In Loving Memory of Manuel Fernando Sanchez Gamboa (1990 - 2015), without you this website would not be possible.

Passport to the World

Fun Facts:

Days Traveling:
1,500

# of Pictures Taken:
39,838

# of Cities Visited:
371

# of Natural Parks Visited:
100

# of Countries Visited:
70

# of Flights:
29

# of Bus Trips:
345

# of Train Trips:
91

# of Boat Trips:
69

# of Times Hitchhiking:
5

Days with Car Rental:
24

Days with Motorcycle Rental:
3

Longest Time without showering:
13 days (Everest Base Camp Trek)

# of Times Getting Sick:
Gisela: 17
Sal: 18

# of Doctor Visits:
Gisela: 4
Sal: 5

Nights CouchSurfing:
366

Days WWOOFing:
124

Nights at Friends/Family:
291

Nights of Camping:
148

Nights in Hammock:
9

Nights Sleeping on a:
Airplane: 5
Airport: 3
Train: 37
Bus: 68
Boat: 24

# of Places we've Slept in:
556

# of Times Doing Laundry:
132

Longest Time Without Doing Laundry:
24 days

Additional Fun Facts

February 20, 2017

We visited Mexico for a little over two months, starting September 13, 2016 until the last day of Our First World Trip on November 15, 2016. We entered the country overland traveling from Flores, Guatemala to Chetumal, Mexico crossing Belize. We traveled a total of 106 hours by bus, 12.5 hours by train, and 6 hours by ferry, making stops in Chetumal, Valladolid, Merida, Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, Huatulco, Oaxaca, Puebla, Cuernavaca, Mexico City, Morelia, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Zacatecas, Monterrey, Chihuahua, Creel, Los Mochis, La Paz, and Tijuana.

Many things impacted us during our days in Mexico, many indigenous languages are still alive despite the violent Spanish colonization. We were impressed by all the words from the Nahuatl language that are still alive, coexisting, and widely spoken within the Spanish language in Mexico. Words like avocado have an origin in the Nahuatl language and have been incorporated not only into Spanish but many other languages in Europe and around the world. The National Commission for the Indigenous Communities Development reported that in the year 2000, there were an estimate of 1,475,575 speakers of Maya Yucateco or Peninsular in Mexico, which makes it the third language most spoken in the country after Spanish and Nahuatl. Maya Yucateco is as antique as Spanish and modern English. Its grammatic is studied with great rigor and when it is written or spoken, this language has a rich vocabulary as any other. Throughout our time in Mesoamerica we learned so much by visiting museums and temple ruins, be sure to read our article to get a feel for what it was like in pre-hispanic times.

Mexico, how was it that having lived so close for so many years, we took you for granted? That being so near we never visited you as much as you deserve? Since we entered your land, we could not stop to feel like fools due to having happiness right in front of our eyes. Even though we left you for the last of our travels, you have proven you should never be the least and have become the best happy ending to our honeymoon. From the great variety of cuisines to marvelous biodiversity in all your regions, the indigenous legacies and living traditions, your history marked with pain and battles for independence and social justice, your revolutionary artists and leaders, and the kindness and generosity of your people, you, Mexico, have stolen every corner of our hearts!

When we entered the USA through Tijuana, we encountered US immigration officers and very kind ones too, who were excited to see our thick passports full of stamps from all over the world. After leaving Mexico two things were very clear: 1) Mexico is a must return destination and we will be back sooner than later. 2) We have reached the end of Our First World Trip, but the journey always continues. Viva Mexico Cabrones!!!

Below are other great things we enjoyed about Mexico:

Food and Drinks

Mexico Food
- Jarritos Drink
- Shaved Ice with Various Hot Sauces
- Poc Chuc: grilled pork marinated Mayan style with grilled onions
- Tacos: with various meats
- Sopes: a fried thick tortilla top with refried beans, meat, lettuce, milk cream, and cheese
- Tortas: meat sandwich on a small baguette
- Corona Beer
- Pacifico Beer
- Panucho: fried tortilla with beans topped with pork in tomato sauce
- Salbut: thick fried tortilla topped with chicken, avocado, tomato, and lettuce
- Empanada: puffy fried dough stuffed with ground beef topped with ground beef, lettuce, hardboiled egg, and avocado
- Horchata: cold rice drink
- Relleno Negro: chicken and pork in a black chile sauce
- Cochinita Pibil: pork in local sauce
- Chamoy: sweet chile sauce
- Tamal Pan de Espelon: type of tamal with beans
- Tamal Colado: type of tamal with a red sauce
- Lime Soup
- Chaya Drink: tree spinach drink
- Flan: custard
- Chapulines: grasshoppers
- Papausa: custard apple
- Pozole: soup with shredded pork and corn grains
- Mondongo: tripe soup
- Champurrado: hot corn drink
- Hot Chocolate
- Tascalate: cold drink with corn, cocoa, and other spices
- Green Chilaquiles: fried tortilla chips with green chile sauce, cheese, and chicken
- Campechana: octopus, shrimp, and conch
- Octopus cooked in its ink
- Pineapple Shrimp
- Bohemia Beer
- Enchiladas: corn tortillas stuffed with cheese/chicken and topped with more cheese and red or green sauce
- Mole: various types of sauces made any combination of cocoa, tomatoes, and other spices
- Enmoladas: enchiladas with black mole
- Tlayudas: flour tortillas with pork lard, cheese, beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onions
- Amarillo de Res: a yellow beef chili stew
- Estofado Almendrado: a mole with almonds and other spices served with chicken
- Tecate Beer
- Sol Beer
- Various Mezcal served with Oranges and Worm Salt (salt, chili, and ground worm)
- Cecina: pork
- Tasajo: beef
- Chorizo: pork sausage
- Nopales: cactus leaves
- Guacamole: blended avocado
- Various Gelatins
- Jicama: similar to a turnip
- Tajate: cold drink made of cocoa, corn, and nuts
- Maguey Fibers
- Barbacoa: goat meat
- Jamaica: cold drink made with hibiscus flowers
- Pulque: sweet agave drink
- Memelitas: fried flat tortilla with beans, cheese, and meat
- Taco Arabe: taco with Arab meat
- Pepian Verde: sauce made with pumpkin seeds
- Mole Poblano: sauce made with cocoa and other spices topped with sesame seeds
- Modelo Beer
- Melted Cheese
- Momias: corn dogs wrapped in bacon
- Chile en Nogada: ground beef mixed with raisins and nuts stuffed into a pepper topped with goat cheese, nut sauce, and pieces of pomegranate
- Tlaxcales: sweet corn snacks
- Tacos Acorazados: two tortillas overlapped with rice and a meat filling
- Quesadillas: flour tortillas stuffed with cheese
- Cactus Fruit
- Tarasca: tomato and bean soup
- Churro: fritter with sugar
- Michoacana Popsicles
- Corundas: cheese tamale with cream and green spicy sauce
- Atole de Tamarindo: hot tamarind drink
- Nieve de Pasta: artisanal ice cream
- Michelada: beer mixed with any combination of lemon/lime juice, salt, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and/or Clamato
- Chelada: beer mixed with lemon/lime juice and salt
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Gaspacho: fruit salad of mango, pineapple, and jicama with lime and orange juice topped with cheese and chili
- Birria: goat stew
- Seafood Soup
- Rice with Shrimp
- Fish and Shrimp Tacos
- Tejuino: cold fermented corn drink with lemon sorbet
- Torta Ahogada: sandwich dipped in a red sauce
- Margarita Cocktail
- Asado de Boda: pork in tomato sauce
- Empalmes: choice of meat and sauce with tortillas over them
- Burritos: large flour tortilla stuffed with meat and various toppings
- Hate: hot dogs with everything!

Favorite Sites and Activities

- Ecstatic to Finally see the Whale Sharks in the Beautiful Natural Setting of La Paz
- Mesmerized by all the Pre-Hispanic Ruins Throughout the Country, such as Palenque, Chichen Itza, and Teotihuacan
- Loving how the Architecture and Natural Slopes Blend in Guanajuato
- Enjoying the Cool Turquoise Waters of Laguna Bacalar
- Enriching Ourselves in World Class Museums Throughout the Country
- Starring at the Endless Mountains and Cliffs in the Copper Canyon
- Wanting More of the Oaxacan Cuisine, Culture, and Natural Surroundings
- Urbanized in Mexico City and Liking it with Great Transportation Options, World Class Museums, and Diverse Food
- Roaming the Lit-up Streets of Nocturnal Zacatecas

People

- Rodrigo: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing host in Chetumal.
- Rodrigo and Elena: from Argentina, met in Chetumal while CouchSurfing with the same host.
- Deejay and Shay: from Australia, originally met in Guatemala and ran into then again in Bacalar.
- Andres: from Mexico, Rodrigo’s friend who we met at his house while CouchSurfing in Chetumal.
- Manuel: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing host in Valladolid.
- Gabriel: from Mexico, met in Valladollid while CouchSurfing with the same host, Manuel.
- Leslie: from the USA/Hong Kong, met on a tour to ruins in Merida.
- Humberto: from Mexico, met in a plaza in San Cristobal de las Casas.
- Jose: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing host in Huatulco.
- Claudia and Ricardo: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing hosts in Cuernavaca.
- Paulina: from Chile, met while CouchSurfing with the same host in Cuernavaca.
- Maciej: from Poland, our CouchSurfing host in Mexico City.
- Jaime and Leslie: from Mexico, met while drinking pulque at a bar in Mexico City.
- Maga, Ian, and Maribel: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing hosts in Morelia.
- Eric: from Mexico, Maga's boyfriend.
- Abraham: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing host in Zacatecas.
- Antonio and Perla: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing host in Monterrey.
- Monica: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing host in Creel.
- Osmar: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing host in La Paz.
- Viviana: from Mexico, met in La Paz while CouchSurfing with the same host.
- David: from Mexico, Osmar's friend we met in La Paz.
- Fernando and Alejandra: from Mexico, our CouchSurfing hosts in Tijuana.
- Carlos: from Mexico, he served us wines at L.A. Cetto in Tijuana.

Animals Viewed

Mexico Animals
- Coati
- Eagle Ray
- Marine Turtles
- Whale Sharks
- Sea Lions
- Various Fish
- Various Birds

Common Sayings

- Padre = Cool
- Chavo/a = Guy/Girl
- Lana = Money
- Aguas Naturales = Natural Drinks
- Orale = Okay
- Alberca = Pool
- Chamaco/a = Kid
- La Neta = For Sure
- Aguas = Caution
- Huero/a = Light Skinned Person
- No Manches = You're Kidding
- No Mames = You're Kidding (vulgar)
- Wey = Dude
- Betabel = Beet
- Gacho = Difficult
- Gabacho/a = Light Skinned Person
- Popote = Straw
- Papalote = Kite
- Glorieta = Roundabout
- Central = Bus Station
- Albur = Pun in sexual connotation
- Raspado = Shaved Ice

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