On the Blog

Le blog has arrived! We’re a bit late, we’ve been quite busy.
We only decided 5 weeks ago to come travelling. And over that five weeks we have discovered:

  1. 5 weeks isn’t enough unless one of you is not working
  2. Google becomes your closest confidante and advisor, it (well a cacophony of travel bloggers) can tell you what the best sleeping bag liners are, what visas you need, what to do about bed bugs, that thrush cream should be purchased “just in case”, typical itineraries.. or simply mire you in confusion about whether you’ll need a sleeping bag, trainers vs hiking boots for Machu Picchu, how important malaria tablets are, whether you need a mosquito net…  the tributary comments roar in a torrent of debate for a while then meander through estuaries and out into the big blue sea of no resolution. To be honest, I’m looking forward to actually talking to people, or simply finding out, whilst on the move… rather than begin a new job as an internet researcher trying to understand the big blue.
  3. You’ll spend approximately 5x your boyf’s budget on gear
  4. You’ll be totes emosh saying “goodbye” to family (along with your sentimental trinkets) and friends
  5. The closer leaving gets, the more vivid & strange your dreams will be – and yet frankly dull at the same time (“that backpacker nicked my sarong!”, “My storage doesn’t let me store frozen goods?! Are you kidding?” etc)
  6. You basically have no idea what you’re doing.

And look, this blog is probably not going to conjure up any inspiration to travel in whoever reads it, it won’t contain any insights that haven’t been documented by thousands of internet voices before us, but that’s not the point of the journey or the blog. Although, in an effort to afford trite nonsense I have ordered Jim to serve up one funny morcel each day. Its one man’s quest against the banal.

So, on our first day travelling, I had two immediate and stark reminders of why this is important to me and what I’m hoping to gain from this experience.

The first reminder was a massive attachment to my stuff in storage. Well, not exactly to my stuff – I woke up at 4.30am in a panic about what I’d left in my boxes that might explode (pressurised gas canisters etc) – but not because it might ruin my things, rather it might ruin others’ belongings and my insurance would be invalidated, plunging me into massive personal liability debt. I could not detach from my contrivance. Thankfully a flight to another country gives you some perspective i.e. you stop thinking about it. Que sera.

And therein lies the first point, perspective. Living life from just what’s on your back, I expect, is quite liberating in terms of properly assigning importance to things.

Me and the Pack

Me and the Pack

And when we arrived into Cancun it was total amateur night.

  • Missed the bus we booked a ticket for because we couldn’t find the departure platform >>
  • Got soaked in a massive downpour >>
  • Paid a taxi to go about 50 meters >>
  • Asked hotel (Hotel el Rey del Caribe) for a food recommendation (OK, it was nice but far too expensive for backpackers)>>
  • Succumbed to a mariachi band (“Mexicanismo 2000”, no less) >>
.. with no espanol (yet) its basically confusing and bewildering. And so to the second point… isn’t that amazing? The not knowing if you’re in the right place, on the right bus, walking in the right direction, tipping the waiter the right money, massively insulting people… how can that not make you less insular, more open, more free to take a chance and “see what happens” (a philosophy that’s anathema to my product manager self in London)?

We’ll see.

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