So much has happened since myself and my partner Zac left Australia for Mexico last March 2016. We both wanted to travel for a long time and when the opportunity arose we grabbed it with both hands.
We booked our tickets, packed our life into a storage container somewhere in Melbourne and off we went. Looking back, there are no regrets, I only wish I took my rarely attended Spanish lessons way more seriously. I don't think I had any clue that most people in Mexico, especially the south, do not speak english.
'At first, Mexico City is very daunting, over polluted and full on...'
We spent our first few days in Mexico City. At first, it is very daunting, over polluted and full on. But as I visit the city more often, I have found pockets of the city of I like. With amazing vintage furniture shops and great food. Still, a few days is all I need before I am ready to get out of there.
After Mexico city we caught the first class bus (highly recommended - see tips) down to Acapulco, apparently the highway you take is a dangerous stretch of road... we did not know this until after we reached our destination, completley oblivious. From the bus station we took a taxi to our AirBnb. We were completely exhausted after our the 10 hour bus ride and it was getting dark. We were dropped off in a weird estate that had vertical roads. Our destination was right at the bottom of a cliff. The taxi left us and we knocked on the door of our hosts house....no reply. Great. After calling and calling our host with no response, it was night time and we were at the bottom of a crazy steep road with huge backpacks and a surfboard.
'There were no cars or taxis in this weird deserted estate, we were stranded'
There were no cars or taxis in this weird deserted estate, we were stranded, but the sunset was really pretty, I'll say that. We began the vertical trek back up the hill. Zac was laughing at me most of the time saying "How good are adventures?" I don't even know if he was being sarcastic. Finally, we found a taxi driver, this guy called Luis Martínez. I know his name because I still have his business card in my big scrapbook of travelling. Luis ended up being our angel in Acapulco. We told him what had happened and he helped us find accommodation for the next few nights until we left. He also showed us where to eat, and which areas to avoid. We said good bye to our angel, Luis and passed out in our bed. We spent the next 2 days wandering around and taking in the time warp that is Acapulco.
Our final destination was Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. So we went to the bus station to buy our tickets and waited excitedly to get going. This time, the bus wasn't first class. My crappy Spanish had failed us during the booking process and this wasn't going to be the first time either. And what is normally a 5-6 hour trip turned into about 12 hours. This is not uncommon. What is common is for your bus driver to stop at every comedor (local roadside eatery) every time he saw one to eat a plate of tacos. Also, live chickens on the bus and about 40 more people than expected to come along for the 12 hour journey. Get to know your busses & choose wisely on long journeys.
'During our stay in Puerto, we brought a car. A shitty old 1992 Jeep Grand Cherokee'
Finally we arrived in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. A mid sized beach town on the pacific coast, home to Mexican Pipe. We spent the next 6 months learning spanish, surfing, doing yoga, volunteering and eating. Well Zac did most of the surfing, I did most of the Spanish lessons and yoga & we both ate a lot. We settled in at Puerto for a while with one month long trip to Panama and Coast Rica in between.
During our stay in Puerto, we brought a car. A shitty old 1992 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We also got ripped off during the purchasing process. One of the biggest lessons we have learnt. (See tips). Any way, besides from overpaying for our beloved heap of a Jeep it took us all the way through Mexico and never broke down. Right now it lives in Guanajuato, but that comes later.
Towards the end of our stay we both needed a touch of city living back in our lives. So we drove inland to Oaxaca City and immediately fell in love with its beauty, art and liveliness. I knew we could come back and live there.
After spending Día de Los Muertos in Oaxaca city we had an Airbnb waiting for us in Guanajuato city. About a 9-10 hour drive north from Oaxaca. Off we went in our big green Jeep. Driving your own car is so much more comfortable than catching a bus, for me it is anyway. I really enjoy my own personal space. But if a bus is your only option, spend that little bit extra so your ride is the best it can be. Or just fly.
So, the rest of our trip before returning to Australia was to go to Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Amsterdam, America for Coachella then home.
'After a month I Guanajuato, unfortunately we were called home'
We stayed for a month in beautiful Guanajuato, but unfortunately as it seems to always happen to the best of us during travel, a family emergency occurred. My Mum became very sick and we needed to return to Australia within a few days. So we packed our bags, chopped off the tail end of our trip and made the journey back to Aus. I stayed in Melbourne with my Mum during her recovery whilst Zac stayed with his family on the Sunshine Coast. After two months or so, everything started improving and we decided we wanted to get back to Mexico as soon as possible.
I met Zac in Queensland and we made the trip down the east coast to say bye to family and friends again. We flew out of Melbourne on the 7th of February and re-started our adventures back in Oaxaca City. From here we want to continue exploring Mexico and other parts of Central and South America as well as the rest of this stunning world we live in.
I look forward to sharing our travel and living experiences with you and check out my blog about Living Abroad to help you with any questions you about making the leap!