Hello blog readers: I just returned from a wonderful, yet physically and emotionally challenging trip to Mexico. Since my thoughts are still a bit scattered, I will hold off on writing about my despedida for the moment.
As a hold-over, I put together a long-overdue photo blog about travel: Peace Corps style.
When I was a volunteer, I worked hard during the week and battled wanderlust during the weekend.
One of the Peace Corps perks is the network of fellow volunteers who are scattered across the country. At any given time, someone needs a hand for a work project, or is more than happy to host a familiar face for a weekend away. Hence, couchsurfing – lots of couchsurfing. There is even a Peace Corps Couchsurfing Facebook group for volunteers and returned volunteers across the world!
Couchsurf. verb. To save money on lodging by staying on acquaintance’s couches rather than at a hotel.
Sleeping arrangements, while never a five-star experience, were always available. I shared saggy mattresses with other volunteers, stacked blankets on top of tile floors, and unrolled my yoga mat over sand. Occasionally I stayed in homes with no running water, or where the electricity had been out for days. My sleeping bag was one of my most frequently-used possessions.
Because I was willing to temporarily forgo personal comfort, I had the opportunity to see some incredible places during my service. These trips confirmed that Mexico off-the-beaten-path is really where it is at. Not once did I feel unsafe; not once did I regret the uncomfortable hours in public transit; not once did I get too lost in a country bereft of directional signage.
So I recommend that you pack your bags as soon as you can. As long as you are willing to put faith into people who “swear on their daughter” that the unmarked, pothole ridden road “will lead you to the town of Izamal,” you are assured an amazing adventure.
Click on any image to see a larger version
I traveled from sea to shining sea
Seeking the extremes
Where flavor takes center stage
From ancient traditions…
…to modern city centers
Breathtaking natural spaces…
…and hard-to-get-to places
And of course, I did some work related traveling as well
Traveling Peace Corps style was how I experienced so many unexpected things. I was able to see the many Mexicos and discover the heart of such a diverse and amazing country.
Knowing that, how could you not want to couchsurf central Mexico? ¡Buen viaje, amigos!
For specific travel recommendations in central Mexico, you can ask me, or you can check out a fellow volunteer’s blog and search for posts titled: Lugares Hermosos.