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Leaving San Cristobal to Coast of Mexico

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Travel to coast from San Cristobal de las Casas

When I leave San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, on Saturday, I would have stayed for around three months. After three months of highland living, I am ready to return to the coast. We are going to the beaches of Chiapas and then Oaxaca, we are going out for a month of fast travel — like old times.

San Cristobal de las Casas, 2010, has been one of the longer stays that I have ever made. Though I must say that I needed this stop. After working for a couple of months at a jungle lodge in Guatemala, this website — my independent travel business — was in shambles. I needed to sit in a place with good WIFI and re-erect and polish the towers of this website. I am looking down now from these towers, and I realized that I have accomplished what I wanted to in this stint of web development: I’ve revamped Vagabondjourney.com, doubling my income.

I needed to stay put for a few months to ensure that I would have the resources to travel on.

Perhaps the great irony of traveling is that in order to come up with the money to travel you sometimes need to stay put. I was able to double my income in a couple of months because I stayed in one location working regular hours. I can now go off to travel fast for a stretch with money in my pocket and blogging as my only daily task.

I know that if I changed locations every few days, like a standard backpacker, I would not be able to make the money to continue traveling — I would have to go home, like a standard backpacker. Few people on this planet can travel perpetually without working, and I am not one of them. Travelers often needs to make various two or three month stops to reprovision their travel funds through working a job or refining their micro-business. Occasional three month stays should be at the heart of any long term travel strategy, as this parameter is often needed to gain the resources to travel on.

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I have grown accustom to waking up in the morning to my daughter worming around in bed. I get up quick, grasp for my computer bag under the bed, throw on a shirt, some pants and make for the door — for another day of work has begun. I have grown accustom to saying good morning to the waitress at the hotel restaurant, to the reception boy, too, and I grew a secret love for running upstairs to MY seat in a common room of this hotel. I made myself an office here, and I worked a regular day for three months. At 2PM I take a break and go for a walk outside. I visit friends who work at a coffee shop, we discuss what is going on that night, I stop by the Traveler’s Home, I do my round.

I have grown accustom to life here in San Cristobal, and the people here have grown accustom to me. I have friends, more friends than I have had in any one place in a number of years. I fear that I am becoming part of the landscape.

It is time to leave.

Since attempting to make a full time living on Vagabondjourney.com, I have a pattern of mixing up long term stays — where I develop portions of the site — with fast travel or work. Perhaps, in two months from now, I will enter into another intense period of web development? Maybe in six months I will try to land an external job to restock my travel funds further. But, for now, I am content on just traveling — I am excited to fast forward my way through a vast swoop of Mexico.

Mexico Pacific coast travel loop

The plan is to ride out of San Cristobal de las Casas Monday morning, go to Tuxtla, the capital of Chiapas state, then transfer to another bus for the coast. From there, I will check out the situation on the ground and try to connect a few good beaches up the coast through Oaxaca. From there, we should break rank with the Pacific coast and cut across the thin part of Mexico to Veracruz, which sits calling us from the opposite coast.

Timeline for this route of travel: two months.

Travel through Chiapas and Oaxaca to Vera Cruz

My wife is worried about traveling with Petra — who is now a year and nearly four months old. A major development happened during our stay in San Cristobal: Petra learned to walk.

The long bus rides are not going to be any easier.

We have no idea how we are going to convince this kid to sit in her seat for hours on end when she just wants to run around, get into shit, play. My wife just returned from the store with a giant bag of suckers and candy — ammunition in the struggle to side track a curious toddler on a long bus ride. This, combined with a few new Chanakuh toys, is all we got.

A major turn in the path of our family travels has occurred: our daughter has become her own traveler. I have no idea how this is going to work out, the road ahead is opaque with the glean of nervous anticipation. Let’s see what happens.

Looking for hubs on the coast of Chiapas and Oaxaca

I am currently making a list of places to stop on this route of travel along the coast of Chiapas and Oaxaca in the south of Mexico. Currently, this list contains Boca del Cielo, Salina Cruz, Pochutla, Mazunte. If anyone here has traveled this route before, please offer your suggestions below in the comments.

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Filed under: Mexico, North America, Travel Preparation

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap