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We quit our jobs and left for Mexico in July of 2011. We had no idea our travels would turn in to so much more! Originally, we decided to try travelling for six months and if it did not work out, we'd go home. We found that by staying in one place for a longer time, say one month, gave us the opportunity to not only experience the neighborhood, but to learn the histories of places we visit and the rhythm of life.
We lived in four cities in Mexico in seven months before driving into Central America. We lived in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica and visited Belize and Honduras. We would have kept going into South America if not for two things - the Darian Gap and our trusty, broken Saturn.
Once back in Mexico, we stayed an additional six months in three different cities. In total, we drove over 30,000 miles in Mexico and Central America.
The journey then continued to Southeast Asia! We visited Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and Myanmar including the islands of Borneo and Bali. We stayed for six months and discovered a different style of travel. We each wore holes in our new pairs of shoes.
We returned home to California for a week before getting on the road again, this time to Baja California. We stayed in Baja for 6 months enjoying warm weather and cool beer.
On the road again we are now travelling in Europe. The adventure continues...
since we left United States
March 1st 2014
Sirens blare from an ambulance racing down the cobblestone street, the familiar European “wee-doh, wee-doh” sound echoing through the warren of narrow alleyways. The street is lined with ancient apartment buildings, each accessed via huge, often graffiti covered doors. The pedestrians, dressed as if they just exploded out of GQ or Vogue magazine, easily avoid the disturbance, stepping to the narrow sidewalks without missing a stride. Waiters with ties, vests and aprons stand in restaurant doorways offering colorful menus and describing delicious sounding specials in multiple languages. Outdoor tables covered by umbrellas keep the occasional light rain away. The smells of fresh baked bread and strong coffee drift from richly decorated eateries. Diners lean towards each other at tiny, round tables indoors. They talk with their hands as well as their voices. Even if you can’t ... read more
January 26th 2014
Our six month “visa” to Mexico will soon be expired and we will be ending our visit to the Baja California Peninsula. We are spending our last month in Playa Rosarito, a small beach town just 20 minutes south of the U.S. Border. I put parenthesis around the word visa for a reason. We don’t have one! Technically we are illegal aliens and have been for our entire trip in Baja. We were talking to a local expat and told him of our lack of paperwork and he explained that large portions of the people in Baja are “illegal”. Now knowing that there are so many of “us” gives us the confidence to finally confess our less than correct ways. When we originally crossed the border at Tijuana back in August we read in Lonely Planet ... read more
December 20th 2013
I watch the cruise ship enter the bay not long after the sun rises from the balcony overlooking Bahia Cabo San Lucas. It is nearly 1000 feet long and dominates the landscape of the area. The ships carry many hundreds and sometimes more than two thousand tourists, all waiting to come ashore at their first port-of-call since leaving California. Today there is only one, but often several ships arrive in one day. I imagine some passengers are getting their first view of Mexico. The water of the bay is crystal blue and the earlier morning clouds are a light pink color as the sun gently warms the day. It doesn’t take long for the anchor to drop and the launches to begin their first trips to the piers. I wonder what the passengers think as they ... read more
October 25th 2013
We watched a huge, heavy sun rise above Isla Carmen from our balcony on the next to last day in Loreto, Mexico. The abnormal line of clouds in the distance turned evil, showing almost neon shades of orange and red. The Sea of Cortez turned from its overnight steel color to beautiful cobalt. It was rougher than normal and showed orange tinted wave caps as the day quickly brightened. By afternoon the clouds had filled the sky and ominously darkened as they stalled on the Sierra de la Giganta Mountains that separate Loreto from the main Baja Peninsula. The clouds began to swirl slightly and by noon a steady downpour had begun. By night the sky had opened and was dumping huge quantities of water. Our cement block roof began to leak again despite the relatively ... read more
September 7th 2013
Confucius is often quoted as saying, “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop”. After traveling in 14 countries over the last 25 months, we had to admit we were a little worn out. The heat of Southeast Asia had finally gotten the better of us, and we knew it was time to take a break. We didn’t want to stop, but we needed to slow the pace and perhaps get back to our original intentions of slow motion travelling. After a 30 hour flight back to San Francisco from Bangkok and a couple of more hours on the shuttle to our hometown in California’s Wine Country, we checked into our favorite cheap hotel for a couple of weeks to figure out what we wanted to do next. It was fun ... read more
July 28th 2013
Rudyard Kipling wrote many years ago, “This is Burma, It is quite unlike any place you know about”. With the lack of accurate information available today, we wished that he had of been a little less vague. Myanmar is changing rapidly and nearly anything you read may no longer be accurate. Usually reliable Lonely Planet was last updated in 2011 and is hopelessly outdated. Prices seem to have doubled and many restaurants are no longer open. Making independent travel even more difficult is lack of access to the internet once you arrive in the country. Most all hotels have Wi-Fi access, but the speeds, which often reminded us of the dial-up days, are uniformly so slow that making reservations on airlines, future hotels or any transportation virtually useless. We spent four days in Bangkok planning our ... read more
July 8th 2013
You’re sitting in the Bar Ponnyang, 4 stories above the Mekong, gazing across the marshy sand bar that separates you from the river. Across the river is Thailand, greener and obviously more developed.The river here is wider and slower than the fast moving muddy channel you left a week ago in Luang Prabang. It’s only 2 and you’re a couple of beers ahead of where you should be. The map says the hotel is 2 blocks away so it shouldn’t be too hard to find your way.You’ve had a good day touring Vientiane and you don’t want to mess it up now by getting lost. You’re reflecting back on your busy week following the Mekong River south to Vientiane. It doesn’t seem possible it’s only been a week; you’ve made 3 moves and probably won’t be ... read more
June 29th 2013
Our week-long visit to Luang Prabang ended much as it began. Light rain falling throughout the day and occasional heavy rain showers that often forced us inside for long, leisurely lunches in one of the many delicious restaurants in town. I would like to blame the rain for our lack of adventurous spirit, but I think in reality we just wanted to relax and spend a non-touristy week in this attractive city. Throughout the week the skies remained overcast. The muted light made photography difficult but kept the heat manageable. The few times the sun came out and the breeze stopped the balmy air made sitting anywhere except under a fan uncomfortable and made us wish the clouds would return. The softer light added romance and intrigue to the many small alleyways that make up much ... read more
June 26th 2013
We have travelled on train, bus, tuk-tuk, songtaew, taxi and even elephant during our travels in Northern Thailand.The only mode of travel missing was a boat, and that’s what it was going to be. We left Chiang Rai early in the morning, headed to Luang Prabang, Laos. We thought about flying but we would have had to go back to at least Chiang Mai and probably Bangkok and backtracking didn’t fit our mood. We were up for an adventure and a Slow Boat down the Mekong River from the Thai border sounded like our ticket. The owner of our hostel in Chiang Rai volunteered to take us to the downtown bus station. It was only a short distance of 5 or 6 blocks, but we are still packing way too many things in our bags and ... read more
June 20th 2013
We finished up our 10 day visit to Chiang Mai in quite the good mood. Chiang Mai is an easy place to like. It’s pretty and easy on the budget. The food is good, plentiful and inexpensive. It’s easy to walk almost anywhere a tourist would want to go and there seemed to be something of interest going on every evening that was either free or inexpensive. The museums are excellent and the Wats are gorgeous. During our stay we had a few cloudy, overcast days but all they seemed to do was cool the day down and make Chiang Mai even more engaging. In general, I’m not a big fan of over-touristy towns. Travel to places that have lost their sense of self doesn’t interest me. Even though Chiang Mai has lots of visitors and ... read more