Mexico: 2 Years In 2 Minutes

Derek Mexico, Videos 35 Comments

Mahahual, Mexico

When I first crossed the border from Guatemala into the Mexican state of Chiapas back in late 2009, I had no idea how long I would be sticking around Mexico. I really had nowhere to be and had no specific plans for the near future but at the same time, I was quite exhausted from having just traveled overland throughout all of Central America.

After a few days in Mexico City, I made a decision to visit a Mexican friend of mine who had been living in Puerto Vallarta at the time. I wasn’t really in the mood to bounce all over the place and seeing an old friend from my days working on board cruise ships was always something I enjoyed. And it was also hard to turn down my friend’s offer of a comfortable place to stay, especially after she told me there was a large swimming pool located on the roof of her apartment complex.

Well, soon after arriving in Puerto Vallarta, one thing led to another and it quickly became apparent that I, along with my friend, would be spending a great deal of time in Mexico.

We didn’t stay in Puerto Vallarta for very long, but as we moved about – from the west coast to the east coast, from Queretaro to the white sand beaches and Mayan lands of Quintano Roo and the Yucatan – my fascination with and love of this country grew daily. Never had I previously imagined that Mexico would offer such a diverse and delightfully intense cultural experience as that which had greeted me in every city, town and village.

And so, it was no surprise that two years passed with Mexico as my ‘home base’.

However, as most of you know, I recently made the decision to leave Mexico and so I boarded a plane bound for the US just over one week ago. But due to my extreme fondness for this country, I did not say goodbye as if I were never to set foot on its soil again. Instead, I thanked Mexico for her hospitality and made a sincere promise to return as soon as I possibly could.

So now, I invite you to watch this short 2 minute video (more like a collection of photos set to music I guess) that recaps my time in the immensely rewarding country that is Mexico:

“MEXICO: 2 Years In 2 Minutes”


For anyone interested in reading more about my experiences in Mexico, there’s plenty to read over at my Mexico page!

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Comments 35

  1. Luscious Lucy

    Hey Earl, I’m an aspiring traveler from Arizona. I’ve spent a year hitch hiking (and couchsurfing) the states and now am ready to hit Mexico and Central America. I’m 23 and had four years of Spanish in high school but have since forgot most of it. I’m lucky I made friends with a local who is taking me in in Mexico City so I have some time to relearn Spanish and get my first taste of leaving the country. I feel pretty confident in my ability to travel safe in the states and talk anyone out of hurting me if they wanted to, however I’ve heard a lot of rumors I’d get kidnapped in Mexico traveling alone. What do you think about a single, white female traveling alone in Mexico and Central America?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Luscious Lucy – Just use the exact same common sense you use at home while you are in Mexico/Central America and the chances of anything happening will be very slim. There are plenty of solo females traveling through this region at all times so I’m confident that you’ll have as wonderful an experience as possible without any issues. Most people are quite surprised by how safe they feel when in Mexico!

  2. Fernanda

    ¡Hola! Me encantó el video. También me sorprendió leer “her” a México, nunca me había preguntado que género sería mi país. Soy de México, de Guadalajara, me encantó tu blog y ahora lo seguiré. Opino igual que Diego, tienes que venir a Guadalajara y comer una tradicional Torta Ahogada. Con mucho gusto te hospedamos por acá y te damos un tour.
    Un abrazo,
    Fernanda

    p.s. I speak pretty good english but after reading your comment on learning spanish I thought maybe you wanted to practice a bit. 😉

  3. Shaun

    Mexico is phenomenal. Our plan to spend 3 weeks there turned into 3 months and we had to convince ourselves to leave (to continue our trip) but only after promising to return in the near future. We can’t wait to come back. 😀

    1. Earl

      Hey Shaun – Well, your story of spending far more time in Mexico than you originally planned is definitely a common one! It’s as if people don’t expect much from Mexico but are immediately drawn in once they realize how much it really does have to offer travelers. Let me know when you plan to return…we’ll have to meet up there again!

  4. Pingback: Favourite travel experiences of the week #10 | Not Just a Holiday

  5. Scott

    Inspirational video man! I am penciling in a month or so next year on my RTW, and your video sure makes me even more excited for it. Good to see that guy in my fake post was wrong about Mexico, right?

    1. Earl

      Hey Scott – Yeah, that fake post you wrote was spot on unfortunately. Hopefully posts such as that and other posts that work hard to show the positive aspects of traveling to Mexico will be able to convince people not to stay away because of fear. It’s good to know you’re planning on staying at least a month down there yourself! I have a feeling you’ll end up staying longer 🙂

  6. Nomadic Samuel

    Earl, considering you made fun of your photography skills in a recent post, I must say you’ve damaged your reputation – quite considerably – by having a nice collection of shots here! 😛

    1. Earl

      @Nomadic Samuel: Ah…you see…it was actually a trick. The reason I had the photos change so quickly was so that nobody would notice my mediocre photographic skills.

      At super speed even my photos begin to look decent 🙂

  7. Meg K

    I’m soooo looking forward to getting down there soon. Are you still going to be offering the apartment location service for non-locals in Playa del Carmen?

  8. Sam

    So Mexico is female, eh? Nice video. Pretty sure I’ve sat in exactly those black chairs with circular backs in Valladolid. Looking forward to spending so time in this country that you sell so well!

    1. Earl

      Hey Sam – Ha! After I wrote that I wondered why I chose female as well. Not sure where that came from.

      And those chairs in Valladolid are ideal, right? While sitting in them I remember thinking that every park on the planet should be using those!

  9. Jerry Williams

    Earl: I only recently started following you on Twitter, but love what you are doing. This was a great video, and I have to agree with another poster, I appreciate all the good things you are pointing out about Mexico. It is a beautiful county and wonderful people. It gets plenty of bad press. Keep up the great work, it makes my work day a little easier.

    1. Earl

      Hey Jerry – Thanks for that and I can tell you that I have only good things to say about my time in Mexico. While that country certainly does have its fair share of issues, it’s hard to find a traveler who has been to Mexico who didn’t thoroughly enjoy their experiences. Just like you said, it is a country full of wonderful people and the chances of encountering violence while visiting is less than if a person just stayed at home!

  10. Jaime

    Ah great video. I love love love MEXICO. Not only because my parents are form there and because I have visited it a million times… but because it really has so much culture and is simply amazing and diverse. Thanks for sharing this video it made me smile. I am glad bloggers like you are putting good words out about a country who has been hit hard by negative media coverage.

    1. Earl

      Hey Jaime – It’s good to know my video was approved by someone of Mexican heritage 🙂 You certainly know what I’m talking about more than most.

      And I agree that bloggers are in the unique position of being able to share the positive aspects of Mexico that are so often overlooked. There’s a reason why everyone who visited me during my time there said to me at some point, “I could live here!” It always surprises visitors when the majority of Mexico proves to be nothing but peaceful and culturally fascinating!

  11. jason

    Really enjoyed the slide show Earl. Looks like you had a great time in Mexico, but now it’s on to other things. You just need to work out what ‘Other Things’ are??? I’m sure the next chapter in your travelling life will be just as good or better. Adios Amigo…..

    1. Earl

      Hey Jason – That is all very true…when one chapter ends, another one begins. I think I’m still in the process of flipping the page though as I’ve still yet to figure out my next destination!

  12. Rod

    Great photos. They’re so great, I wish there was some way to step through them in a leisurely manner. I’m looking forward to reading about your next adventure. 🙂

    BTW, we swam at Cenote Cristalino about a week after we met you. It was indeed COLD!

    1. Earl

      Hey Rod – Thank you for confirming that it was cold at the cenote! I was starting to think I was completely wrong as most people I know told me they thought the water was quite nice.

  13. Julia

    Very cool! Makes me want to visit Mexico again! I am guessing after 2 years tu español es excelente! Do you have any secret tips on learning the language?

    1. Earl

      Hola Julia – Mi espanol esta mejor que antes pero todavia necesito practicar mas! My recommendation would be to find a private tutor, perhaps a university student. I found a private tutor a few months ago and he really helped me make more sense of the language. And of course, just try not to speak English at all!! That’s really the best way to learn.

    1. Earl

      Hey Jasmine – Actually, there is an interesting story involved with those masks. I’ll add that to my list of potential posts!

  14. Diego Mg

    I am really glad you enjoyed Mexico!! I live in Guadalajara and I am the proudest Mexican alive, I have been wanting to travel over Mexico and later the world but my studies have been getting in the way (I’m only 17). I don’t know if you visited Careyes but it is one of the most beautiful places I in the Mexican Pacific coast, if you didn’t I recommend it for your second visit. If you ever down here again near Guadalajara or Vallarta send me an email, I would love to talk to you about my plans and you can tell my about your experiences.
    Cheers!

    1. Earl

      Hey Diego – You definitely have plenty of time to do some traveling! And I have not visited Careyes. I shall take a look at your recommendation and the next time I’m over there I will have a look. Thanks for that!

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