The prelimenary stages

Oak Creek Travel Blog

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Technically I haven't actually started the trip yet, but I'm going to begin the travel blog even though I haven't yet started on the journey yet. I've spent the last few days researching my rough route, and I'm getting a general idea of the path I'm going to take down through Central America and into South America. I've arranged for 4 months in a furnished apartment in Cancun starting in October, and I just got off the phone with the Mexican Embassy in Denver to verify that I can stay up to 6 months on my passport without a visa.

Discovered that Craigslist is a wonderful tool to find furnished apartments in other countries around the world. Never really used it for that type of research before, but I came across apartments from 200-400 USD a month all throughout the Yucatan, depending on where you want to stay. The one I chose wasn't the cheapest, but it fitted what I needed in terms of amenities and location, and caters to English-speaking, long-term travelers who aren't interested in luxury accommodations or hardcore partying all night long. Although I may do some of the latter depending on who I meet on my travels, lol!

Right now my planned date of departure is the end of September, or at least I've reserved the apartment for October, November, and December, so 3 months. I might stay an additional month if I like it enough.

The cost of living in Bulgaria was similar to what I'll be paying in Cancun, so staying in Mexico is going to be along the lines of what I'm used to in terms of monthly commitments for the past 2.5 years. But now that I'm single I also have a lot more hours in the day when I used to be doing things other than work (i.e. I was spending time with someone else and only working 2-3 hours a day to cover our travel expenses + cost of living), and I am basically planning on working 6-8 hour days and my weekends touring the Yucutan and getting a lot of seaside activities in provided the weather isn't too crappy. Again, it depends on if I meet anyone interesting to hang out with.

I'm also planning on hiring a local when I get to Cancun to teach me Spanish. The only Spanish I have is the stuff I learned back when I was in high school, which was around 15 years ago. It'd be nice to have a crash course for 3-4 months before I continue my trip down south, since it's the most common language used down in that section of the world.

In the meantime, I'm going to spend the rest of July, August and September continue to work and stick money in the savings. I already have my emergency fund set aside, plus I've got more than enough to live without working for at least a year on the side. The plan is to just spend the next couple of years working (literally) my way through countries that are relatively inexpensive and continue my freelance work and build up a nice chunk of change. Spend 4-6 months in each location. See where I'm at in 2 year's time and perhaps buy a piece of property somewhere down there. Who knows? Things are still very much in the early stages of the journey and no matter how much planning you make there are always snags along the way which can send things off on a sideways loop.

Planning on keeping my living expenses down around 500-600 USD per month, max. That's not counting travel expenses and activities. That's rent/food/basics. I can probably go cheaper if I want to, but there are a few things I'm pretty picky about, and while I don't need (or want) luxury accommodations I do have a few amenities that I can't live without (like AC and dedicated broadband!). I know people can get things even cheaper if you know the language and can find the local bargains, so perhaps after I get some more Spanish under my belt I'll be able to go even cheaper. That's my budget for right now, based upon what I want to put in the bank every month, what I want to spend every month on fun, and what I need for taxes + living expenses.

So...I will update this from time to time as I get closer to the trip. I know I'm starting this like 3 months in advance, but it gives me something to in my spare time. I still need to finish researching my visa requirements and making phone calls to verify, and I will also be looking at what (if any) vaccinations I might need for specific countries.

That's the down-low for now.
Renfail says:
Love it...thanks for the resource. Will check it out tomorrow!
Posted on: Jul 12, 2010
Glynnes says:
You can also try to locate inexpensive furnish apartments/rooms. Good Luck!
Posted on: Jul 12, 2010
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Oak Creek
photo by: Renfail