You may or may not have noticed my recent silence. I deliberately haven’t been posting as I’ve been planning to change my blog name and move over to a shiny new domain, but (having procrastinated for the last 3 months) I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not capable of doing battle with WordPress all on my lonesome. Help is required, as is some proper time to dedicate to the transition, so that’s a job that’s now been put off until I’m safely back in summery England, which is now alarmingly soon.
I’ve only managed a handful of posts since I’ve been in Mexico. In the first weeks, I was feeling a bit low, as is only natural when you suddenly find yourself somewhere new with nothing but time on your hands, no matter how many volcanos you have a view of. After I’d managed to pull myself out of that funk, it was pretty much already the Christmas holidays, which were two whole months, of which I travelled for a month in total. Arriving back in Colima in January the time until the end of May seemed to stretch into the distance interminably, but then a whole bunch of wonderful people turned up to study here in Colima in the new semester, and time started flying as I was having an awful lot of fun.
In February we went to the Manzanillo Live festival on the coast of the state of Colima, in March we spent a long weekend in Guadalajara, where Ruben, a dear friend from my year in Brazil, met us and we salsaed the night away, and then came April, we climbed the volcano, and the Easter holidays were upon us.
The first week of the holidays was spent road-tripping with the gang, with 13 of us and all our stuff in a 15 seater mini van. Yes, it was as tight as you’re imagining. Yet again, my long legs did me a big favour as I was designated the leg room seat for the whole journey. Winning! Plus, no one asked me to drive as I’ve never driven on the wrong (oh sorry… other) side of the road before, so I literally had my feet up the whole time.
First stop was Sayulita, which I’d visited just before Christmas after my adventure in Baja California and was delighted to get back to. As a novice surfer and aspiring vegan, it’s essentially my idea of heaven. Beautiful waves with a soft sandy seabed. The whole trip was on a major budget so we free-camped on the beach after a night out and were awoken at sunrise by the coastguard and told we had 5 minutes to get the hell out of there.
Next stop was San Blas where we did have to part with a few pennies to camp, but had the benefit of bathrooms. I had the best surf of my life in San Blas, smiling ear to ear for hours afterwards. We stayed two nights, and I woke up early on our last morning and went for a solitary swim as the sun rose behind me and the full moon sank into the ocean in front of me. A moment I’ll never forget. Unfortunately, when we left San Blas we took half of the insect population with us, as something had got into our clothes and the tent and was biting us like crazy. Oh, the glamour.
After a pit stop in Tequila and a factory tour with plenty of shots involved, we ended up camping on someone’s plot of land. A gate that we could lock was a bonus, but the lack of bathroom wasn’t ideal.
My final stop on the road trip was Zacatecas, one of Mexico’s beautiful, multicoloured, colonial cities. We arrived in the midst of a downpour so camping was out of the question, but struck gold with a cheap hostel right in the centre of town which could take all 13 of us. There was a festival on so we enjoyed the music, and before leaving the next morning we all climbed up to the lookout. It was then time for me to say goodbye, and much as I love the gang, I won’t pretend I wasn’t ready for some alone time. Since I’ve been working as a freelancer I’ve become even more used to spending quite a lot of time in my own company, so being around other people 24 hours a day for a week was enough.
It was then off to Cancun, where I’d meet my best friend of a decade, Tiffany Shepherd, for a week to remember. Read all about our misadventures here.
Work wise, things are coming along nicely. Things got pretty busy in February and calmed down a bit in March, and predictably picked up just before I left at the beginning of April. My clients were happy to give me the time off, and the guys at SleepHealthEnergy.com, where I’m the Digital Content Manager, were wonderful at letting me just do little bits here and there to keep things ticking over rather than my standard 20 hours a week. I’ve been back to work for the month of May, with several regular copywriting clients and two translation agencies that I work for, but I’m currently not looking for new leads as I need to scale things back a bit for the month of June.
That’s because my work placement here in Colima comes to an end this week and at the weekend I meet my wonderful mother in Mexico City ready for the start of a month-long backpacking adventure around Belize, Guatemala and Chiapas. She’s graduating university this year so it’s going to be done in true student style on a shoestring budget. It’s been a while since her days in Asia doing the backpacking thing, but I’m sure she’ll still have a thing or two to teach me about life on the road.
This being my second long stint abroad, living and working, I think it’s going to be even harder to leave this time around. When I spent 9 months in Brazil I had a bit of a falling out with my boss at the end and so, despite having to wrench myself away from my best friends there, I was ready to leave, and still had 3 months of travelling ahead of me. This time around, I only really got into the swing of things back in February, so I don’t feel like I’ve had nearly enough time to enjoy it, but that has meant that I’ve valued every second. I’m going to miss the volcano, the heat, the mango trees, margaritas and zumba in the park, but it’s the people who have worked their way right into the centre of my heart that I won’t know what to do without. It’s wonderful finding new soulmates all over the world, but I wish I could put them all in my pocket and bring them home with me.
At the end of June, I’ll be back in the mother country, helping the folks make the big move. We’re exchanging the farmland of Suffolk for the cliffs of Cornwall, so I intend to spend the summer discovering the corners of our new home county, searching for Poldark, drinking vast amounts of cider and getting better at this surfing lark, all whilst finally going full-time with my freelancing.
After that? I’ve got a few exciting irons in the fire, so you’ll just have to watch this space.