We were excited to get into Guatemala. We missed (making attempts at) speaking Spanish, and we had heard they had real mountains. After the hot and humid coastal regions of Belize, we were ready for little higher altitude. Guatemala gave us some of our most overlandy experiences to date, and was the first country we've really settled into one place for an extended period of time.
After seven months of traveling, the newness and excitement can start to wear off, and you don't appreciate the incredible opportunity that immersing yourself in a foreign country can be. For that reason, it is so refreshing to have someone visit for whom these experiences are brand new. For two weeks, we were so fortunate to have Eva stay with us at Lago de Atitlan and show us how much we had been missing without her!
We don’t really think of ourselves this way, but Americans are isolated. The sheer size and geographical diversity available in our country affords us a wide array of places to visit or make our home. We have small towns, large cities, mountains, deserts, beaches, swamplands, and temperate rainforest. It’s possible to go skiing one weekend and spend the next one in the sun and sand; all without ever crossing an international border.
We’ve been saying since we left home that the way we want to travel is spending more time in fewer places. Has that been the case so far… not really. But now, we've reached Lake Atitlan and we're ready to slow down for a while and plan our next few months on the road!
Our first adventure in Guatemala was what we had hoped our whole life would be like on the road! Crazy and unique experiences for a fraction of the cost. They're not the norm we thought they would be, but when they do happen they are that much more special!
We always seem to slow down as we near a border crossing. At least that’s been the case for the three we’ve encountered so far. As we study up on the new country, we begin to appreciate the current one in a different light. Faced with a whole new culture in a place we’re unfamiliar with seems to help us feel more at home where we are.
Our time in Mexico was something we'll never forget. We're loving Belize, but find ourselves missing Mexico already. This is a sentiment we've heard from many travelers- No matter where you go or how long you're gone, you'll always miss Mexico.
On our trip so far, we’ve lamented not meeting as many other overland travelers as we thought we would. I think reading the blog of Travel Amateurs (http://www.travelamateurs.com/) gave us an unrealistic idea of the density of fellow deadbeats.
After leaving the mountains of San Cristobal we had three days to drive 16 hours to Cancun to pick up my sister Chyanne at the airport. Once we picked her up, it was 7 days of exploring the Yucatan, Pawley Style! :)
San Cristobal de Las Casas is a colonial mountain town called the “cultural capital” of the state of Chiapas. We spent a week there studying Spanish and drinking coffee! Also throwing up, but that was unrelated...
One of my regrets so far on our trip, is never having made it to the mountains of Baja. Beaches and fish tacos are great, but I’m most at home where the nights are cold and the air is thin and smells of pine.
Our second week in Mazatlan was spent with our new German friends Sophie and Peter, our swiss friends, new Mazatlan friends, and friends from home new and old! It started off with two nights of street camping in downtown Mazatlan, and ended with a wonderful trip up to the lake north of Mazatlan... but there was a casualty of all the fun...
Our visit to Mazatlán has been such an unexpected joy. Almost every moment has been spent with friends new and old. From the ferry ride to Mazatlán to street camping in the Centro Historico, we have been so blessed with extraordinary experience after extraordinary experience!
Since we’ve only been back on the road for a week and haven’t had time to build up a blog post worth of cool stories, here is a list of things we’ve learned in our almost two months of traveling in Mexico.
When Taylor’s dad Rick invited us back for the company Christmas party, we weren’t sure we’d want to go. We weren’t sure if we’d even want to leave the beaches of Mexico for the ice and snow of Oregon. But we did...
After KP picked me up in Boise, we made our way through 4 states, 5 national parks, 1 state park, and 12 BLM/NF Campsites before entering Mexico. The two weeks we spent traveling from Moab to the Grand Canyon was full of some amazing sites and stories! Here are the highlights of each of the amazing places we visited.
The peninsula we typically just call “Baja”, is actually split into two distinct Mexican states. Until recently, all our Mexican adventures have taken place in the Northern half, known simply as “Baja California”. Below 28° North, you’ll find yourself in the lower half- “Baja California Sur”.
As we planned our trip, we found ways to drag out goodbyes. It seemed like there was always another party, family get-together, or meet up with friends in our near future. While most of those events came and went before our final departure, one last hurrah remained- a foray just south of the border to see the 49th annual Baja 1000.