It’s a bitter sweet moment returning home from a long trip. You return to those somewhat regular things that, hopefully, you enjoy in your daily life. But it’s also a bit of a bummer (or a large one) knowing that your adventure has ended and the crazy stories you’ve acquired are halted, for now of course. At the ending of my backpacking trip from Mexico City to Belize City this winter, it was almost surreal being in the airport. For me it didn’t feel fast at all, the many new things and people kept the days long. Fresh from my trip, here are 3 things I miss about wandering through the winter.
It was great to just wake up and make plans with hostel friends at breakfast. Far from how my usual life is in college, where my days are 80% of the way planned well ahead of time, much of my trip itinerary was planned over hostel toast and jam (good ol’ faithful). My first week I ended up staying an extra day in Mexico City because at breakfast I met two girls who were looking for something to do and came with my friends and I for the day although I “planned” to leave at noon (we stayed up until 5am & I left at 8am). It also took a bit of spontaneity to catch an overnight bus just hours after losing my phone, to go to a city in Veracruz that doesn’t see any foreigners (even Australians, and they seem to get around) and befriend a Mexican family when I only speak enough Spanish to not get ripped off by taxi drivers. Try it sometime if you haven’t.
The people you can meet are amazing as you connect around a common interest, travel, even though they come from around the world! Having some basic foreign language skills to meet locals (or meeting some who speak your language) can even further enhance the experience! Speaking only basic Spanish made my trip much more enriching than it already was for me. I met some amazing Mexicans along my trip, most who only spoke moderate English or very little, and mixed with my minor Spanish, we made it work! A guy I met in Merida showed me out for a great time, as well as shopping for a “Tony Montana” shirt with another Mexican. If you’re ever in Belize City, stop by Scoty’s in the San Pedro water taxi station and ask Carl to get you some powdered buns! He’s a great guy, tell him I sent you.
Traveling outside of the United States allowed me to go from struggling grad student to middle class as soon as I stepped off of the plane. Having 1 US dollar to 2 Belizean dollars ratio and 1 USD to ~14 Pesos, with things not being highly priced, my buying power went up a lot and I didn’t have to stress badly about how much money I had been using. Getting tacos for 10 pesos a piece is unbeatable. Enjoying the street food is a great way to stay full for less, just be prepared for your stomach to adjust, aka never be too far from a toilet!
These are just a few of the things I miss about “being on the road”. Are these things you miss about being about traveling? What are the things you miss about trips you on? Share with us!