Month 29: Travel Summary and Statistics


Guanajuato from above
Guanajuato from above

After three months in Sayulita, this month I finally decided to leave.

It was definitely the right time. 

As much as I love Sayulita — and I really did love my time there — it just never really felt like home for me. I was surprised when I discovered that Dave felt the same. We tried for weeks to put our finger on what exactly was missing from Sayulita but couldn’t draw a conclusion we could both agree on. Perhaps it was not having a scooter for transport, maybe it was the lack of food options, or possibly even being by a beach.

Or maybe it was because I’d been ill for most of my time in Sayulita. 

Yes, unfortunately, Sayulita and I struggled to get along at times.

Sunrise in Sayulita
A sunrise in Sayulita… where I was up at 5am because I was sick yet again

It’s felt like the past three months have mostly involved me catching illness after illness after illness. I seemed to have food poisoning every other week and often felt so low on energy that I barely left my apartment for days at a time. I’ve been struggling with anxiety for the first time in years with panic attacks coming on regularly for seemingly no reason. I’ve been all over the place because my usual birth control pills aren’t available in Mexico and I haven’t been able to find a replacement that doesn’t make me feel horrible — I’ve been full of migraines, stomach cramps and nausea for months.

Two out of the six people I know in Sayulita contracted dengue fever within a couple of weeks of each other and, as somebody with seriously extreme hypochondria, I immediately convinced myself that I had it too.

My final month in Sayulita was therefore spent in a DEET-filled haze, where I refused to wear anything less than three layers of clothing, where I tucked my jeans into my socks, and where I spent every five minutes asking Dave to check whether I had a fever.

Views of Sayulita
Views of Sayulita

I will say that this month hasn’t been as terrible as I’ve made it sound and there have still been plenty of highlights. I got to properly celebrate Thanksgiving for the very first time, surrounded by wonderful friends, amazing food and the best dog in the world.

Thanksgiving in Sayulita

I was able to celebrate the festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which mostly seemed to consist of being woken up at 5am by a loud cannon, signaling for locals to head to church to pray. It lasted for well over a week, which got a little… irritating after the 10th night in a row.

However, the main event on the 12th December made all the early wake-up calls worth it as we witnessed tap-dancing horses and scary fireworks that were so close I had sparks landing on me and ended up with an ash-covered t-shirt! So. Much. Fun.

Finally, we ended our time in Sayulita with an office Christmas party. On the beach. Obviously.

Here’s the Sayulita travel blogger crowd: there’s Matt from Expert Vagabond, Dave from What’s Dave Doing?, Matt from Matt-Gibson.org, Mike from Art of Adventuring, Jenny from Where is Jenny?, me, and Steph from Twenty-Something Travel.

Sayulita blogger Christmas party
Sayulita blogger Christmas party. Photo via: Expert Vagabond

There are plenty of things I’ll miss about Sayulita, and it wasn’t in any way all bad. I’ll miss having my travel blogger buddies to hang out with and I’ll miss going to my favourite cafe for breakfast and not needing to order because everybody who works there already knows what I want. I’ll miss my wonderful apartment and having everything I need within a five minute walk.

So Sayulita had good and bad aspects, but after three months I was ready to explore somewhere new. I was ready to stop freaking out about dengue and go somewhere a bit chillier for Christmas. I was ready to visit somewhere busy and exciting, with hundreds of food options.

And so, Dave and I packed our bags and hopped on an overnight bus to Guanajuato — one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever visited!

Guanajuato from above
Guanajuato from above

Onto the statistics for the month! 

Month 29 travel map

Countries Visited: 1

Mexico

Cities Visited: 2

Sayulita, Guanajuato

Distance Travelled: 578 km

Photos Taken: 141

Amount Spent:

Sayulita: $726.70 over 29 days = $25.06 per day

Guanajuato: $27.28 over 1 day = $27.28 per day

Total Amount Spent: $753.98

The Next Month: 

Month 30 travel map

I’ll be spending the next three weeks in Guanajuato, and I’m particularly excited to be spending Christmas on my fourth continent in four years (I’ve celebrated it in England, Thailand, Australia and now Mexico!) My main plan for Guanajuato is to get my health back on track and get back to feeling normal. I’ve cut alcohol and caffeine from my diet and because the city is located in a valley and surrounded by mountains I’m planning lots of hikes for the next few weeks. I’ll also be on the hunt for a turkey in my attempt to cook Christmas dinner for the first time in my life! I can’t see anything going wrong with that…

After our three weeks are up, I’ll be heading to Oaxaca where my only plan is to EAT ALL THE FOOD.

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!

28 Comments

  1. Jason
    December 20, 2013
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, glad you’re feeling better and having more fun in Mexico now.

    Good luck attempting Christmas dinner, I’m sure at the very least you will have a new story to add to your incidents list.

    • December 29, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Jason! No huge incidents but I did manage to buy an enormous tenderloin without realising it was stuffed with bell peppers… which Dave is allergic to. Whoops…

  2. Brittany
    December 20, 2013
    Reply

    Hi-Recently found your blog and was eager to read all of your old posts. Love this post. Traveling and being sick is the absolute worst.

    • December 29, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Brittany. It does suck but I’m feeling a lot better since leaving Sayulita :-)

  3. Amanda
    December 21, 2013
    Reply

    I want a photo essay from Guanajuato!!!! It looks soooo pretty!

    Sorry that you had so many illness issues in Sayulita. Hopefully the rest of Mexico treats you better!

    • December 29, 2013
      Reply

      I’m on it! That’ll be one of my next posts :-). It’s such a gorgeous city.

  4. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    December 21, 2013
    Reply

    A girl after my own heart – go eat all of that food! Hope your health gets back on track, too.

    • December 29, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Cat! The food here in Guanajuato is delicious :-)

  5. Rick
    December 22, 2013
    Reply

    It’s a short bus ride to San Miguel de Allende. A completely walkable little city with some extraordinarily beautiful historic buildings. Its substantial expat population has created a sort of hybrid community immersed in art, music and theater with some in English. Also – incredible restaurants, bakeries and one of the all time great farmers market every Tuesday with a smaller organic market on Saturday.

    It’s one of those places people love to hate, but I love it for the continuous stimulating activities.

    Cheers from California

    • December 29, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks for the tips, Rick! I’m planning a trip to San Miguel for next week :-)

      • Anne Nicolai
        December 30, 2013
        Reply

        Lauren, I’m a writer/editor from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and have lived in San Miguel de Allende for 5 years. I host a karaoke show in a little beer pub every Friday…please come! Also let me know if you need help finding a place to stay, and I am happy to give you the lowdown on fun stuff to do, best places to eat, etc.

        • November 14, 2015
          Reply

          Thanks so much for your kind offer, Anne! Sorry I didn’t get a chance to cross paths with you.

  6. Michael
    December 22, 2013
    Reply

    Being sick would make it a lot harder to like any location. It’s probably the only time I wouldn’t enjoy travel and rather be back in Australia. We’ve been lucky to date (knock on wood), that the worst we have had is a few day bug and nothing too serious :)

    • December 29, 2013
      Reply

      I’m terrible whenever I’m unwell on the road. I can’t handle it and spend days (or in this case, months) wallowing in self-pity :-)

  7. lily
    December 22, 2013
    Reply

    Enjoy Holidays and Mary Christmas to all Thanks Lily

    • December 29, 2013
      Reply

      Happy Holidays, Lily! :-)

  8. Renuka
    December 29, 2013
    Reply

    Although you had a pretty tough with your health, it sounds like an enriching travel experience. Hope 2014 brings on even more exciting trips! Best wishes. :)

    • November 14, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Renuka!

  9. Haleigh
    December 30, 2013
    Reply

    Come back to the states & take me with! :) I only recently found your blog and I am so very envious of your travels. I do hope that your health is on the mend. Can’t wait to read more. Safe travels!

    • December 30, 2013
      Reply

      Haleigh, I may have bought a ticket for the US yesterday… big reveal soon! :-)

  10. Daniel
    December 30, 2013
    Reply

    Hey, Lauren

    Sorry if this is a repetitive question, I’m new to your blog (and to the idea of long-term traveling)… but when you say you spent about $700 in Mexico for the month, does that include everything? Apartment/hotel, food, whatever else? Also, are Dave’s expenses included in that figure, or are you prorating per person?

    I have to tell you, I was absolutely shocked when I read, for the first time last week, that long-term traveling can cost less than $12,000 per year… This changes everything! I live a pretty simple life in Manhattan, and spend about 4 to 5 times more on the “basics”! Vacation not included! All your expenses for a year is what I spend in rent alone for less than 6 months (small one-bedroom)! What the heck am I doing?? :-)

    Good luck!

    • December 30, 2013
      Reply

      Hey Daniel,

      Yep, that’s everything. When I take flights I include those in my expenses too, but for this month it was just accommodation, food and activities. For example, last month I included my $2500 laptop purchase in my calculation.

      Dave’s expenses are not included in the figure. It’s my share of the rent, plus whatever I spent on food and whatnot. I’m going to try and make my tracking a little clearer in 2014 :-)

      And yep, travel can be extremely affordable once you’re out of Western countries :-)

  11. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs
    January 1, 2014
    Reply

    Wow! 4 continents in 4 years, are you aiming for all 7?

    • January 15, 2014
      Reply

      Hahaha, no, I’ll be back in Europe for my 2014 Christmas — it’s just how it’s worked out so far :-)

  12. Magda
    January 22, 2014
    Reply

    Did you find apartment in Guanajuato or just hotels? did you managed to post more info about this city? ;-) im super interested!! Please let me know, thank you,

    • January 23, 2014
      Reply

      Hi Magda, I stayed in Airbnb apartments, which were a lot pricier than alternatives in the city — we arrived on Christmas Eve so wanted to have something booked before arriving and wanted to treat ourselves over Christmas. Plenty of stuff on Airbnb and plenty of apartments if you just turn up and wander around.

      I haven’t written about Guanajuato yet but feel free to drop me an email if you want to know anything specific :-)

  13. Anne Nicolai
    January 24, 2014
    Reply

    Lauren, did you ever get to San Miguel de Allende? If you’re still here, come to karaoke Saturday at The Beer Company!

    • January 25, 2014
      Reply

      I didn’t get there in the end, unfortunately! We both caught the flu during our final week in Guanajuato and had to give it a miss :-(

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