Saludos, todos. An early “Happy Holidays” to all, wherever you may be. As for us, we are presently in Merida, at the front end of a month-long trip, during which we will travel to and work from five different cities in Mexico. After our time in Merida, we’ll be traveling on to Campeche, Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas and Tulum, making a sort of parallelogram through southern Mexico (see map photo).
With a break in the work crunch during the holidays, it seemed the perfect opportunity to put our slow-growing theory about combining travel with work to the test. And so, we worked out a plan which included a budget, itinerary and pack list. We decided to limit ourselves to one backpack and two computer bags. This exercise was fun and challenging, a bit like Tetris. Much of what you see in our gear photo ended up being yanked and left behind so that we could make our goal. But we did it, so hooray. No schlepping big bags around.
We also researched and purchased travel insurance – choosing a policy heavy on emergency medical and evac coverage (this policy being in addition to our year-long professional gear coverage with a company that insures freelance workers living abroad). Tor spearheaded another important measure: installing security software on our laptops and mobile devices as well as backing up all of our data (twice) on drives that we then stored in separate places.
Our good friends on Isla will be our points of contact, should we get in a fix, and have on hand our vital docs and a list of our emergency contacts in the US, which leaves us to enjoy our time on the road with little worry. ¡Vamos!
MAKING MERRY IN MERIDA
We arrived in Merida yesterday afternoon, after only one bus breakdown. Luckily, we had just left Cancun and they transferred us to a different bus right away. A testament to the ADO bus system, really – they had us sorted out in no time. Only about a 15-minute setback, all told. I happily napped most of the way, (missing a showing of “Australia” in Spanish) but while awake, I enjoyed the scenery of towns and villages along the way, the stands of palms and fruit trees stretching for miles and the frequent sight of hawks circling and diving above them.
Our hotel is in the historic district and has turned out to be great. The deals on Booking.com are really pretty hard to beat (sorry, Expedia). With Booking.com’s “Flash Deals”, you can get rooms as cheap as $18 US, provided you are flexible with your travel schedule. The hotel we chose more than meets our needs – A/C, wi-fi, strong box for our valuables, work desk, nice King bed, even a 32″ flatscreen TV.