May 2016: Monthly Newsletter
We’re on our way!
After selling our house and almost all of our belongings we’ve hit the road for long-term travel. Even though we’ve started easy with a two week stay in an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta Mexico the transition from a comfortable home into a carryon backpack has been more traumatic than we thought. We couldn’t sleep the first week and went through a period of anxiety knowing we wouldn’t be returning to the house and area we had come to love. But by the second week that evolved into a state of relaxed comfort with what we’ve come to call our “new life” and strangely, after just two weeks, the memories of our home and working life have faded and, more importantly, we feel like travelers now. Not just vacationers, but explorers moving through the world meeting new people and weeing new things
Puerto Vallarta, our first stop. We knew coming in we were visiting a major tourist area, but the level of “industrial tourism” that we encountered was still shocking. We had a good time; snorkeling in the ocean, eating fresh lobster in local neighborhood restaurants and exploring remote areas up and down the coast. But for fifty miles up or down the coast, even in the smallest fishing villages, we couldn’t escape the impact of mega-tourism with tour boats mobbing the near shore islands, coves and beaches while masses of tourists mangled the already severely damaged reefs and upscale developments spread across the land in every direction. Every tiny cove has been turned into an “adventure experience” destination with zip lines and open bars while traffic clogs the only road, highway 200, making just driving a short distance down the coast a stressful journey. Too bad. It must have been a beautiful place at one time.
We investigated property prices for a few days touring houses, condominiums and vacant land lots with local realtors and found everything prohibitively expensive; far more expensive than most places in the United States. But, for those looking for an all-inclusive vacation for a week or so Vallarta could be fun with a warm ocean to swim in, the cobblestone streets of the zona romantica to explore, the friendly local people, and great seafood.
We’ve discovered a lot in our first two weeks of long-term travel. Planning something like this and actually doing it are far different things and reality quickly clashes with our idealistic ideas of how things will be. But we expected that too and there is a beauty the experience of being loose in the world, moving though people, places and things and learning, always learning more about ourselves as we do. We’ve already found we can live with far less than we have in just our carryon backpacks and when we return to Seattle will downsize our packs even more.
Next we pick up our 1993 Oldsmobile in Seattle, already packed with camping gear, and drive through the California coast, the Rocky Mountains, and on into Mexico again this time to Chihuahua to visit family. After that we leave the car in Mexico and we’ll move on to South America.
At least that’s the plan for now.