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.
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
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.
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.
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
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