Mexico City Ahoy!
19.09.2013 - 26.09.2013 35 °C
Preparing to leave England I packed up my pre and post university life into boxes and distributed the useless tat among the hands of strange car-boot hoarders. I also had a few boxes which I deemed worth saving: I can’t remember what they are but I know they are collecting dust in the loft of my parent’s house. With the money I made I spent hours surfing the net, buying ‘useful’ travel gadgets from gap year websites- most of it came in useful. After all the leaving parties and heightened emotions, it wasn’t until I took my seat on the plane, breathed deeply and thought ‘Boom. I’m doing it! I’m crazy! I’m going to South America!’
Two years later and I still relish that feeling of stepping off the plane into a heat bomb with a belly full of excitement and nerves. God, I didn’t know more than a handful of phrases in Spanish! But now I’m at different stage of my journey and instead of Googling ‘portable washing lines’ I have been using the internet to help me prepare for my next exciting journey: HOME.
A friend gave me a piece of advice before I escaped the 9-5 grind. Be careful how long you stay away from the UK because life moves on. Travel no longer than 2 years and you can slip back into home life: traveling memories packed in a sacred box, just about hanging onto your employability and finding your friendship group hasn’t changed since you left.
Coming up to 22 months of being away, I’m asking myself what motivates a traveler to risk the 2 year limit. Which crossroad separates the traveler who always had a plan to return home and the traveler who chose or stumbled upon the inevitable path of missing weddings, funerals and the birth of a best friend’s baby?
Backpacking with Lewy through Central America we hung out with an array of free minded people, enjoying the open road. A few with a long term escape plan from the life of eternal western responsibilities and the majority, seeking excitement and aiming to conquer their dreams. The latter are those normally enjoying a disposable budget and limited time frame- and perhaps a job still waits for them at home.
Upon meeting the time-frame traveler the standard backpacker conversation ‘where are you from? Where have you been? How long have you been away for? When are you going home?’ would allow Lewy and I to gloat ‘we have been away for over a year now and we have no flight home yet’. ‘Wow that’s so cool‘, they’d say buying us a beer in pity of our budget ‘I wish I had the balls to do that’.
But then Lewy and I met some real timers. An inspiring couple that have mastered the ways of the road and showed us we still had a lot of miles to keep up. Having been away from the western grind for ten years, they are a committed pair of globe trotters with many more exciting adventures ahead. Since meeting them Lewy and I have made a plan to return full circle and booked flights home. Does that mean we were essentially time frame travelers all along- just with a crappy budget?
Well, all of those who know us well will know what scrimpers and savers we are, “every penny counts”. How it has paid off! Having worked a year teaching in Carrillo and finishing this 6 week placement in the paradise prison we have saved enough to fund our last two months exploring the lesser-travelled Pacific coast of Mexico. Tomorrow morning we leave this island. What an experience it has been! We are fighting fit, full of energy and eager to see our friends in Carrillo before we start on the long journey up to Mexico City.
I am almost at my limit. I miss home: I miss my friends, family and all my home comforts. BUT I have 2 months left as Dora the Explorer with my super excellent boyfriend and I am so excited about traveling again I shall not sleep a wink tonight! Of course we will keep you updated as we go! Love to all xxx