Mexico: Live It To Believe It

I don’t need to tell you how much I love Mexico. From my first visit to Mexico City for Dia de los Muertos, to the three months I spent exploring the country last summer, I have fallen for the country hard.

It’s not difficult to love somewhere that has such a diverse food, culture and landscape, as well as such friendly and welcoming people. So when the Mexico Tourism Board asked me to talk about my love for the country and why people should explore all of it, not just bustling Mexico City, I didn’t hesitate.

Becoming An Expat Is Hard

Becoming An Expat Is Hard

Before moving to Amsterdam, I never really thought of myself as becoming an expat. That was always a word bandied around by other people. Older people, who had their life together. Not me. This move was just yet another element of my world travels, nothing different or strange.

And for the first couple of months, it still felt like that. Despite having spent lots of time in the city previously, it was new and shiny and didn’t feel like “real life”. Then the bills started coming through the door and the days took on a much more routine feel. And all of a sudden, I realised that my new lifestyle was more permanent than I had led myself to believe. I was becoming….gulp…an expat.

But wait, weren’t expats creepy old men who moved to Asia looking for “companionship”? Well, no. Technically an expat is anyone who lives in a country that isn’t their home country. So now that was me. I lived here. I had bills and an address that people could actually post stuff to (a novelty after so long on the road). And with that comes its own difficulties.

My Travel Gadget Essentials

I’m not one to travel with many gadgets. As I’ve talked about before, both my phone and my laptop have seen better days. And those better days were back in 2010.

But there are some gadgets that I don’t mind spending my money on. The ones that actually do need updating regularly, or simply those that I just couldn’t travel without. The ones that make travel days and differing accommodation easier to handle. Here are my travel gadget essentials for every trip I take, long or short.

My Travel Gadget Essentials

Mini Surge Protector

Before we set off on our trip, I never would have known how useful this thing would be. Not only does it protect you from blowing up sockets with electronics that have a different voltage to the country you’re visiting (trust me, we’ve had that happen before), but it also allows you to plug several gadgets into one plug without needed to use up every socket in the hostel room or coffee shop. Your wallet will thank you, and so will your fellow dorm mates or digital nomads.

Things I’m Afraid To Tell You

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

This was a meme that went around in the blogosphere a couple of years ago, but I never saw it at the time (read: was lazy and didn’t participate). It’s all about being totally open and honest and sharing with your readers what bothers and unnerves you; what worries you and what you wouldn’t normally talk about in a regular post. It’s what I’m afraid to tell you, except that now I will.

Blogging is a lonely business

Maybe this should actually be titled “working from home is a lonely business”. I don’t blog all the time – obviously I work freelance on many different projects and blogging is just one part of that. But I work from home, for myself, by myself. I no longer have work colleagues (which I really miss) and talking to people online or via social media just isn’t the same. Working from home is lonely and sometimes boring. You have to motivate yourself and plan your own goals, with no help or conversation from anyone else. There are days when I want to pack it all in and work in an office again, be able to joke with people about what was on TV last night or go out for lunch together. It’s hard.