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My six months in Mexico
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-04-02 17:26:07 | Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Keywords: summary
I exited Mexico a few days ago after a six months journey all over the country. I've spent 175 nights in 26 different cities plus 2 nights in buses. I've slept in more than half of the Mexican states and I've crossed the country from North to South, travelling more than 7 000 km within the country, visiting both coasts. I saw most of the things I wanted to see in Mexico and the journey went quite well overall.

You can already see my summaries about the visits I've made, the food I ate and my thoughts about the country overall. This last chapter is more about the journey itself through the country.

I admit I was a bit apprehensive entering Mexico, it was after all the first real time I exited the First World. But it went all very well. Of course, when you enter a new country for the very first time with the objective to stay on a limited budget, it takes you some time to adjust to the local habits and find a new way to do things you did in a previous country or adapt them to the new reality. It takes some time to get used to the local ways of doing things... especially in a country as different (from what I was used to) as Mexico. I'd say it took me about a month to get over the initial shock another month to get comfortable in the country. By the end, I was like a fish in the water in Mexico and I could instantly find all I needed.

I stayed in a wide array of accommodation throughout the country... and that forced me on many occasions to lower my threshold of the definition of a “proper” room. I stayed in very shady little hotels where I had to use my ear plugs to sleep or I had to share my room with little guests with many legs. On many occasions there were no soap, no towels or toilet paper. I was once without a toilet seat. :-) In the North the shower usually had hot water... but in the Central and South Mexico it was a much much rare occurrence. I remember when I was in Merida and I opened the shower water... I waited a moment to see if it would warm up... and I saw some steam! After about 2 months of cold or lukewarm showers, I had an emotional moment. :-) On the other end of the spectrum I spent a week in a vacation rental apartment which was extremely comfortable and clean. In many places, it wasn't worth the price I was paying, even by Mexican standards. I paid anywhere between 130 pesos (US$10) to 370 pesos (US$28).

I've traveled mostly in first-class tourist buses, but I also took second classes and colectivos in and out of towns. I've taken the only passenger train in the country, the El Chepe. I didn't use the boat as transportation in Mexico, because it's mostly limited to connect the Baja California to the continent or to touristic islands off the shores (on both coasts).

When I arrived in a new city, I always checked in my room then ventured around my hotel to explore the area and look for cheap eateries. Usually I could easily find them... but sometimes I had to search for another day. I also always looked for a grocery store where I bought milk and bread. I used that for my breakfast and for tuna sandwiches I was making in my room. In every hotel, I asked not to have room cleaning while I was there. I hate to have my bed done and make me feel like I'm in a hotel. I simply took my trash out every two days or so, without the need of new towels or anything else.

When I first planned my world journey, I knew very well I wasn't ready psychologically to hit Africa... I knew the shock would be too great. I decided to do South America first in order to prepare me for Africa a bit later. I thought at first that Mexico would be like South America but I realized while I was in the country that Mexico is more like a second-world country than a third-world one. I know things will get different in Central and South Americas and I think that Mexico prepared me a lot for the next steps. I know there will still be a cultural shock when I visit other countries


Related posts:
100 different cities
One year already
February 2014
Central Mexico
6 months on the road

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