest ferry in the world, called the Buquebus, which runs from Buenos Aires to Colonia, which is the first kind of entry point into Uruguay, and then all the way to Montevideo. And then the coast itself, I access by bus, but I'm sure there 's, for every amazing little town that I've checked out, there 's probably five more that are still kind of going to have to wait for my next trip, for sure.

Kim: Now tell me about Montevideo. I 've looked at images of it, and it just looks like this super cool city.

Dan Pierson: Yeah. It 's great, and I think certainly, folks from Uruguay probably aren't thrilled to be thought of as like a kind of smaller neighbor of Argentina, but in so many ways, I think, at least in my opinion, it was really very refreshing to get to Montevideo after spending, I 'd probably been in Buenos Aires for six or eight months. And just kind of reaching a much smaller city, it felt so much more manageable, and accessible, and less crowded, and just very much just a very kind of accessible place. I love Montevideo. It's a great little city.

Kim: Now, Lonely Planet, this is how Lonely Planet describes Uruguay: "Wedged like a grape between Brazil's gargantuan thumb, and Argentina's long forefinger, Uruguay has always been something of an underdog," which you just mentioned.
"Yet after two centuries living in the shadow of its neighbors, South America's smallest country is finally getting well-deserved recognition."
Would you agree with that?

Dan Pierson: Absolutely. And I think, I did a bit of kind of research just after you asked me to come on the show, and some of the kind of the things that I always thought about the country were confirmed. I mean, Uruguay ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, freedom of the press, size of the middle class, prosperity. So across all these different matrices, it 's really a pretty kind of awesome place to live. And I guess coming from Norway, and for readers, you can't jump on my accent. I 'm from the United States, so like now spending time in all of these smaller countries that are more socialist or left-leaning, for lack of a better word, they're just pleasant places to spend time, and I think for good reason. Yeah. Probably most people, particularly folks who are a bit older might recognize Punta del Este. I 've actually never been, but I've heard it described as the kind of French Riviera of South America, so it 's a much more upscale, very kind of luxury destination for South Americans. Which I think that's been well known
for 30[inaudible 00: 23: 54] People are finding out about these more hidden gems and taking time to visit a place like Montevideo, that before they might have just skipped over.

Kim: Okay, so we know that it 's culturally sophisticated. You spent a year there is, not in the city. So you can still kind of get down and dirty, for want of a better term?

Dan Pierson: Yeah, I mean I spent...So, let 's see. I spent a little more than a year living in Argentina, and then I was in Uruguay for probably a total of maybe a month and a half of that. But I mean, there's definitely still, there 's still kind of a lot of more like underground culture. I think one of the things that I love about Uruguay is the vaquero culture, which is kind of the cowboy ... Because so much of the economy is based on ranching. So there are so many opportunities...Or gauchos, actually, that 's better, that's a, I think, a more local term across Argentina and Uruguay is the Gauchos. There 's so much kind of just local, historically driven, cultural stuff that just isn't really on the radar, so I totally agree.

Kim: So you could find yourself in a cow and gaucho traffic jam?

Dan Pierson: You 'd probably have to get pretty far out there for like an Indian-style stopping traffic for the cow, I'll say, 'cause they'd probably be a little bit less patient than they might be in someplace Delhi. But I remember being on the coast, and I spent a lot of time in a town called Punta del Diablo, which I guess would translate to like the Devil 's Port, which when I was there about 10 years ago was kind of just getting onto the map. 

So one of the things that I loved about Uruguay, especially compared to Argentina, is just the huge mix of visitors that it gets. So even the beaches...And I remember being in Uruguay and seeing news coverage of Plata del Mar, which is the main beach town in Argentina, and literally like folks just packed in like sardines on this beach, and so crowded, and that was like the Argentina kind of version of a beach vacation.

And then being in Uruguay, literally watching it on TV on this like, in this town that just had these wide, windswept beaches with so many fewer people, but of those fewer people, even though it was much less packed then Argentina, a lot of the people who were visiting were from Argentina, or from Brazil, or from other places, from Chile, other places in Latin America, as opposed to I think a lot of the tourism, particularly in Buenos Aires, but I think across a lot of Argentina, is very U.S.

Kim: Awesome. So we put this on the list of places that we want to visit.

Dan Pierson: Absolutely. Take me with you.

Kim: Dan is up to some exciting stuff as the founder of the Bolt Collective. We 'll share a link in show notes so you can actually see for yourself. Now we're going to welcome back another friend of the World Nomads podcast. Remember Tim and Sarah?

Phil: Oh, yes.Yes.

Kim: Yep. They 're the couple that is on a 20-month long honeymoon, and when we've...It 's called Our 21st Century Odyssey. When we first spoke to them, the big question was, as people that have been married for some time-

Phil: Yes.

Kim: When are you going to have an argument?

Phil: Right.

Kim: They revealed in the last podcast that they did have one.

Phil: Yes.

Kim: They 're about to reveal the second argument-

Phil: The second one.

Kim: ...that they 've had. 

Phil: It 's a slippery slope.

Kim: And, of course, touch on Uruguay, which is another of the places that they 've visited among the 40 countries they hope to tick off.

Sarah: Hey, Kim.

Kim: Hey. Where are you in Egypt?

Sarah: We are currently in Aswan.

Kim: Doing what?

Sarah: Well, at the moment, we are sitting on a boat, on a riverboat, on the Nile, and we just wrapped up a little boat trip around the region. We went to a Nubian village this morning. That 's where I was earlier when I was messaging you. And now we're just sitting on the boat. We 're going to have some tea in a little bit. And then we fly back to Cairo tonight. 

Kim: Now, we have introduced you going into this chat as our friends, and it 's so cool to have you back, and we want to know about this fight that you had.

Sarah: Yeah, so we were in Sri Lanka about a month ago now, and we had just gotten to the town of Ella, which is just a fantastic little town, kind of in the central
highlands region of Sri Lanka. And there 's some great hiking and little mountains that you can climb. 

And I had been napping all the way on the drive in. So we got there, and I was really groggy, kind of in that state when you first wake up and you 're like unsure of where you are and what you're doing. And we were trying to get all our stuff together, 'cause we were immediately going to go do this hike called Little Adam's Peak. And so we got there, I was trying to get my stuff together. Tim grabbed a water bottle
for me, and I was like, "Oh no. I don't want a water bottle." 'Cause I didn't want to have to carry it, and he just decided to bring it anyway. And then, in my groggy state, this was highly offensive. Because I felt like he was not listening to me and my desire to not carry a water bottle. I told him I felt robbed of my own decision - making capacity.

And so we started the hike up, and we were just super snippy with each other, and Tim, to his credit, he tried to be kind. He would look at things and be like, "Oh, look. There's a lizard crawling by." And I would just be like, "I don't care about lizards."

And, we just kept hiking up, and eventually got to the top, and we were like, "Well, this is pretty, I guess. This is pretty nice. This is a good view. I guess we should just take a photo. I mean, we're here."

And so we pulled out the camera to take a selfie, and then I saw our reflections in the camera on the phone, and we both just looked like so sour and grumpy, we just burst out laughing at how ridiculous we were being. Mostly me. I was the more ridiculous one. We were like, "Well that-"

Kim: Never concede, Sarah.Never concede.

Sarah: Yeah, that 's good advice, Kim. I should follow that.

Kim: Yeah. So, I follow your blog, and this particular episode is in Uruguay. Did you and Tim do this when you were boyfriend and girlfriend, and not part of My 21 st Century Odyssey?

Sarah: Yeah. We did this when we were just dating. We still had the blog back then, but it was under a different name at that time, and it was very much just a personal blog at that point. But that was our, what we call our first trip around the world, now. We had been dating
for about three years, so we were just little pups, and it was about two months into our 11 - month trip around the world that we took back in 2014.

Kim: When you think of South America, you think many things, but when you think of Uruguay, you don 't really think a lot, but it's paradise.

Sarah: Yeah, and that is so true.Because it 's actually really fitting that that's how you think of it because when we went there, it was not super high on our list. It's not like when we sat down and planned out our South America itinerary that we were just like, "Oh, we have to go to Uruguay." It was a place that I didn't know very much about. We knew that on the map it looked pretty close to Argentina, and while we were doing some research, we learned that it 's actually where a lot of the South Americans and a lot of the Argentines go on vacation. 

And we had been doing a ton of hiking in South America. We had just done the Inca Trail in Peru, and the W Trek in Chile, Patagonia, and then when we were traveling up through Argentina, we were like, "You know, we could really use a place where we can just sit down and relax on the beach for a while."

And Uruguay is perfect for that. We spent most of our time there in Punta del Este, which is just this perfect beach town. It 's where a lot of the South Americans go on vacation, so it's a little bit more high end. But we stayed in kind of a budget accommodation a couple blocks from the beach, and rented bicycles and biked to the beach every day, and just sat on the sand for like five hours every single day, and took breaks to bike to the grocery store to grab lunch. It 's just a wonderfully quiet, serene spot to just sit still after you've been on the go a lot.

Kim: Absolutely, and given that there 's I think 3.3 million people in, as you say, "Uruguay." We just cannot get our mouths around that, it's Uruguay. The majority is centered in the city of Montevideo, so a lot of those coastal areas are still just pristine and untouched, and the kind of places that you dream about.

Sarah: Yeah. And yeah, they 're really nice. But to be fair, Montevideo is a great little city, as well. Probably one of the more underrated South American capitals in my opinion. We spent a couple of nights there on our way to and from Punta del Este, and they have ... I actually just learned this when I looked it up on Wikipedia earlier. They have the world's longest pedestrian sidewalk, and it 's called the Rambla, and it goes right along the coast. And we actually walked along this. It goes for 13.7 miles. We didn't walk all of it, but we walked a bit of it, and it 's just really scenic. You can cut up into the streets into the old city and go to the coffee shops, and there are locals walking around with their little gourds of the mate tea that they drink, and it 's just a nice way to spend time.

Kim: Thank you so much for having a chat to us, and keep in touch.

Sarah: Awesome.Thank you so much, Kim. It was good catching up.

Kim: Well, Phil, that wraps up Uruguay.Almost.Can 't go without your quiz question.

Phil: Okay, name a famous Uruguayan. Well, there 's not many, really, outside ... I mean, I'm not saying there are not famous people in Uruguay. But sort of, popular culture - wise, outside of Uruguay, I 'll bet the closest we can get is Jorge Drexler, who won an Emmy for the soundtrack to Motorcycle Diaries. I think this is symptomatic of why Uruguay is a great destination. There's so little we know about the place, which means there 's so much to discover. I think it would be great to try and get into the heart of the place and find out what it is that matters to Uruguayans.

Kim: Well, a little bit of behind the scenes, this was an incredibly difficult podcast to put together, because a lot of the people that we reached out to really did not want to share Uruguay with the rest of the world. There 's this real concern that it will become one of those places that are loved to death.

Phil: Because it 's so nice to start off with.

Kim: Yeah.

Phil: It 's going to attract a lot of people. Get there early.

Kim: And do it responsibly.

Phil: Indeed.

Kim: Okay. Grab the World Nomads podcast from iTunes where you can subscribe, rate or download the Google podcast app, and contact us my emailing podcast week I 'm reaching for your toy. Our destination podcast-

Speaker 17: Mate.

Phil: Australia.

Kim: It 's Australia, mate. We'll see you then.

Phil: Bye.

Speaker 1: The World Nomads podcast. Explore your boundaries.

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