We were in only two places, but one of them was way more than one place, we did not get there by RV, and we lived for two months out of two carry-on roller bags and two backpacks — which makes us two crazies!
January ~ Texas
We began 2022 the same way we ended 2021, as guests on a friend’s property in Boerne, TX, helping out around the place to earn our keep. And because we unexpectedly bought a truck camper and had to pack and prepare for two months in Mexico, we spent most of January dealing — rather giddily, I must say — with both of those things.
February & March ~ Mexico
First, let me disabuse you of the notion that we packed suitcases and flew to Mexico to make our way around on our own. We are brave enough to do that, mind you, but that wasn’t our method for this trip.
Instead, we had places to land, and knowledgeable and experienced guides — specifically, Tim’s parents, who have been spending winters in Mexico since long before I joined the family 30 years ago. We traveled together with them, and also used their expertise to seek out adventures of our own, and it was the perfect blend of reliance and independence for our first lengthy international sojourn.
(Plus, this wasn’t our first trip to Mexico. We’ve flown down for brief visits over the years, walked across the border for dentistry, and even driven to the northern Baja in an RV caravan.)
We spent our first month on the mainland, in Ajijic, an hour’s drive south of Guadalajara, on the northern shore of Lake Chapala. From there, we also took a 10-day road trip with Tim’s parents to the towns of San Miguel de Allende, Angangueo, Valle de Bravo, and Pátzcuaro. Here’s the month in brief: food, people, landscape, architecture.
We spent our second month on the Baja, in San Jose del Cabo, where several members of Tim’s family gathered for a mini-reunion. All the cousins, siblings, in-laws, out-laws, etc. had flown back to their homes by the 10th, so Tim & I had the rest of the month (and the condo!) to ourselves. Here’s another little taste for you.
We liked this interlude so much that we intend to make it a winter habit. Maybe not next year, and probably not every year, but the more we explored Mexico, the more we wanted to explore, and the more comfortable we became with the idea of doing so on our own. The weather is fantastic, the tacos are cheap, the people are welcoming, and quite honestly, spending two months hopping around between inns, apartments and condos that someone else has to maintain? Pure gold. Respite we didn’t even know we needed.
Wait. Only 2 carry-ons each? EACH?
Pack less, do more.
We stayed in 12 different places, and went on two road trips (one of which crammed 4 adults in a small sedan) so being able to pack quickly and lightly was a necessity.
I won’t bore you with my detailed list, but I will tell you it was a challenge packing for two different climates. We needed winter clothes for part of our February visit to the mainland, during which we spent a week at elevations of 7,000-10,000 feet. Didn’t wear any of those the second month, on the Baja, but then my bathing suit, shorts and tank tops didn’t exactly make it out of the suitcase during that chilly first month.
Yes, there’s a third suitcase in that first picture. The blue one on the left contained items Tim’s parents had requested, as they’d already been in Ajijic since November, and shipping from the states is expensive and unpredictable. It was easier for us to fill a bag and check it — and then donate it to a charity resale shop before leaving Mexico.
Where to next?
We’re currently back at the ranch, preparing to take Road Island (the truck camper), into the upper right corner for the summer. First stop is in northern VA for a wedding at the end of this month, then we’ll travel through the northeastern states, including stops in the four we need to complete our RVing map of the Lower 48 (DE, NJ, RI, CT). Might even throw in a roll through the Canadian Maritimes if time and border policies allow.
As per our typical practice, we’ve made almost no reservations, and have only a vague mental outline of where we want to be and when. We are aware of the risks. But in nearly 7 years of full-time travel, we’ve never found ourselves homeless, even in Tex (our 41′ fifth wheel), even in northern states in the summertime.
Sorry if I’ve made you Capital-P Planners cringe. I just can’t do it your way, any more than you could switch to mine, so it’s a good thing we can all still enjoy sitting around the campfire together, swapping stories, sipping our beverages of choice, and by the way can I pet your dog?
We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.
- 4Q 2021
- 3Q 2021
- 2Q 2021
- 1Q 2021
- 4Q 2020
- 3Q 2020
- 2Q 2020
- 1Q 2020
- 4Q 2019
- 3Q 2019
- 2Q 2019
- 1Q 2019
- 4Q 2018
- 3Q 2018
- 2Q 2018
- 1Q 2018
- 4Q 2017 (doubles as 3rd installment of our Amazon Camperforce write-up)
- 3Q 2017
- 2Q 2017
- 1Q 2017