This post is about the epic trip that I started when I left my job in 2017, the first year on the road in pictures. I hope you will enjoy it.
One of the reasons why I wanted to leave my corporate job so bad and start a journey with no return date was the need for traveling at a slow pace, with no precise schedule, enjoying every step of it, and getting to know the essence of the place I was visiting. No offense, I am not judging, but I never understood those who proud themselves for having 50 stamps on their passport in one year or even 6 months.
Traveling is not a race.
Who the heck are you racing with? Time? You will never win, sorry. Traveling is (to me) going to a place and getting familiar with it, absorbing it, suck it all in, and then, maybe, moving on. This is what I did in Mexico.
I lived in Cancun for seven years before quitting my job, and then I left intending to travel around the country for about two months before leaving for central and South America. Well, as it happens to every professional traveler, I changed my plans. Oh! How much I love to change plans!! You have no idea! And I allow myself to do it. No one to tell me I am doing something wrong. Because there is nothing wrong with changing plans, you know! Change is beautiful. Change is growth. Change is the door to wholeness and connection.
“Be water, my friend”. Said the wise Bruce Lee.
I was the water flowing across Mexico, a spectacular country that I thought I knew, but I didn’t. I realized that 7 years in Cancun and the Riviera Maya didn’t make me an expert about Mexico.
Those are separate worlds. Yes, it’s Mexico, but traveling through other states such as Chiapas, Mexico City, Baja California, Jalisco, Veracruz, Chihuahua, I realized how little I knew about Mexico (and how little I still know). It’s a huge spectacular, controversial country, and although I haven’t shared all I have seen during all this year of traveling, it’s all in my heart, ready to become words soon.
I ended up staying in Mexico for about 1 year instead, and then I made it my goal to leave the country and move on to Guatemala. Over there I spent about 2 months, one housesitting and one traveling. The original plan was to keep moving south slowly but surely. However, I changed my plans again. Oops! I realized how eager I was to see South America, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina. Those were my dream countries. So I decided to skip Central America and Colombia, where I have been already. I flew to Ecuador from Guatemala with a friend who joined me on my journey. And we went to the spectacular Galapagos. Another change of plans because it was not in my budget originally.
Now that I am writing this, I am in Quito planning my itinerary for the next weeks, with two freelance jobs that allow me to keep traveling and do what I love. A travel blog (that you are reading right now) that I love and will continue to nurture and cultivate with care and passion, the way I do everything I do.
I have also decided to speed up my journey (yes, another change), because I want to get to Patagonia by the end of March and capture all the beautiful autumn colors. Therefore even though I don’t really like planning I decided a little of it wouldn’t hurt. It’s all about adjusting along the way. When I started this journey I didn’t know what it was going to be, how I would feel. When you decide to set up for such an adventure, you decide to jump in the unknown and with a not so stable safety net.
And it doesn’t matter how many blogs you read and how many books, or videos, how many motivational spots you have listened to.
Those people, your heroes, who apparently “made it” and pushed you to make the step towards your dream life, are not there to cheer you up when you are in tears when you feel lonely when you feel like you made the biggest mistake of your life when you need a word of reassurance, a pat on your shoulder and a few words like, “it’s going to be alright, just keep going.”
As much as they love you, your parents will never understand your choice, your friends with a “normal life” would look at you as the weirdo even with a sort of pity.
Luckily I have the best friends ever to support me, the old-time friends, and the new one I met along the journey. It’s funny how you bond so much with strangers, for the love of Travel.
But your most important friend, allied, companion, is you and your own precious self. You need to love yourself so deeply and make sure you will push yourself through every pain or downfalls when nobody else is there for you. And this is one of the things I have learned on my journey.
Here I am in Quito, counting my 500 days and more on the road, as grateful as I have ever been and excited for the days to come, the new adventure the new friends, and whatnot.
I wanted to present my 2018 year of traveling with my best pictures not only to celebrate this first amazing year on the road but also to remind myself of my blessings and also of the place where I have been. You know with age, you get to lose memory.
I hope you will enjoy the virtual journey and will be inspired to your next travels.
JANUARY 2018 – QUERETARO – MEXICO
2017 ended in Veracruz, where I have visited the Pueblos Magicos of Xalapa, Xico, Cscomatepec, Orizaba and ended up in Veracruz Puerto to housesitting a cute little doggie-girl Zelda, that is not with us anymore (RIP my girl).
I decided last minute for my next destination, and I took a ride on Bla Bla Car for the first time all the way from Veracruz Puerto to the beautiful Santiago de Queretaro.
I didn’t know what to expect, and I fell in love with the city’s historical center, but what I have enjoyed the most was the tours I took in the surroundings of Queretaro to the spectacular Sierra Gorda. Unfortunately, I didn’t write anything about it yet, but hopefully, this post will motivate me to write a full post and tell you how to discover this amazing best-kept secret.
I stayed in the small village of Piñal de Amoles, and the guide would pick me up every morning to take me on tour in different places.
We did 3 days tour and I have seen so much.
Here some pictures:
For more information on how to visit contact Bernardo, my awesome and knowledgeable guide on his facebook page.
Then I finally went to the Huasteca Potosina, oh my god what a spectacular God Blessed place.
Here I have written a huge post that has become my best seller. Here it is:
FEBRUARY 2018 – BAJA CALIFORNIA – MEXICO
Oh wow! what a month – it was one of the best months ever, I have to say. I was in Baja California to housesit 2 beautiful baby cats. My friend joined me, and we went on a driving tour around Baja California or at least at the central part where we have seen whales and spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez coast.
I have spent quite a while in La Paz as I was working on a project and my friend Maurizio was recovering from a bad flu. I have written an amazing guide on Baja California, that you can read here.
Here below some of my best shots.
MARCH- BARRANCA DEL COBRE (Copper Canyon ) – MEXICO
I have always wanted to visit the Copper Canyon, but I have been intimidated by the lack of information and the little facts I could gather to organize my own trip. When my friend Maurizio suggest that we could do it together, I felt relieved.
We had an amazing time and we have covered a lot in 20 days. I am planning to write a full guide soon.
Here you can check out some of my best pictures.
APRIL 2018 – GUANAJUATO
After having toured around the north of Mexico with my friend Maurizio in the Copper Canyon, Durango, and other interesting historical places, I have decided to spend some time in the beautiful Guanajuato and get some work done while visiting the city now and then. Here below a few shots.
MAY- JUNE: PUERTO VALLARTA AND SAYULITA
After Guanajuato, I passed by Zacatecas, Morelos, and Patzcuaro, and then off to Guadalajara where I met with a friend and we spent a few days in Sayulita and San Pancho on the Riviera Nayarit. From there I would have continued to Puerto Vallarta where I would house sit in a beautiful house with 20 beautiful cats and 1 lovely dog.
That was heaven for me and it was hard to leave them.
Here some pictures of my babies but also of the spectacular surroundings.
JULY: GUADALAJARA, TAXCO, and PUEBLA
After a month of housesitting in Puerto Vallarta, I moved back inland to Guadalajara. I stayed with a good friend and enjoyed the cultural city, the museums, vegan restaurants, and the surroundings. I stayed for a week, and then I started to travel southwards and visit Taxco and Puebla.
It was a tour through the Cultural Mexico, what I have missed while living in Cancun. I still have to write a lot about it but here some pictures.
AUGUST: OAXACA AND CHIAPAS
I was really looking forward to exploring Oaxaca. Although I didn’t really see everything I wanted to (I look forward to going back next year), I still managed to cover a lot, exploring both the cultural city and the spectacular beaches.
I started my trip to the capital city Oaxaca and then took a bus through the spectacular mountains to the coast where I stayed a few days on the world-famous Zicatela beach in Puerto Escondido, one of the best surfing spots in Mexico. I have explored the surrounding beaches and then moved to Huatulco, before going to San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas. (but that’s for next month 🙂
Here my best shots among the thousands I took.
And finally, after one year in Mexico, I made it to Guatemala and not without an adventure, of course. Crossing the border was an adventure, indeed. Nothing major, but still, I have something to talk about. Here is my story.
I arrived safe and sound in Flores, where I explored the breathtaking Tikal ruins, then I traveled to the world-famous Semuch Champey and then Rio Dulce before reaching my house sitting assignment in Antigua.
September was a month full of work and animal love. I love to be around cats and dogs and house sitting is my savior.
Now that I am traveling around Ecuador and I didn’t find any housesitting opportunity, I am suffering.
Here some pictures of my first month in Guatemala.
October: I am still in Guatemala
I finish my housesitting on the 14th but the kind homeowner allowed me to stay in her house for another week until a friend of mine joined me on part of my journey across Latin America. We traveled through Guatemala and then off to Ecuador.
I still have to write about this journey and I will do it right after this post. 🙂
In the meantime some pictures for you.
NOVEMBER: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS – FINISHING THE YEAR WITH THE BEST OF THE BEST
I have never thought such a place could exist on earth. One of the most spectacular nature reserve in the world. If you love wildlife and nature this is the place you should plan to visit soon.
We spent 20 days traveling around the inhabited Galapagos islands and seen as much as we could.
I have written extensively about it.
- Your essential Galapagos Packing List
- Galapagos Cruise or DIY trip? How to visit the Galapagos Islands
- 34 animals of the Galapagos Islands – where and when to find them
- 7 unmissable free things to do in San Cristobal Galapagos
- How to make the most of your trip to Isabela Island Galapagos (Isla Isabela Galapagos)
Hee some pictures
Here I am in the last month of this crazy year. I have been in Quito since we came back from the Galapagos Islands. My friend went back home to figure her life out while I needed to sit down and start writing. Besides, I have received amazing news from a friend who wants me to help him with his business, and I couldn’t have been happier. I love the job, and it allows me to continue my journey while working online. I will need to slow down my travel, but this is how I love to do it anyway, at a slow pace. Stopping here and there and alternating long working days with other spent exploring around.
My blog, this one that you are reading, is growing, and more and more people are reading it and appreciating all my tips, which makes me super happy because it’s the reason I am writing.
But most of all although I miss my family and I would really love to go back to Italy and spend some time with them, the thought that we are all in good health and happy with a roof on our head and food in our stomach every day it’s good enough to realize how fortunate I am.
So since it’s time for resolutions, my goal for 2019 is to be more grateful for my life and my family and find ways to give back because if there is one reason for living this life on this earth is first to find your purpose, second to help and inspire those who are still in search.
Well, I am not sure I have found mine, but I am sure I am on the right path.
About helping I am always ready to give a hand where I can.
And I leave you with one of my favorite quotes.
“Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities.”Tim Fargo
For further reading
- 25 Interesting facts about Ecuador
- 15 scary travel experiences stories from a solo female traveler
- Afraid of traveling alone? Embrace your fears and travel anyway
- The 9 best Airbnb in Aldea Zama Tulum
- 20 Delicious Negril Restaurant Options For The Best Jamaican Food