Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Traveling around North and South America was more fun than I had ever imagined it would be. Now, I knew what to expect from the US, and I basically got that. But Mexico and Ecuador were so much better than I had hoped. Perhaps it was that I just kept meeting great people, or that the places themselves were wonderful, or all of the above. But regardless, I found the whole experience much more entertaining, and much less annoying, than I had expected.

The first month of my trip I spent in the United States visiting friends and family. Seeing as how people come from all over the world to see the US, I figured a month doing it myself would be well spent.
Mexico is the country I never knew I wanted to visit. For some reason when I thought Mexico, I thought dismal border towns and overcrowded smog cities. I never realized that Mexico has a rich (and of course, savage) colonial history, an ancient (and equally savage) native history, and untolds amount of natural beauty. From wide clean beaches to jungle-shrouded pyramids, Mexico is the "world next door" that I never bothered to investigate.

My illuminating trip through Mexico started with a long bus ride down to Monterey, the scary (to me) industrial town that served as my introduction to the country and language. Next on to Vera Cruz, a nicer beach town on the Gulf-side of the country. Then Merida, a fantastic colonial town in the heart of the Yucatan, then Chichen Itza's towering pyramids, and finally to Tulum's wonderful beaches. My time in Mexico was so much better than I ever conceived, I will doubtless go back to see more.
My trip from Mexico to Ecuador was more or less horrific. First, leaving Tulum was painful. I really liked it there, and could easily spend much longer than I did. But more painful was the terrible sickness I was experiencing. The only accurate description was to say that it felt like it "kicked my ass". I was sore, with watery lungs, absolutely no appetite, and so on. Not fun at all.

So, I went to the Cancun airport and bought a ticket to Mexico City, on the spot. If I were to do that in the US, buying a one-way ticket with only carry-on baggage (actually, I did check one thing: a knife), I'd expect to be "randomly picked" for a search. But here, no problem.

I arrive in Mexico City and I feel simply terrible. I find a nice carpeted spot in the corner of one gate to curl up and sleep, or die, either being preferable at that point in time. Sleep came first, and that felt good until I was awoken by the security guard and instructed to leave. Dang. So I wander... [more]
(Coming soon)

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