Wrap up and lessons from the first month on the road

Well it’s been over a month since I touched down in Mexico City, marking the start of my journey. I’ve accomplished quite a bit in terms of experiencing new places, meeting new people, slowly coming to grips with the Spanish language and customs and of course, eating lots of strange and delicious foods. Below are a brief wrap up.

Slow down, there’s no rush

I’ve been in Playa del Carmen now for a week now which is the longest I’ve stayed in the one place during this trip and I suspect it won’t be the last time either. Have I done all of the touristy things here? Not really. I’ve just slowed things down, seen and done things at a pace that I’m more comfortable with. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m no longer travelling with a deadline to be at a particular place at a particular time to do particular things detailed on a to do list. The Thai people have a saying “Mai Pen Rai” which means “No worries” or “It Will be alright”.  If I miss out on something  one day then there will be tomorrow and the sun will continue shining here in Mexico.

There were plenty of Turtles in Akumal. I wish I spent more time in the water in Oz

There were plenty of Turtles in Akumal. I wish I spent more time in the water in Oz

 

Every now and then you need time off to do nothing

Even travellers need a weekend or time off to relax. Right now I’m thinking Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be my days off where I can chill, reflect on the week just passed and try to make sense of them within this blog. I’ve met some pretty cool people at the hostels I’m staying at and as much as I want to stay up partying with them, I find myself checking into bed earlier than the rest. As much as I look like the 28 year that everybody assumes that I am, my partying days are over and if I’m going to last this long on the road and maintain these youthful looks *cough* then I need my 8 hours of beauty sleep

It's a lot easier to take days off when there's a pool in the hostel

It’s a lot easier to take days off when there’s a pool in the hostel

 

You will lose things and things will get stolen

On my third day in Mexico City I lost my keycard. I wasn’t thinking and withdrew money out of the machine and walked off with the card still in the machine. My brain was still in Australia mode where the ATM machines spit out the keycard before the money. Since then I have been ultra paranoid about getting my card from the machine after taking the cash.

I haven’t had the pleasure of having anything stolen yet *touchwood* but two nights ago, a fellow traveller had his laptop stolen from the room while we were both asleep. It’s scary to think somebody had the audacity to come into the room whilst we were fast asleep to steal, but it’s a harsh reminder not to be complacent regardless of how nice staff or people can be in hostels. People can still walk in off the street and into dorms if left unlocked.

Meeting some cool people

From day one I’ve met fellow travellers, nomads and local people in each city that I’ve travelled to. I’ve been gathering inspiration from those who have been on the road for  quite some time, travelled the same journey that I am taking and also those using the time to write either about their experiences or fictional stories. I’ve previously mentioned that the local folk are friendly and hospitable in Mexico City and it’s the same everywhere that I have been to. They are happy to take you in, have a chat and even offer food just to make you feel at home. I just can’t help but wonder why people can’t do this more at home where we can’t be more welcoming to strangers.

I’ve been hanging out with Sarah Somebody and Tell Them I Said Something for the past week now. They’ve been on the road for a year but now base themselves in  Playa del Carmen. As touristy as Playa can be walking along Fifth Avenue, they’ve shown me parts of Playa that they’ve come to love as locals. Tyrone is a graphic design and web guru and is also helping me jazz up the site a bit more. Check his website out if you are in need of some design of web work by Eye Pudding.

Finding the best local food in Playa with Tyrhone and Sarah

Finding the best local food in Playa with Tyrhone and Sarah

 

More to Mexican than tacos

There’s so much variation in cuisine from place to place that I’ve lost count and the names of what and where I’ve eaten. Most times it’s just been down to pure greediness. I would go in, order and devour whatever is in front of me and because I’m just so damn happy from it I just forget to write down anything about the dish. I just don’t have any self-control to take a bite, chew, think and take notes. I would say my memorable dishes to date are the fish tacos in Mexico City, pigs head tostadas in Oaxaca City and the octopus and crab ceviche in Celustan and Orden de Conchinita (pork cooked in banana leaf) in Merida and arrachera in Playa del Carmen.

Beef arrachera at El Fogon in Playa del Carmen

Beef arrachera at El Fogon in Playa del Carmen

Orden de conchinita. A traditional pork dish from the Yucatan

Orden de conchinita. A traditional pork dish from the Yucatan

 

Travel plans can and will change

I had originally planned to stay in Mexico for only three weeks. I’m now entering my fifth week and it looks like I’ll be here closer to 6-7 weeks all up before I get to Belize. I have a general direction on countries and cities to go to but who knows when and for how long I will stay for in each place now. I’m just going to go with my instinct and move on when I feel the time is right and that each place has ticked all (or none) the boxes

Seriously. It's hard to move on from views like this

Seriously. It’s hard to move on from views like this

 

So what next? I want to focus more on the current moments, living in the now and enjoying the positive state of mind that  I am  currently in rather than worrying about being in a particular place at a particular date. It’s the only benefit of travelling solo. I think my photography can improve more. At the moment I’ve been waking up too late to take any good photos as it can be ‘too bright’ to bring out any moods and contrasts in the photos without too much post processing. Getting into a routine should enable me to do this better though. I’ll be spending some time with Tyrone this week to improve the site as well so hopefully it will look slicker with some cool features to it. I hope you’re enjoying the improvements so far.

I’ve also been missing my exercise so I’ll be using early morning runs as scouting missions to see where I can test out new places to eat and also what places will be good to take photos of/from. Finally, as much as I love my meat,  I’m missing vegetables so most cooking that I’ll do in the hostels will most likely be vegetarian. Mmmm

Below is a map of which cities and towns I’ve been to so far over the 2,500km that I’ve travelled.


View Jimmy Eats World’s most excellent adventure in a larger map

Follow me on FacebookTwitter or Instagram for more regular updates.


Comments

Wrap up and lessons from the first month on the road — 6 Comments

  1. It looks like you are right on track, Jimmy. When my husband and I set off on our RTW trip back in August 2012, we picked Japan as our first stop; due to the high price of EVERYTHING there, we were determined to make the most of our time in the country and traveled around at an absolutely exhausting pace in our bid to fit everything in. While we certainly accomplished a lot, by the end of our month there, we were completely bushed and had to acknowledge that that speed of travel just isn’t sustainable when you’re doing it for more than 2 or 3 weeks. We had been approaching our RTW trip like the world was something we needed to race through, but we have since learned that going slow and seeing fewer places but in more depth is far more rewarding for us and not something you can normally achieve within the confines of a conventional vacation. I think it takes every traveler about 1 month to come to this realization, but it’s definitely a lesson you have to learn on your own! 😀

    Also, Mexican food is by far the food we miss the most since leaving the States for Asia… your photos of all the non-taco delights you’ve been devouring are seriously making me drool! It all looks and sounds so good, though after 9 months in Asia, I’d probably give my right arm for even a humble street taco…
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…Confessions of an Adventurous Eater & An Apology to the PangolinMy Profile

    • Thanks for dropping by and your comments Steph. I’ve pretty much thrown out the schedule I worked on whilst planning this trip! One is much happier travelling this way and I’m glad I realised it as you said in the first month

      Jim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge