Post Office Bay, Galapagos- A Dream to Reality.
I remember the moment clearly. It was dark outside and our table was lit with a few flickering candles. Our leftover pad thai and tom kha gai were resting disheveled on our plates. He had a bewildered, yet focused look on his face as he leaned close, like he was about to tell a dark secret. His voice was in a hushed whisper as he spoke.
Years ago, I learned of an island in the Galapagos that holds a whiskey barrel that for hundreds of years has been used as a makeshift post office. Whalers, unable to contact their loved ones back home, would write addressed letters and leave them in the barrel. When new whaling ships came into port, they would sort through the letters, find ones addressed to their next destination, and deliver them by hand.
He already had me completely enthralled, but I knew there was more to come.
The tradition continues to this day. Now tourists and travelers that visit the islands leave letters without postage, addressed to friends and family around the world. They put them in the barrel and when other travelers pass through, they take letters that are addressed near to where they live and hand deliver them.
He paused, letting me take it all in, before he delivered the coup de grace.
I want to go down to the Galapagos, grab a handful of letters and document the story of me hand delivering them to strangers around the globe. I’ll call it, “The Maverick Expedition”.
I was in awe and I had so many questions. When will you do this? How will you make it possible? Have you done any research? Where will you find the funds? And most importantly, can I come along?
The only answer he could give me was from my last question. It was a resounding “yes”! From that moment, over three and a half years ago, there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to accomplish this feat. This quest is something that I’ve heard about the entire length of our relationship. When making big decisions, like moving to Korea, we had to ask ourselves, “How will this affect the ‘Maverick Expedition'”? We spent our two years there saving up money and planning for this big adventure.
Huge curveballs were thrown our way and right when it seemed like it wouldn’t happen for years to come, we jumped. We jumped without a parachute. We jumped without knowing where we were going to land. You could say we even jumped without shoes. Three weeks ago we bought tickets to Quito, Ecuador and left a week later. We had no idea how we were going to get to the Galapagos. We didn’t know how we were going to get a boat to Post Office Bay. We didn’t even know if we were going to be able to take more than 2 letters out of the barrel in the chance that we did make it there.
I can sit here now, in my firm Ecuadorian hotel bed, and tell you that we did it. Against so many odds, we made it. There are so many details to be told, and those will come soon, but the most important fact is that tucked away in his journal are 22 letters addressed to all corners of the globe.
Take a sneak peek at what we’ve been up to the past 2 weeks.
30 thoughts on “Post Office Bay, Galapagos- A Dream to Reality.”
I am thrilled that your journey has officially taken off! And what a great post to launch it. This truly will be an incredible expedition! (oh and epic video!)
OMG THIS IS AMAZING AND SOOOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me know if I can help deliver any to Canada! 🙂
I LOVE THE VIDEO TOOOOOOOOOOOO
I WANT TO BE THE BOTH YOU!
Thanks you two! We did in fact pick a letter up that´s addressed to somewhere near Ontario, Canada. I declare a meet-up! 🙂
[…] Along the same lines as Amanda’s post, here’s a taxi tour of Belfast, Ireland–specifically of where the “troubles” began. Dalene and Peter of Hecktic Travels describe the tour and uses the tourguide’s own words at times. “….I don’t really know what normal is. Normal existed for me only up until the age of fifteen. That thought made me very angry.” This is a vicarious journey along with them–and their guide. The photos, which include some haunting murals, are excellent. […]
This is so, so cool!! I can’t wait to learn some more details!
Thanks Amanda! We’re hashing out the details as I type. We’re hoping to be out delivering the letters in a matter of weeks. (fingers crossed)
That’s such a great idea! It’s so interesting. Have a good time! Can’t wait to read more about this.
Thanks Michael! We’re hoping that it makes for a good story. It’ll be interesting to hear what tales the letters and postcards hold behind them. We’ll have more videos and blog posts coming soon!
Thank you so much for this blog! Information that I found here was very usefull for me=)
That is a really cool concept. Especially if you just grab a handful out of the bue without looking. You never know where you might wind up.
Glad you like the idea! We grabbed a few at random and also chose ones that looked really interesting. We’re hoping to deliver our first letter in a few weeks 🙂
What a cool story. I’d never heard of it before but am fascinated now! Hopefully I get there one day and can try it out myself.
Thank you! It’s a very intriguing story and we’re very excited to see how it all plays out. If you ever make it to the Galapagos, you’ll have to check out the post barrel on Floreana island 🙂
You guys rock! What an amazing adventure quest. Hopefully we will see you on your travels. Love the videos so keep em coming.
Thank you! We’ve really enjoyed following along on your journeys. Here’s to hoping we get to meet up while on the road.
Usually I read about other people’s travel projects and think, “Sounds interesting,” but it’s rare that I think “Holy crap that is a FANTASTIC idea.”
Your Maverick Expedition is definitely holy-crap-fantastic. Good luck and I look forward to (enviously) following your journey!
We are thrilled that it’s “holy crap” worthy!! We are so looking forward to the adventure and excited to have you follow along. 🙂 Thank you!
That is SO COOL!!!!! Imagine how many years people have been waiting for that mail – and to get it hand delivered by someone who ventured all the way to Galapagos…AMAZING!
It’s a really exciting adventure! We can’t wait to begin delivering the letters. Thanks for coming along on the journey! 🙂
Guys this is freakin awesome!!!!! What a fantastic idea and a TRUE adventure!
I have never heard of such a thing and its the coolest ‘travel’ idea yet! Cant wait to read about each delivery – how exciting, you will walk away from each one with a story to tell and I cant wait to read about it!
All the best, enjoy and its so awesome what you guys are doing – the recipients will be very thankful 🙂
Thank you Kim! We’re so excited to start delivering the letters. We can’t even begin to imagine the people we meet and the stories we’ll hear from their letters!
[…] have huge plans for 2012! Their story is amazing. They are busy completing their Maverick Expedition, which involves 22 letters addressed to strangers they picked up from the Galapagos and hand […]
SOOOOOOO FREAKING AMAZING!!! Wish I would have thought up this idea, or wish I could join you in being a year round santa! When do the stories start? I’m so curious to hear about the reactions!!!!
I love what you’re doing. And did you write letters to let in the mail barrel ?
What a romantic excuse to travel! I am so excited to be sharing in your adventures through your blog!
I have to agree with all of the above comments. The trip is beyond epic. Stay safe, and travel forever! Good luck guys
This is SO COOL. What a fabulous lead in to the story, and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures delivering them. I would love to get a postcard that was left for me in a barrel in the Galapagos!
[…] Complete the Maverick Expedition. […]
I headed to the Galapagos in August. Now I want to find the post office and grab a couple of letters myself. How awesome!
Great video! This seems like an awesome and exciting project! Have you delivered all 22 yet?