A Travellerspoint blog

My First Trip: Mexico

What am I expecting?

Firstly, lets talk about the world as we currently know it (yes, Coronavirus). Travelling has pretty much had to be put on the backburner for the majority of the world, and pretty much every single country was put on lockdown for a few months. Those countries who rely heavily on tourism have started to open back up again, and with that there's been another spike in cases. Mexico is one of those countries unfortunately.

Mexico never really closed their borders, but instead had quite a strict lockdown for around three months. The Yucatan Peninsula, which is home to tourist-reliant destinations such as Cancun, Tulum, Chichen-Itza, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel were extremely hard-hit economically, therefore have become the first to lift their lockdown. However, as with most countries who are opening up, there's been a second spike and half the state of Quintana Roo has gone back to partial lockdown. So what does this mean for the first month of my trip?

The answer is I have no idea! Since my plan for most of August is exploring the Yucatan Peninsula, I have to go with absolutely zero expectation. I start off in Cancun, where I'll be staying in the city, as supposed to the beach resort. Cancun is on Orange Status (one up from lockdown status). This means that hotels, restaurants, tourist services etc are allowed to run at 30% capacity. It also means that any public spaces, such as beaches, parks, bars, nightclubs are still not allowed to open. I know for my visit to Cancun not to expect normality. I know that most likely I'll have to wear a mask everywhere, and that I won't be able to see or do all the things I was hoping to do. But that's ok, as the safety of the local community will always be high above anything else for me.

The issue is the rest of the state, which currently lies in the Red Zone. These areas will be on partial lockdown so I will have to decide, once I'm physically in Mexico, whether or not it's worth travelling to these places. Do I wait it out, for what could be a few weeks, in Cancun? Do I travel anyway, risking not only my health, but other people's? Do I want to travel to a place, where the main reason for travelling there is to visit something that will be closed (such as Tulum, or Chichen Itza)? We can't predict the future, so there's no point in trying to figure out what to do, until the time actually comes to do it. This is the world we currently live in, and I'm lucky enough to not be having to rush through anything with a time limit.

But back to the original question. What do I expect from Mexico? Well, I'm expecting a huge country, with so many different regions and cultures to explore. You have the Carribbean region of the Yucatan, the jungles of Chiapas, the surf beaches of the Pacific coastline, the Gulf Coast, the huge metropolis of Mexico City, the highlands around it and the desert regions of the north. I'll be wanting to explore all of that. I'm expecting each region to be completely different to the next, from the food, to the people, to the history. But I'm also expecting for things not to be like they usually are, and I'm not expecting anything to change soon.

All I know is that I'm going to make the most of each day spent wherever I end up spending it. I also know that I would take a local experience over visiting any tourist sight anyday. So if it comes to that, so be it. We all live on this world together, and together we will cope with the current pandemic. And I'm more than happy to do that amongst the locals!

Posted by thelonewolf 14:55 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

How It All Began

My Journey To Becoming The Lone Wolf Wanderer

I won't bore you with my life story. Besides, that story would require a multiple book deal (and maybe even a movie!). A thought for the future perhaps, when I'm old and grey...

This first entry into the blogging world is about how I became obsessed with travel, and how my experiences growing up have shaped the way I see the world; How my everyday thoughts are completely consumed with wanting to explore new places, experience different cultures and learn about things that I never knew existed. And it all started before I was even able to walk.

From around one year old (or sometime around that age range) I was lucky enough to move to a new country. Even though I was born in the UK, I never had any memories of it at that age, so straight off the bat I was growing up in a different culture. The first four years or so took me to Stockholm, Sweden. Alot of it I can't remember but what I did remember was that I loved exploring. I lived in a house that backed onto the woods and was always wanting to find out what was out there. I also remember doing alot of sailing with my dad, exploring the hundreds of islands that are dotted around the waters in Stockholm.

Then at five I moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where I would spend the next 10 years (including those glory teenage years). Indonesia was amazing, and is somewhere I will always call home. I was lucky enough to not live the typical "expat" lifestyle in that, as a family, we always wanted to get out there and find some amazing things and experience some local life. Weekends were spent taking the mountain bikes out into the countyside and cycling though rural villages. I'll always remember the people. Some villagers had never seen a white person (or [i]bule [i]as we are known there). Yet they were always amazingly friendly and welcoming and all they ever seemed to want to do is touch you! Holidays were spent either going to a nearby beach, or flying over to Bali or Singapore. I also developed an obsession with planes, since my dad worked in aviation. I remember always looking at different airlines and imagining all the cool places they'd be flying to. When I hit about 11 years old my adventurous side really kicked in. Unbeknownst to most people (screw it, ALL people) I used to spend my weekly pocket money jumping on random local buses around Jakarta. I would literally just take the first bus that came by, get on it, and see where it took me! I used to do it all day, and went to all corners of the city, in a mode of transport that Westerners NEVER took, let alone a kid! I remember some amazing experiences: meeting a woman on a bus who decided to invite me back to her house to meet her kids was one that stood out. Her whole family ended up coming round and fed me like I had never been fed before! But, I quickly learned of the dangers too. Sat on the back of a bus once, a guy had scooted over to me, pulled out a knife and held it too my side and asked for my watch, hat and wallet. Funny enough, he apologized afterwards and gave me enough money back so I could get home. Did it stop me? Hell no! I just learned how to be more aware of my surroundings, and to never ever sit at the back of a bus again!

Soon came adulthood. Back to the UK and into the rat race. I decided to work in bars and moved on up. But the passion was never really there. And besides, all I would do is save money and then take an extended holiday every year! I did my first backpacking trip through South East Asia and Australia in 2009 / 2010, spent summers in the South of France, summers in the USA and a couple of short backpacking trips through Central America. I always needed to go somewhere new at least once a year!

Such is life though, that it seems that you can't have a career, a home and a family AND travel the world at the same time. I had to make a decision. And through that decision making came the dreaded M word. Yes, mental health. Life in the UK, working in the industry I was working in, really took its toll on my outlook on life. I went through some dark, dark days and hadn't been able to travel for so long because of it. After feeling so beat up and done with the daily grind, and the pressures of that White Picket Fence lifestyle I had dreamt of, I decided to change my goals and do what I always dreamed of deep down: travel the world.

I started to plan what I wanted to do and set a goal to travel for as long as I wanted, to as many places as possible. I ditched the rat race, and started looking at my first trip. The great thing is, I was going to do it alone. And this is where the name came from. Having the wolf as my spirit animal, it felt right to give myself a new altar-ego, a new vision and a completely new life.

Months were spent figuring out where I wanted to start, and what I wanted to achieve. In fact, I've now chosen the first SiX countries I want to explore first: Mexico, El Salvador, Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

I was intending to start earlier, but the world got shut down after that crazy virus named after a beer (funnily enough a Mexican beer!)

In spite of all that though I start that journey on the very first day of August. And by hell am I going to experience as much as I can experience. So, without further ado, and with my "Intro" blog out of the way, welcome to my new life as The Lone Wolf Wanderer (yes that sound corny as hell, but really, do I care?)

Let the adventures begin!

Posted by thelonewolf 14:29 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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