Jaza's World Trip

Mexico: the big wrapup

Well, the first month of my world trip has come to a close, and what a month it's been! Mexico has been, for me, the start of a whole new phase of my life; and I know that from this point on, I'll never be the same again. This trip to Mexico has been my first time travelling alone; my first time dumped in the deep end with a foreign language; my first time I've gone a month straight without being sober; and my first time doing more other crazy things than I dare to even think about.

Also, putting me aside for a moment, Mexico itself has proven to be a much more beautiful and vibrant place than I ever imagined it to be. The friendly locals; the ever-present fellow travellers; the stunning natural scenery; the imposing ancient ruins; and the excellent infrastructure, have all blown me away. Mexico, my heart will be with you always.

For this, the first of several all-encompassing wrapups, I'm going to start up a format of writing about a few of the things that I've come away with most strongly. Things that I've learnt. Things that I've done. Things that I should have done. Things that can help me for my next destination. Just things.


This is the no. 1 thing for me. I learnt a lot, but not nearly enough. For South America, I need to spend at least a few weeks in a language school, and I need to get away from my fellow gringos, and immerse myself in local life much more. I can't go on with such limited Spanish: it's too frustrating to bear.


I didn't do nearly enough recreational adventure sport. I hung around the cities too much, and I stayed comfortable too often. For South America, I need to do the things that really make you feel alive: hikes, canoe trips, diving, and climbing. And more.


I consumed far too much of it. It's unhealthy and it's a waste of money. In some places (e.g. Playa Del Carmen), it constituted well over half my daily expenses. I only drink it because everyone else does, so I guess that the solution is to keep away from spending too much time in cities and hostels, and to be stronger-willed when I can't avoid them.

Always moving

I think everyone learns this one on their first big trip: it's better to go to less places, and to stay at each place longer. When you're only spending a night or two in each place, you're spending more time packing, unpacking, checking in, checking out, getting your bearings, and sitting on (or waiting for) buses, than you're spending actually enjoying yourself.


Call me cocky, but I think I got the whole "right level of planning" thing pretty much right. Plan to go to a country, plan to see general regions; but otherwise, plan to be flexible, and plan to see what happens along the way. I could probably do with a bit more when-you-get-there planning (e.g. booking a few days' worth of tours, activities, etc. on my first day somewhere), and I need to plan to spend more time in each place than I think I'll need there.

There's always next time

Mexico is so much bigger than I thought it would be, and I saw so much less of it in a month than I thought I'd see. I just know that I'm going to feel exactly the same about every other place that I visit on this trip. But I think that when these feelings start encroaching on me, I need to remember the amazing time that I had in all the places that I reached; and I need to remind myself that this is only the beginning, and that there'll always be a next time and a next trip.


That will be all for my wrapup of Mexico. Sorry if you were expecting the whole "my favourite place", "weirdest thing I ate", "person I'll remember most" thing; but considering that it's all here, in a month's worth of blog entries, available for your perusal, I just don't see the point. Maybe I'll do some of that stuff at the very end. But not now.

The only other thing I want to say, is that it's ridiculously funny how amazing this month was, considering that my original thinking was: "DrupalCon's on in March, I can go away anytime from around February, and it's boring here at home. I guess I could kill a month or so in Mexico, just down the road from the USA." Well, I did just a little bit more than "kill a month". I positively slaughtered, whipped, and pwned a month. I had the time of my life.

Filed in: MexicoWrapup