How a Year of Language and Travel Made Me a Better Global Citizen

This isn’t the pretentious ‘global citizen’ that you hear in hostels from hipsters who think their own passport isn’t cool enough to warrant a straight answer when you ask where they’re from. I mean the actual philosophical, civic, and social idea of being a global citizen and…

The South of Mexico: Fast Travel in 21 Photos

I’m normally a huge fan of slow travel: stop, take off your shoes, stay a while, learn a place. It’s how I explored most of Mexico. But when I left Mexico City in July to travel through the country’s south — an area about twice the…

backpacking mexico

Backpacking Mexico, ¡with Mother!

In January I was in Monterrey, my first stop in Mexico as well as my first trial speaking Spanish in a group social setting. My Mexican friend Karen and I went to a small meetup with some Couchsurfers, a German and three Mexicans, who we met at a…

mexico city travel

Mexico City: The Easiest Place I’ve Ever Been

When I set out for Latin America, one of my priority list toppers was poverty. I wanted to experience first-hand what it was like to live in a developing country, to live with and travel through developing communities. I wanted a global perspective on my…

Is Mexico Safe for Travelers?

I’ve been dying to write this post for a while now, because its title is a question that’s been posed to me so many times this year: “Is Mexico safe for travelers?” After spending eight months in Mexico an in 12 of its 31 federal…

The 7 Stages of the Traveler’s Social Cycle

Last week I shared some of the ‘travel fails‘ that led me to say hasta luego to Mexico and spend some time in Florida working on my location-independent business. One of the themes of that post that I couldn’t supress was the social one —…

Trilingual in Three Years — Part 4: Three Years Later

It’s June 4th as I start writing this, so about 3 years and 1 month after I first opened a book called Teach Yourself Dutch and started my multilingual journey. Thus time for an update. Three years ago I was in Tallahassee, Florida, getting ready for…

Lengua Española: The Latin American Lingua Franca

An American, a Brit, a Frenchman, and a Mexican walk into a bar hostel: what language do they speak? In a recent past life, I would have said English without a thought or hesitation, even if there weren’t two native speakers in the mix. But in…

(Un)common Sense Tips for Budget Backpacking

In my last post I shared some updates about where I am on the road from NOLA to Bogotá and how I’ve stretched my limited funds to get here with budget backpacking. After that post, I realized I’m always alluding to ideas like ‘cheap travel’ and ‘backpacking on…