I am a philosophy Ph.D. student living in Houston, TX. In the spring, I am planning to take time off from my program to travel throughout South America. I have wanted to take a trip like this for some time and am finally ready to go for it. I don't speak Spanish, so I am doing a bit of study before I go and then spend about a month in Ecuador for language school.
The things I am most looking forward to about this trip are: experiencing other cultures, meeting fun people along the way, seeing (and photographing) amazing sites, getting time away to think and relax, and just the general sense of adventure and exploration.
I'm still very much in the planning stages, but at this point it looks like I will go to Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and maybe Easter Island.