Originally Posted by MVFZ1
You are doing the right thing getting out there and seeing the world while young and fit enough to really enjoy it. But coming from one who has been "around the block" a bit and now living in Skagit Valley again, I can confidently say that you will begin to miss Bellingham and the Northwest at some point. It's easy to get disillusioned with the winter cold/damp and the work/bills monotony, but after some time in Latin America (or anywhere outside the NW) you will experience the negatives there too. And there are many which you will find out.
But the important thing is that you will be experiencing them first hand and know what is out there for some perspective. So many people get trapped in their hometown with obligations always wishing they could just go, but 30-40 years go by in a flash and then they find they can't physically handle adventure travel anymore. Too late. So see all you can see, have a blast, and be safe, but I think you will find Bellingham/Northwest will always be "home". May not seem like it now, but you will see what I mean at some point.
From a fellow northwesterner (Bellingham actually) I couldn't agree more. Well said.