As a travel blogger and expat who's been living and traveling long-term in Mexico, one of the first things I was told after arriving in this country was that I HAD to experience Day of the Dead, Mexico's vibrant, elaborate, and legendary holiday to celebrate and remember deceased loved ones. So in 2023, I joined a 7-day, 6-night group trip, offered by National Geographic and G Adventures, to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Oaxaca — and here’s my honest review.
If you guys have been tracking my spending updates during the last few years since I semi-retired outside the U.S., you’ve seen… my spending (more or less) slowly increasing. While some of that is a result of inflation, demand, and the strengthening Mexican peso... I've also made some conscious choices.
Mexico City: it's one of my favorite cities in the world, PLUS the city in which I've spent the MOST time since becoming a nomad in 2020! Here's what I tell tourists to do in the city if they only have 7 days. (Check out my Instagram for even more recommendations!)
How does a full-time solo traveler (with a car and a dog) spend her money, living and traveling Mexico? Peer into my spending the last three months, and take it from me... I can't afford *NOT* to travel!
I've been slow-traveling across the country of Mexico since early 2022, discovering its many towns, cities, landscapes, bodies of water, natural and historic attractions, and cultural and culinary traditions. ... So naturally I tend to encounter a lot of myths, biases, and falsehoods from people who just don’t have the firsthand experience with Mexico that I do. So, here we go — let’s bust some myths!
Wine and cheese… what more could you ask for?! If you know me at all by now, you know that I absolutely LOVE wine tasting across the world. The tradition of winemaking and learning from the people who make it is a REALLY cool way to discover a new place! So, when I discovered last year that Mexico had an “other” wine country (second to Baja California, Mexico’s biggest wine-producing region) — I knew I would be visiting the area — and its multiple wineries and vineyards — more than once. Here are some of my favorite stops.
Day of the Dead celebrations bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to Mexico each year. Here's why everyone — you included — should experience this legendary and immersive experience in Oaxaca (with me!).
I last wrote a spending breakdown at the end of 2022, when I shared with everyone that I lived on $74 a day as a global nomad (mostly in Mexico and Eastern Europe, with two months in the U.S). The lifestyle I lead would cost probably twice as much in the states — and while I wouldn't call my post-employment, full-time travel choices luxurious, I am comfortable. So, what does "comfortable" look like for me this year traveling in Mexico? Here's what I spent my first three months in 2023...
Quintana Roo: it’s probably the most well-known and highly-touristed state in Mexico, and brings to mind all-inclusive resorts, powdery beaches, and turquoise water. That is — unless you dive under the surface. (No pun intended.) After spending most of February in central Mexico, this little nomad and solo traveler decided to venture east to see what "QRoo" had to offer. I spent a month in Tulum, a week in Playa del Carmen, and 4-5 days each in a couple other spots. Let’s count it down! Warning: Opinionated opinions ahead...
While it’s great to have the freedom of the open road, the opportunity to go to far-flung places on my own timetable, and the ability to store a lot more belongings (including my trusty sidekick, Penny) — there are a number of downsides, like the associated costs, the physical and material responsibility, and the mental effort and concentration driving in new places takes. Here's what I wish I knew before crossing the border and driving in Mexico.
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, feels like a place I could just sink into. It feels livable; a great place to travel on a budget. I saw and met a ton of travelers, mostly European. There is lively nightlife and bustling cafe culture, and the indigenous culture shines brightly. And there are so many restaurants and coffee shops I wanted to try, and not enough meals in the day!
I’ve been on the road in Mexico (this time around) for three and a half weeks now, and since I always tend to get the questions, “But, how do you look so cute when you travel, Julie?” and “And, what do people actually pack on a months-long nomadic sabbatical?” — I thought it prime time to give you a look into my trunk when it comes to my earthly possessions in this world. Plus, I’m sharing a few fun facts you just may not know about me, along with my best packing and organization tips for long-term travel. Read on!
On January 20, 2023, I was conditionally approved for temporary residency in Mexico. This means I can stay in Mexico long-term, past the time frame allowable to tourists (nothing to do with citizenship, passports, or voting). And while I’m (partially) rejoicing now, it’s been a saga months in the making. Do you want to retire in Mexico? Find out what it takes!
When people ask me about the coolest things I've done in Mexico, it's impossible to think of just one or two. I feel like I am constantly seeing beautiful, awe-inspiring, and unique things — some of them big and splashy, some of them small but impactful. Still, I knew I had to put together at least a small list of the places and moments in Mexico that will stick out in my memory forever... enjoy.
Well guys, my six months in Mexico have sadly come to a close. To say my time there was incredible is an understatement… and I’m still processing! At the time of this writing, I’m in Austin, TX for the 4th of July weekend to get some of my USA errands handled before I head up to Kansas to see family. Then, I'll head overseas in late July. (First stop, Slovenia!)
Here's my experience visiting Huasteca Potosina, the extensive waterfall and cave region deep in the jungle of Mexico... that you've never heard of but definitely have to visit! Use this as a guide to planning your visit (with or without a dog)!
During my 6-month Mexico road trip, I spent two weeks in Oaxaca, known for its indigenous cultures, food, colorful streets and architecture, mezcal, textiles, and art. And like many others before me, I fell in love with Oaxaca...
I could tell my mom felt out of her element when she first arrived. But then I heard a Mexican man greet her on the street, I heard her reflexive reply of “hola”, and I saw the small smile that appeared on her face. I knew she was feeling what I feel when I travel internationally: triumph. Triumph at figuring it out, at being able to learn one more thing, at feeling self-sufficient... triumph at discovering the magic trick.
In May 2022, this little retired nomad went to Mexico City… staying in CDMX’s Condesa neighborhood (May 1-23) and Oaxaca (May 23-31 and ongoing)! Mexico City reminds of New York City, and according to this cost-of-living index, it’s 60% less expensive than NYC. And in general, Mexico is 47.21% lower than the United States. That math seems to check out with my experience!
Boy, does time fly. I’ve now been in Mexico for four months, and I have a number of new cities under my belt! After leaving Puerto Vallarta in early April, I went to La Mazanilla, Melaque, Mazamitla, Morelia, and Patzcuaro. I spent the long Easter weekend in San Miguel de Allende, a night in Querétaro, and the rest of the month in Mexico City. I have now traveled over 4,200 kilometers in Mexico!