Adventurous Kate accommodates affiliate hyperlinks. If you happen to make a purchase order by means of these hyperlinks, I’ll earn a fee at no further price to you. Thanks!
This isn’t the place I assumed I’d be. If issues had gone to plan, I’d now be on a bus shifting by means of the Peruvian countryside, smiling on the reminiscence of my meals at Central and Maido, trying ahead to sandboarding in Huacachina, seeing Machu Picchu, and exploring the Galapagos a number of weeks after that.
As an alternative, my boyfriend Charlie and I’ve been holed up in Mexico Metropolis. I canceled my Peru journey in the beginning of the month; shortly after, G Adventures canceled my Galapagos journey, successfully canceling Ecuador as nicely.
It’s been an insane month — simply probably the most chaotic and worrying month of my life. A month that felt 5 occasions longer than it really was. And it’s been awhile since I up to date you on the weblog itself, so right here’s what’s been taking place.
Why Mexico Metropolis?
We have been in Oaxaca earlier within the month, the place you wouldn’t have identified that something uncommon was happening. At the moment, Mexico had fewer than 10 instances and 0 measures had been enacted within the nation. Oaxaca was great — we each LOVED town, its meals scene, its colours, and we might see ourselves staying there longer if we needed to.
That stated, we couldn’t keep precisely the place we have been. Our condominium had a little bit of a roach downside (actually, round 11:00 each evening one FAT ASS ROACH would wiggle his means below the door body into the toilet, I’d shriek, and Charlie would spray him and kill him). On the very least, we needed to change flats.
We have been scheduled to take a bus to Mexico Metropolis on March 15, the place we’d have an condominium for the subsequent ten days. After going forwards and backwards, we determined to proceed our plans and base in Mexico Metropolis long-term.
Why base in Mexico Metropolis as an alternative of Oaxaca? It felt like a greater and safer place to be if issues escalated additional, or if we ended up below a strict quarantine.
Mexico Metropolis has Rappi, a system that delivers actually something (which we used continuously when dwelling in Mérida); Oaxaca doesn’t. Mexico Metropolis has Uber, in case we wanted pressing transportation; Oaxaca doesn’t. Mexico Metropolis has tons of worldwide flights; Oaxaca solely has a number of. Mexico Metropolis has numerous non-public hospitals; Oaxaca doesn’t.
General, Mexico Metropolis appeared like a better place to be if we wanted to quarantine, if we bought sick, or if we wanted to go away the nation abruptly.
To date, issues haven’t escalated a lot in Mexico since we bought right here (extra on that beneath) and we’ve got prolonged our keep on this condominium long-term. It appears like we made the correct determination on the time.
However then got here a worse determination: whether or not to remain in Mexico or go dwelling to the States.
The Hardest Journey Determination of my Life
Deciding whether or not or to not keep in Mexico or return to the States has been nothing in need of EXCRUCIATING. It has been the toughest journey determination of my life and it’s up there with the toughest determination I’ve EVER needed to make. It appears like there are such a lot of pitfalls to every possibility.
Is the US or Mexico a greater place to be proper now? The US is at present having a tough time with the disaster after mishandling it from the start; Mexico doesn’t have practically as many instances, nevertheless it has additionally mishandled the disaster from the start. I’d belief healthcare in Mexico ordinarily, however I’m undecided how issues will function in disaster.
I’ve a very good buddy from my hometown who has lived in Egypt as an expat for a number of years. However he got here dwelling to the States when the virus hit (partially as a result of he has maintained US medical insurance all this time). He inspired me to return dwelling, and he’s somebody whose opinion I belief.
Healthcare-wise, I really feel just like the US and Mexico are even, with one VERY massive exception: Mexican healthcare gained’t bankrupt me.
Quite a lot of my American associates in Mérida are staying in Mexico for a similar purpose: nice hospitals that gained’t bankrupt them. (Mérida has glorious non-public hospitals — it’s a healthcare and dental care hub. I’d have zero points staying there. Mexico Metropolis additionally has glorious non-public hospitals, however the gargantuan inhabitants of town offers me pause.)
I’m nomadic in the intervening time and haven’t any dwelling within the US. My mother and father, who each reside in Massachusetts, have kindly provided to let me stick with them — however I’ve medical insurance that’s NYC-centric and has no protection in Massachusetts hospitals.
Journey insurance coverage can decide up a number of the slack, however solely to a sure level. If, God forbid, I get hospitalized for a number of days in Massachusetts, I’ll be out $100,000+. I’m contemplating formally shifting again to Massachusetts and switching to Massachusetts medical insurance because of this.
(Sure, American healthcare is a shame. Let’s not get into that now.)
The information has made me completely loopy. I had a tough time psychological health-wise final week particularly (extra on that beneath), nevertheless it looks as if it will get worse every time there’s a foul story out of the US (significantly, the New York Instances appears to publish an “It’s gonna be unhealthy there!” story about Mexico a number of occasions per week) or every time there’s an “It’s gonna be unhealthy right here!” publish within the Mexico Metropolis Expats group on Fb.
At this level, I really feel like I’m aiming to go away Mexico after the worst within the Northeast US is over, however earlier than issues get actually unhealthy in Mexico. If that second in time exists. What may very well be “actually unhealthy” in Mexico? If hospitals are overloaded, if ingesting water turns into arduous to search out, if crime will increase as a result of financial shutdown?
The most important issue: Charlie and I are at present banned from one another’s international locations. He’s a Brit who lives within the Czech Republic. British residents are at present banned from the US; foreigners are at present banned from the Czech Republic. (For what it’s price, we’re each at present allowed into the UK or Eire.)
If we separate, there’s an opportunity that we couldn’t see one another for a LONG time. And I can’t even start to consider that. There is no such thing as a technique to predict what might occur, however a practical worst case state of affairs is that US residents get banned from international locations long-term attributable to our despicable president’s catastrophic dealing with of the disaster.
My plan had been to start the migration course of to the Czech Republic in Might on their entrepreneur visa. That’s clearly on the again burner now.
I genuinely really feel secure in Mexico proper now, and assume staying right here is the secure possibility — for me, for Charlie, for everybody else. Everybody ought to keep in place if they will. However what if issues worsen right here? They may worsen FAST.
I’ve a flight booked to New York on April 22 — I used to be capable of change my flight to Peru to a flight to New York for simply $40. Charlie has a flight booked to Madrid for April 25, however he’s attempting to determine tips on how to get again to Prague from there, with so many Spain flights shut down. And once I test it appears to be like like my flight doesn’t exist anymore, so I might need to guide one thing else altogether.
The proprietor of our condominium has been very type. Whereas his constructing banned international renters within the month of April, since we have been already right here, he provided to allow us to prolong our keep by means of late April for a low value. I’m grateful to individuals like him.
What’s it like in Mexico Metropolis proper now?
Mexico is much behind the US and Europe by way of quarantine measures. AMLO, the Mexican president, is known for hugging his supporters — solely lately did he begin recommending individuals keep dwelling. The most important distinction is that some museums and points of interest have closed, and most eating places have shifted to take-out and supply solely.
Charlie had his birthday this week, and I used to be planning on taking him out to some of the very best eating places to rejoice. As an alternative, we bought takeaway from Contramar and I made him a kiwi cheesecake. We’ll should do one thing larger at a later date.
That is my first time in Mexico Metropolis, and I’m in LOVE with it — particularly our neighborhood of Condesa. We’re staying inside for roughly 22 hours a day, however the remaining two are for a stroll across the neighborhood. We’re beginning to acknowledge the neighborhood canines.
Condesa is crammed with a lot lush greenery, so many interesting-looking homes and extremely cool (and low cost!) bars, eating places, and cafes. I want I had the possibility to truly get pleasure from them, however for now it’s good simply them.
I hate doing the “when that is throughout” factor — however when that is throughout, I so wish to come again to expertise this good metropolis correctly. I additionally wish to return to Vegas and hit the membership till 6 AM.
How’s my psychological well being?
Within the early days in Mexico Metropolis, it was tough. I fear loads at regular occasions, however I spent a lot time worrying about every part that it wreaked havoc on my physique.
I couldn’t sleep in any respect, not even with melatonin. I felt like there was a large rubber band round my chest. I’d learn a narrative about how Mexico is about to blow up in instances and I’d burst into tears. And for the primary time since November 2016, I had a panic assault. Proper in the course of the road.
I attempted CBD oil for the primary time, and that made a HUGE distinction. (I ordered it on Rappi and it got here in 19 minutes. THIS is why we selected Mexico Metropolis over Oaxaca.) The primary evening on it, I really slept 9.5 hours! I like to recommend attempting it should you’ve been feeling overwhelmed.
This week I’ve been significantly better, so I solely take it once I begin to really feel anxiousness in my abdomen or that rubber band tightening round my chest.
It’s primarily doom-and-gloom information about Mexico that may be a set off for me, so I’m attempting to strike a steadiness between staying knowledgeable and staying mentally wholesome.
Additionally, I misplaced my revenue.
And whereas I’ve been worrying like loopy about well being and security and flights and hospitals, I’m coping with one other downside: I misplaced my revenue. It’s gone. My enterprise of ten years evaporated.
It’s not simply me — each journey blogger has. Each journey BUSINESS has.
My revenue comes from individuals researching and reserving journey. Most of my revenue comes from show advertisements on my website, affiliate hyperlinks from individuals who guide resorts and flights and excursions and purchase journey gear; and campaigns with locations.
As you may think about, no person is researching or reserving journey proper now, and all campaigns have been canceled or postponed. I assumed my enterprise was stable — I had so many numerous revenue streams! However I wasn’t ready for the world to cease touring.
My affiliate gross sales for journey have disappeared (and my resort affiliate determined to cease paying out altogether). Zero marketing campaign funds. Show advertisements have gone from $140 per day (for March, which is often one of many busiest occasions of 12 months) to bottoming out at about $20 per day. A minimum of that stage of site visitors appears regular for the second. It gained’t keep at $20 although — advertisers will drop their charges when Q2 begins in a number of days…
HOWEVER — I’m utilizing this time to begin new elements of my enterprise. If you happen to subscribe to my weekly newsletter, what I’ve been doing. Here’s what I’ve launched:
Private blog consulting. If you happen to’re questioning why you’re struggling to carry your weblog to the subsequent stage, I can assist you determine precisely what steps to take.
One-on-Ones with Adventurous Kate. Personal 45-minute one-on-one calls between you and me. We will discuss journey, running a blog, books, politics, something. I can assist you with initiatives you’re fighting, too!
Travelers’ Night In chats. Small group chats — 9 individuals max — the place I lead a journey or leisure dialogue over Zoom and we get to inform tales and meet new digital associates. Prompt donation: $5. Listed here are the upcoming occasions and you’ll enroll on EventBrite:
AND SOMETHING BIG IS COMING THIS WEEK — try for an announcement on Wednesday.
Truthfully, you guys, I’ve by no means felt like an entrepreneur a lot in my life as I’ve up to now few weeks. Like a relentless geyser of creativity.
It’s not sufficient to make up for what I’ve misplaced, however mixed with my financial savings, it could actually assist me survive the subsequent few months if I preserve bills as little as doable.
Although that is a particularly scary time, I notice how good I’ve it in comparison with lots of people, and I’m deeply grateful for that. My coronary heart goes out to all of you who’re fighting this disaster. Might we proceed to give attention to small joys.
And for many who are shepherding us by means of this — medical staff, grocery retailer staff, supply staff, every kind of important staff, and their households — I thanks from the underside of my coronary heart. We’ll by no means have the ability to repay you on your service.
If the previous couple of weeks have taught us something, it’s that something can change on a dime. I’m ready for all potentialities.
If Charlie and I’ve to alter our plans and head dwelling earlier, we are going to. If I’ve to guide a unique flight and eat the price of the present flight, I’ll. That looks as if it’ll seemingly occur.
If flights from Mexico to the US cease, I’ll fly to Tijuana, cross the border within the airport, lease a automobile, drive to LAX, and get a direct flight dwelling to Boston.
Both means, I’ll be quarantining within the Boston space for 2 weeks. My dad would possibly block off a part of his home as a quarantine suite, or I would lease an condominium close by and quarantine there.
Or perhaps issues will change a lot that it will likely be greatest to remain in Mexico even longer. Visa-wise, Charlie and I can keep by means of July, however the immigration workplaces are closed and other people on vacationer visas are allowed to overstay with out penalty proper now.
There are moments once I inform myself, “In fact you’re going to remain right here! It’s loopy to go dwelling!” And moments once I inform myself, “In fact you’re going dwelling! It’s loopy to remain right here!” And they’re fairly often inside hours of one another. I’ll proceed to wrestle with this.
Wherever you’re, please keep secure and please handle one another.
How are you dealing with this example the place you’re?