November 15, 2018
Look at them, so young and naive. If only they knew what was coming!
It’s been 6 months since we last published, and as we’re approaching the anniversary of our departure, we thought this might be a good time to look back and to catch up. So, below you’ll find an abbreviated recap of our blogged adventures to this point, followed be an update since our last post.
As you’ll recall, we sold our house, quit our jobs, bought a van, and took off in the Fall of 2015. Three years later we have no regrets, for reasons anticipated, and for reasons not. We started writing this blog with a simple entry:
Following is a summary of our travels since, with links to the appropriate blog posts. You could just skip this section and go read all the posts in order. There are only 72! You can see maps for most of the tavel on the Travel Map page. Also, to see all the archeology site we’ve visited along the way, we’ve created a map which you can see here.
In November of 2015, we headed south, intending to spend Thanksgiving in Texas, and then go into Mexico from there. Of course, we started our trip south by heading north. Along the way, we visited Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, East Texas, and Houston, and managed to make it to Thanksgiving with Laura’s mom in Blessing, Texas.
In mid December, 2015, we left Texas intending to meet friends in Akumal, Mexico and so drove pretty much straight through. It took us 4 days, crossing into Mexico at Nuevo Laredo, driving right through the high central plains, down to the low coastal plain of Veracruz, and across the Yucatan Penninsula to Akumal and the Caribbean. From Akumal, we drove to Merida with our friends, explored the city and surrounding area.
We made it to Majahual in time to celebrate the New Year, and spent some time exploring Majahual before heading across the southern Yucatan back to the Gulf Coast, up to Campeche, then across the peninsula again to Valladolid, then back to the Caribbean at Xpu Ha, Playa del Carmen and Akumal.
Leaving the Yucatan, we headed to Chiapas, stopping in Palenque and Tonina on the way to San Cristobal de las Casas, running into a little car trouble along the way. We liked San Cris a lot, spent a good deal of time there, and wrote three blog posts about it. During our stay, we left the van and flew back to Texas for a short March visit. On the way, we stopped in Mexico City. From San Cristobal, we made the short drive down to Tuxtla Gutierrez, where we were again delayed a bit due to vehicle concerns, and so took a trip by bus to Puerto Escondido and Huatulco for the last two weeks of April, 2016.
Wrapping up our time in Chiapas in mid May, we headed back north, and climbed back onto the high central plain to Cholula and Puebla. Then to Teotihuacan, and after that, a stop in San Miguel de Allende. From there, we left Mexico, driving back into Texas and Minnesota for some time with friends and family.
In October, 2016, we again left Minnesota for a long trip, this time exploring the West of the USA. We drove through North Dakota and to Yellowstone National Park, where we toured, hiked, and photographed enough to fill 3 more blog posts. After Yellowstone, we explored a bit of Montana, including a quick visit to Glacier National Park, and then headed west to the Pacific on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. From Washington, we drove down through Oregon and into Northern California. We stopped in Yosemite National Park and Death Valley National Park. Heading back toward Texas, we stopped in Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Arizona, and saw Taliesin West outside of Phoenix.
In mid November, 2016, we marked a year on our adventure. We did a lot of traveling in the first year. Honestly, too much. Luckily, the opportunity to slow down a bit (or a lot) presented itself to us while we were on our western road trip. A couple we had met in Majahual the previous winter was looking for a house sitter for their house outside of Chetumal for the winter.
We flew back to the Yucatan and spent December, 2016 through February 2017 house sitting near Calderitas, just north of Chetumal, Mexico. We wrote 3 posts about our stay. We took a boat from Chetumal to Belize for a couple of days, and then flew back to Texas the first week in March, 2017.
Our next big trip began later in March, 2017. We decided to explore some of the Southeast USA where neither of us had much experience, though we did start that trip in Louisiana, which, if you know us, is almost becoming a second home. After spending way more time in New Orleans than we originally intended, we headed across southern Mississippi to meet an old friend in Alabama. From there, we toured the Florida Panhandle, and crossed over to St. Augustine on the Atlantic coast. Next, we followed the coast up through stops in Georgia and South Carolina before heading inland.
In May, 2017, we were called back from the road to Texas. While we knew our new lifestyle would afford the opportunity to travel, we also found it afforded us the ability to be around to help someone out who needs us. So, unexpected benefit.
Over the next six months or so, we kept near South Texas. We hid from a hurricane, and engaged in less extended travels, saw some hurricane destruction south of us, and did a short house sitting stint in New Orleans.
We spent February, 2018 house sitting in Loveland, Colorado on the front range between Denver and Fort Collins. There we enjoyed a relatively relaxed time, enjoying the Rocky Mountains, as well as more mundane pleasures, such as dogs and beer.
In March, 2018, we saw some whooping cranes nearby on the Texas Coast, and in April we hit the road again, visiting Louisiana, including New Orleans (of course), then on to the Florida Panhandle, where we stayed in a state park on the beach. We then traveled north, visiting Nashville, Cahokia Mounds, and St. Louis on our way up to Minnesota.
And now you’re caught up on the blog.
Since we last wrote
Since our last post, we have been to Minnesota a couple of times, met friends in New Orleans (if you can believe that) where we just happened to show up in time for the Oyster Festival, crashed the soft opening of Saint Arnold Brewing’s new beer garden in Houston, and taken the van for a short trip to Galveston.
Most recently, we did a house sit in Austin, Texas for 6 weeks from late September to early November, and took care of two wonderful dogs. Austin probably deserves it’s own blog post, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to get one. Here’s our synopsis: Austin would be a really cool place to go to college.
Where we are going with this?
We started writing this blog to keep friends and family informed of where we are and what we’re doing, although we have found that a great deal of the benefit of writing it is that it gives us an opportunity to organize and process our own memories. We might even write this if no one else read it.
We have given some thought to trying to reach a wider audience. And this is hardly a new idea. Back in the late 1990s, when we first thought about living travel oriented lives, Michael decided we should write a website dedicated to travel. He even started to learn some HTML (there were no blogging tools back then) and we got a rudimentary page online, with a few travel observations, a couple photos, and the promise of much more to come. It didn’t go very far. The idea then was to make travel our profession. For better or for worse, we didn’t make that happen. Now, 20 years later, we have portable professions that allow us to travel (on a budget) and blog for leisure, rather than pay.
Any thoughts of improving and expanding this blog to reach a wide enough audience to be profitable are quickly dashed when we do any research for our own travel. The market is saturated with well written, well photographed sites maintained full time by fellow travelers. It’s not something we think would be worth investing more time and effort into. For now, we’re happy to write this for ourselves, for our friends and family, and for the occasional fellow travelers who stumble upon us.
Saturday will mark 3 years since we left our old lives and embarked on this adventure. On Sunday, we’re going to Colombia. Stay tuned!