Good Morning Mexico!

Good Morning Mexico!

“How long are you in Mexico?”

Me:  I’m not sure, maybe one more month. 

“That is fantastic!  Isn’t it great here?”

Me:  Absolutely, we love it!  The weather is amazing, the people are incredibly friendly, and the cost of living is so agreeable.  What more could you ask for?

The road is a great connector of people.  Back home, people seem to have their schedules packed.  Work, shopping, sleep…  there is always the next thing to get to, the next activity on the list, so best to avoid eye contact with strangers less they distract you with an enjoyable conversation.  You probably already have enough friends anyway, new ones would just complicate things…

On the road there is no schedule, there is no existing structure, and there are no existing social ties.  As a result, people are (generally) open and friendly.  Chance meetings extend into lunch, which further extends into invitations for group hikes or dinners or guitar jam sessions.  Group activities turn into even further chance meetings and the whole positive feedback cycle creates an instant community of new friends and companions.

The conversations have a common theme to them, as people try to figure each other out and establish commonalities.  Without the crutch of asking, “So what do you do?” people turn to other questions.  Often this is “Where are you from?” or “How long are you here?”

We don’t fit the mold for most people we meet.  We don’t appear to be old enough to be retired or young enough to be on a quick shoestring tour between college and a first job.  Sometimes you can see the gears turning as people start to wonder what exactly we are up to.  Curiosity is a powerful motivator… without exception we will eventually be asked how we are financially able to travel for as long as we are.

Generally the questioning is a polite series of indirect questions in an attempt to piece it together.  Or in the case of a woman we met today, the brute force method seems to be preferred, resulting in a series of several rapid fire questions…  even answering for us:

“How long are you in Mexico?”

Me:  I’m not sure, maybe one more month. 

“Don’t you have to get back to work or something?”

Me:  Right now we are just traveling around Latin America.  I’m not sure for how long exactly, we are just sort of playing it by ear

“So you are going to keep traveling until the money runs out…?  Or maybe work a bit along the way?  Or until your Mom stops sending checks?”

Me:  <— Total Silence —> (How do you respond to that?)

Since I recognize that we are outliers, I usually try to answer only to the extent that I think a person can handle.  Some people aren’t open to hearing our full story, and I’m socially aware enough to get this right most of the time.  If a person is genuinely curious and has a positive reaction to a brief response, I’ll happily go deeper.  This has resulted in many great conversations.

In many cases I’ll point people to this blog.  My hope is that by sharing our adventures, our expenses, and the steps we went though to enable a life of travel, that it will become more commonplace.  Life is too short to spend most of it working

The simple steps of Spend Little, Save More, Travel the World are repeatable by those motivated enough follow them.  Because obviously there are more ways to travel than to pull cash out of an umbilical cord