A month from today I’ll be in Mexico

last sunset at my bachelor pad

 

I’ve always wanted to say something of that nature.  And now I can.  March 1st I’ll be landing in Guadalajara, Mexico on a one-way flight from Boston.  I’m nervous.  I’m excited.  I’m tired.  If you find yourself wondering how you would go about setting this up, just follow these easy steps!

  • 1) Save some money.
  • 2) Quit your job.
  • 3) Get rid of your apartment and sell unnecessary belongings
  • 4) Leave.

please buy this chair

I’m thinking that people believe this is a lot harder than it sounds. I’m not naive and I know that every circumstance is different and that this idea is heavily dependent on where you are in life.  It doesn’t seem possible for a full-out purge of selling off a house and toting your kids around 3rd world countries, but people out there have done that in the past and are doing it in the present (check out travel blogs, these nuts exist).   But when you think about it at it’s simplest, it’s just 4 steps right? You just have to be willing to give up the lifestyle you created and take a big leap.  It’s definitely not for everyone, admittedly.  But I think the rewards are going to be far greater than the losses.  But I also like to look at rewards from a non-monetary point of view and instead through experiences, and this will be chock-full of those.

ambitious field engineer

Sure this doesn’t sound like the best career move.  But I’m not going to worry about that.  I’m 28 and there is plenty of time left in life to make better career-oriented decisions.  I just put in my last time sheet for work (unless I can get some part time shifts here and there for extra dough).  128.5 hours billed in the past 2 week period.  This is not abnormal.  In fact, this has been a normalcy for me for just about my entire tenure as a field engineer. I never did the whole backpacking through Europe after graduation thing that a lot of people around me experienced.  I went pretty much straight from graduation to the work force.  I was more than a little jealous of the idea of wandering around blissfully putting life experiences under my belt. Instead I worked my ass off with a focused and unforgiving goal of debt repayment.  After 4.5 years of paying every extra dime I had at my student loans I got rid of my 6 figure school debt and find myself in the green… for now.

hanging steel in Rutland

The act of leaving my position was much harder than I could have imagined.  My tightly-knit company has become more than just a job throughout the years, as I’ve been with them through some tough times and even seen their kids grow up.  I’ve enjoyed Easter dinner at my boss’s house, been to their kid’s birthday parties, and was treated as part of a family member rather than just as an employee.  It’s going to be a weird feeling not calling my boss and getting into 20 minute hilariously inappropriate conversations about life, construction bloopers, real estate, married life, etc… you name it and we’ve been there!  I’m also going to miss waking up at the crack of dawn and starting my day to the white noise of construction equipment banging around, digging through the earth, and breaking apart rocks.  Those are memories I’m going to latch onto. I’m going to miss the hell out of all of them, but I’ve known my departure was imminent sooner or later.  Now’s the time.

hanging my boots up for now

I’m glad I saved this trip until now.  I would have more than likely had an amazing and life changing experience if I did the backpack post-college trip, but I know it would probably be peppered with lots of late night binge drinking (what me and most others did at that age) and following the herd to touristy destinations with touristy things to see.  I’m not putting down a trip like this by any means, it’s probably a thought born more out of jealousy than anything else.  But now that I’m older I know I’ll be able to immerse myself in a more mature travel experience and mesh with the culture in a way that I think will mean more to me.

My mind is full of wonder of what I’m going to see.  My stomach is giddy thinking about all the different kinds of local dishes it’s going to tackle.  My stomach is also relieved that I’ll be bringing Imodium in case things go awry.  My feet are weary from work but are beyond ready to carry me through the depths of Mexico, (hopefully, and I don’t see why not) through the streets of Cuba, around the Mayan Ruins of Guatemala, along the Panama canal, trekking to the lost city of The Ciudad Perdido in Colombia, climbing stairs of Machu Pichu in Peru, getting up close and personal to volcanoes in Chile,  strolling the gorgeous coastline of Brazil, and find myself eventually walking the busy streets of Buenos Aires in Argentina.  All of these are entirely possible and on my to-do list.  I don’t have a set itinerary, so it’s kind of an open one.  The only limit is just time and hopefully enough saved up to get me there.

So for now I’ve packed up my apartment and said goodbye to that pretty little spot on the cobblestones of Thames Street.  It was my first apartment and it saw a ton of changes in me take place.  If walls could talk.  This next month is going to be spent preparing for the voyage, which has a multitude of to-do lists in accordance with a smooth departure.

my "cash for trucks" campaign

I have to mention that I won’t be on this trip alone.  My girlfriend and I got this plan in our heads from pretty much the moment we met and are southbound together.  This trip would seem rather crazy and impossible to tackle alone mentally.  We both were at the same stage in life and ready to get our feet off US soil and do some exploration.  Here goes nothing.

Anyone have any contacts down south??  It would be awesome to meet new people and get the low-down on new areas.  I’ll keep this blog updated for those that want to follow the trip!

-Dr.

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12 thoughts on “A month from today I’ll be in Mexico

  1. Mr Dan – I wish you nothing but the best along your travels. I will be checking this blog daily for updates. When you have finished your trips make your way to HB and I’ll buy you your first american margarita of the year. Yours in love, T

  2. Hello! I just came across your blog and read this inspirational post. I think it’s awesome what you and your girlfriend are doing, and I admire the “nuts” who “give up” everything and explore what else is out there–SO MUCH!!! (And I think their kids are the luckiest.) Just one question, why is time a limit? Also, have you perhaps considered saving your truck and driving through central-south america? It could also come in handy as a place to sleep. When I was in Guatemala I met some Australians who camped out in their van in between their destinations. Just a thought!

    I’m gonna follow along (your blog) and live vicariously through you until I can do the same. GOOD LUCK 🙂

    • Greetings! Thanks for the comment and for following! I think that too many people think that traveling in this manner is out of reach for them. It’s a big shift in lifestyle but I know the rewards are going to be amazing. There’s so much to see out there and experiences are more valuable than money will ever be to me. In the US we are force-fed the idea that in order to be successful you have to have job security and work your way up the ladder, etc. I fell into that idea for a little bit (well, kind of) but saw through that and noticed that a lot of people that are successful and happy with their careers are a wreck in their personal lives, like something is missing.

      The reason we are not taking my truck is the insurance situation and the amount of countries we plan on traveling through. I looked into it and you need to square away insurance before entering countries, pay taxes and fees to do so, and would be subject to drawing attention to yourself. We would stick out like a sore thumb driving a decent looking vehicle around in 3rd world countries, and since it’s a used vehicle it will need repairs here and there. If we are going to hang out in a country for a while than we might just grab something up cheap and drive it into the ground like the Australians you speak of. But for now we will use buses and trains to travel distances, hire rides, etc.

      There isn’t really a time limit but we figure we will probably get back for the holidays. Who knows though?

      Thanks for following and all comments are welcome!

    • Vanessa,

      I’m glad you found my blog and I will definitely take you up on your offer of knowledge and contacts! Thank you in advance for that offer too. We are still planning on what we want to see and areas to check out. I’ll have get in touch with you when we get to Guatemala.

  3. Dude, you’re inspiring!!! There’s no word that could describe the joys of traveling…let alone packing your bag and leaving everything behind…that’s how life is lived by a number…and that is how life is lived all right!!!

  4. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now after reading your post on student loans. All I have to say is, HELL YEAH! This is exactly what living your life looks like and I am so inspired and encouraged by your hard work and commitment to not settle or get stuck in “the system”. I am going to keep following you and am excited for you and your girlfriend!

  5. This is great! I am glad I stumbled upon this blog. I’m moving to Mexico in two months: I will be teaching English at a bilingual school outside of Mexico City. I’m ready for my adventure! =)

  6. Sounds like a great plan and I can’t wait to check out your pictures as you journey through all those countries. It’s something I would love to do. Congrats to you for paying off your student loans.

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