The Best of Traveling Solo in Quintana Roo, Mexico

MexicoThe Mexican Diaries
Landing in Mexico as a Solo Female Backpacker

Upon arriving to Cancun, I made my way to the Cancun Island—the hotel strip and central touristy area of Cancun. I was interested in seeing the 25 kilometres of beaches that Cancun offers. After walking 10 kilometres of beaches, I enjoyed an afternoon of swimming and snorkelling. After I had enough of the touristy Cancun, I made my way back to real Cancun where I went to the Cancun market and explored the various plazas in the area for a true cultural experience. Authentic Cancun had more to offer me than the very Americanized touristy Cancun Island strip. I didn’t leave North America to experience an area similar to home; I wanted to emerge myself in a completely new culture and lifestyle. After one night in Mexico, I still did not know where I would be going next, but I knew that I needed to make my way out of Cancun and to some place off the beaten path. I did exactly that. Continue reading

Landing in Mexico as a Solo Female Backpacker

Mexico, 2008

MexicoLanding in Mexico for the first time as a solo female backpacker went surprising smooth, with the odd transition here and there. It was much easier than I thought it would be arriving at the airport and finding my way to the hostel (by myself—without speaking much Spanish). Prior to departing Canada, I spent so much time telling everyone how fine it would be with me traveling alone, yet it wasn’t until the airplane was making its descent for Mexico that I realized how scared crapless I was. My heart was racing, my hands were clammy, and I started thinking of the worst things that could or would happen to me. It was in that moment when I realized: this is real. Continue reading

The Mexico Diaries

MexicoOne of my favorite countries is Mexico! As much as I love visiting new places and new countries, there is something special about Mexico that keeps luring me back. I’ve been to Mexico on three different occasions, with each trip lasting 1-8 weeks in length. Each adventure took me to a new region in the country and allowed me to explore more within one of the most beautiful countries I know. It’s been 4 years since I’ve been to Mexico and I am already feeling the pull back to the country. I’m surprised I didn’t land there a fourth time during my 14 months of full time travel. It won’t be long before I go back. It’s a must. It’s already in the works. Just waiting for the perfect moment. Continue reading

22 Countries in 14 Months

TravelsIt is still hard to believe that my 14 months of full-time travel has come to an end. My sabbatical was beyond what I expected and I had honestly no idea where my year off would take me. When I started my year off the only thing I knew for sure was that I would somehow find a way to make it to #1 Hawaii, #2 Australia, and #3 Puerto Rico. These places have always been my dream bucket list turquoise destinations. I can finally say I made it to the three places I have always dreamed about. Other than that, I had no specific “plan” of what I wanted to do/where I wanted to go with my time off. I did not anticipate visiting all of the places I ended up. My journey somehow just took me there and everyday I am amazed and blessed. Continue reading

Australia and New Zealand in a Nut Shell: It Changed Me

Australia

Inlet Hill Lookout, Australia

I don’t know if its actually possible to put Australia and New Zealand in a nut shell, but I will do my best to summarize my nearly 4 months in Oceania from my perspective, based on the experiences I had, and the places I visited in one blog post. If you have been following my blog then you will have noticed that I have been blogging daily about my journey backpacking through Australia (3 months) and New Zealand (3 weeks). I have been attempting to capture extensively each step of my journey and to explain all of my experiences from the different aspects of the trip. Continue reading

Finding Home While Away

Al's Deli
After traveling for nearly 5 months straight, I started longing for my simple home comforts while on the road. Bouncing from place to place, sleeping in uncomfortable (and sometimes dirty) beds, socializing with strangers, living out of a suit case, while trying to make a hostel my home at times made me want the simple things in life. I never get tired of flying,  traveling, meeting new people, seeing new places, and doing new things; yet, it is the small things that can get old really quick. I’m reminded of a YouTube video called Jessica’s Daily Affirmation, of a curly blonde hair child singing to herself in the mirror, “…I like my dad, I like my hair, I love my haircuts, I like my pajamas, I like my stuff, I like my whole house…”. How ironic that her name is also Jessica. I can sense the passion in her voice, as I feel the same way about my home (I love my house!).  The little girl does a better job than me at describing how much she likes where she is living. There gets a point while on the move when I just miss my bed, bathroom, kitchen, and a sense of normality. However, you know as well as I do that as soon as I am home for a couple weeks enjoying those “missed luxuries” that I will be already dreaming and longing for another journey. Continue reading

YHA Auckland International

Auckland International

Auckland International Staying at the YHA Auckland International made staying in Auckland easy as it is conveniently located on Queen Street, just a couple blocks from the Auckland Sky tower- the iconic site in the city. Auckland was my first and last stop on the north island in New Zealand. The hostel being located at the top of Queen Street is perfectly located right where the city comes alive. From the moment I left the hostel to explore Auckland I was able to instantly walk into the heart of the city. The YHA Auckland International front desk staff were fully equipped to suggest points of interest for me during my stay in the city. The knowledgeable staff made sightseeing in Auckland effortless. Continue reading