Traveling to Central America is one of my all-time favorite places to go. The locals, whether you are in Costa Rica with the Ticos or watching the Garifunas in Belize, are always friendly and willing to show you around. The scenery and cultures are also so diverse that there is rarely a dull moment.
However, people greatly underestimate the power of basics when it comes to travel. Most realize that they need to bring sunscreen or bug spray, but very few consider all the other easy-to-pack essentials that will make life much more easier when traveling around Central America. A few of those things include:
Packing a ton of underwear isn’t always a feasible option. When you are trying to travel with as light a load as possible, you don’t want half of your pack bogged down with heavy cotton underwear. Instead invest in synthetic underwear. Synthetic underwear is a better option because it cleans easier and dries quicker.
Traveling with a cell phone these days is actually quite beneficial. However, the charges associated with dragging your own cell phone through another country can be outrageous. To save money, but still enjoy the convenience of having a cell phone around, buy one of the various Prepaid Cell Phones when you land.
Military Grade Socks
Military socks are not only comfy and thick – which makes them great for hiking – but they also have copper woven into their fibers which keeps them odorless and sanitary much longer than regular cotton socks. So if you plan on hiking around, don’t pack your backpack full of socks. Grab one pair of military socks for every week you intend to be out and about. Your feet will stay comfy and clean, and you won’t have to waste room in your pack.
Many assume that all of Central America is always warm. This is hardly the case. While in San Ignacio, Belize temps during the day would surge to 106 degrees and then fall dramatically at night. Most local inns don’t keep heavy blankets around to help you stay warm; however, packing a bulky blanket is ridiculous. To keep yourself warm at night, simply pack a space blanket. You can put it in between your sheets at night and then fold it up to place in a front pocket the next morning.
Many inexpensive inns and eco resorts around Central America don’t have bathrooms inside of rooms. Instead you’ve got to walk across the grounds. While this is no biggie during the day, it can be a little scary when you’ve got to go at night. To keep yourself from bumbling around in the dark, as most places aren’t well lit, take a small flashlight and keep it by your bed.
While some of these items may seem a little random, I always find that I am happy to have them when bus hopping through Central America. They are easy to transport, and make life a little more convenint while on the road.Read More
“You’ll have to settle down now…. You won’t be able to travel anymore…. That’s the end of your dreams now…”
Sometimes I feel as if I am the only Mummy in the world who finds statements like this bizarre. These are the most common statements I have received from the majority of people when they are talking to me about my pregnancies or life as a mother.
Complaints are readily heard from friends of mine who feel as if their lives have now been taken over my dirty diapers, feeding times, lack of sleep and the Wiggles.
Yes. Life does change when you have children, but it does not have to stop. When the greatest love of your life enters your world, they do not have to become the only light that burns brightly. They do not have to be the only thing you now focus on.
Obviously,your children become a very big part of your life, and you have to do all you need to do as a parent who is responsible for raising independent, well balanced children.
There is room in your life to do this and to focus on moving yourself forward to the attainment of your own dreams.
Ihave been living and travelling around the world for 14 years. Just before Kalyra was born, my husband and I returned from a 5 year honeymoon. I was desperately unhappy. I could not cope living a life that did not involve the spirit of the open road.
To add to this heartache came the responses from many people telling me my life was now over.
How could I get up every day and just be a mother? Now I know this may sound harsh. Being a mother is the most important job in the world, and one that I really cherish. I love my daughter more than anything.
But, I could not let this be my only reality. This would make me unhappy and how could this ever benefit my child?
So I decided to find a way to keep my dreams alive as well as being the best mother I could be. I soon discovered I could do both. If I can do it so can you.
Since Kalyra’s birth she has lived in Australia and America and travelled to various places in these countries as well as Fiji and Puerto Rico. She often talks of visiting Africa and Thailand and is more excited than me when we are packing our bags for a new adventure.
My dreams have benefited her life in ways I could never have imagined possible. In keeping my dreams alive I have helped to show her what is possible for herself.
Why is it important to never lose your sense of self when you become a mother?
I find it to be irresponsible as a parent to lose your self-identity once you become a mother or father. (ducking for cover now from the darts.) Bare with me.
You can’t make your life only about your children. What happens to you once they have flown the coop? What happens to your relationship?
I guarantee that if you have given yourself up to just being a mother, when it is time for your children to fly into their own lives, you will do whatever you can to hold them back. You can’t let them go, because what will there then be left for you?
You cannot hold your children back from living their dreams. You gave them life so they could live it. It is up to you to allow them to do this.
Your job as a mother is to show your children the balance between making sacrifices for others and taking time to nurture themselves. The best way to show them this is to be this person. Your children will learn from what you model to them. Nurture your dreams, keep them alive and involve your children as much as you can in them.
It’s one big juggling act
Being a mother is a monumental task that does wear you down. I will never argue against that point. But it is essential that you do not relegate your dreams to the comfort of your couch and the latest reality TV craze.
You have to learn to juggle, you have to learn to prioritize and cull.
What is your dream? What is the most important thing that will help you achieve that dream?
Work out a way to incorporate this into your life as a mother. It might involve multi-tasking, late nights, early mornings, working while your child is at dance lessons, killing your TV, giving up some social gatherings, giving up the need to have an OCD spotless home, and so forth.
If you don’t feel you can make any of these sacrifices then you have not yet found a dream big enough.
I teach 2-3 days a week casually, I run two blogs (one of the most time consuming jobs on the planet) I travel constantly, I go out with friends, I play in the park, I do the dishes, I hang out the laundry… I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
I find a way to manage all these things because I believe enough in my dreams. Any mother can find a way. Women are amazing. They have the ability to be able to do extraordinary things, it’s time more women started realizing the potential they hold and nourish themselves more. Your children need you to do this.
I recently started a mommy blog Mojito Mother. It was born because of what I have spoken about here. I was tired of hearing the stories of women who had sacrificed their entire lives for their children, and feeling resentful and frustrated for it.
Mojito Mother is all about putting the Mojo back into a mother’s life. It’s about learning how to maintain a mother’s sense of self and dreams whilst catering to the demands of being a mum, a wife and woman. It is an uplifting and positive outlook on parenting and life, and simple strategies and tips for creating magic in your life.
I now have a second child on the way. I am already planning our next move, and yes it will be when the baby is little and her first home could be somewhere as exotic as South East Asia.
I still receive the same comments about my life being over.
You’d think people would have learned by now that this is not and will never be my reality.
Bio: When Caz is not sipping mojitos around the world she is writing about her life as a Mojito Mother- laid back, fun, fresh and with a spicy kick! Join her facebook community.
(In just a short couple of months, Mojito Mother has now been included in the Kidspot’s Top 50 Bloggers for 2011 in Australia. Feel free to vote for me to become the Top Blogger in Australia and win a New Ford Territory for the year)
Note From Mike: Help Mojito Mother win the Kidspot’s Top 50 Bloggers by Voting and Copying this Article for republishing to your own blog.
1.)The title of your blog is interesting and funny. Does this portray your personality, and how did you come up with the name?
You are too kind. I’m a pain in the ass a lot of the time – I’m a ‘dresses and heels’ kind of girl, and I’m also stubborn as hell. This gets me into trouble a lot when I’m travelling, because it means I tend to pack the same sort of outfits, regardless of where I’m going. Oh I’ve read the tips: research your destination, pack accordingly. I ignore them all. Yes, I’ve brought heels on a camping trip. And damnit, I’ve worn them with pride (and a small amount of stumbling). I’ve been given ridiculous suggestions to wear comfortable clothing and shoes that I can actually walk in, but let’s be honest – ‘Camping in Sensible Shoes’ doesn’t have quite the level of zing that I’m after. So, Camping in Heels was born.
2.)If you woke up on a private jet with a stack of cash and suitcases packed for any climate, where would you tell the pilot to land?
Firstly, I’d say a very quiet thank you to the various powers that be for finally giving me the recognition I deserve. Then, I’d ask the pilot very nicely if we could make a quick stopover in Bora Bora to take some photos and have a cocktail with a delightfully half-naked poolboy, then he’d drop me off in Manhattan. You can never spend too much time in New York – it’s one of the most fabulously diverse places I’ve ever been, and I don’t think I could ever get tired of being there. Bora Bora looks insanely pretty, but I get bored lying by the beach for too long.
3.)You are given the opportunity to eat at any restaruant in the world. What do you order?
Nothing. I would ask the chef what he/she would recommend, and get him to prepare me something spectacular. You always get the best meals this way. Ordering off the menu is easy, ordering the same thing every time is easy, but taking a risk and letting someone
who really knows their stuff to prepare a meal they make extremely well (without you knowing what it is beforehand) – now THAT’S the way to go. That, and I eat almost anything, so I’m lucky to have that kind of palatal flexibility (is that a word? It is now.).
Please note, this rule does not apply in any country that considers insects a delicacy. Just sayin’.
4.)What destination proved to be the most different than home?
Iceland. By a long shot. They speak Icelandic and everything, it’s amazing.
They have volcanoes (that totally erupt…I’m talking to YOU, Eyjafjallayajökull), Geysers, geothermic pools, Puffins (which, incidentally, are the coolest birds in the world, and I have no idea why), Aurora Borealis (aka the ‘Northern Lights’), and cold. I was there in May – it was freezing, but close enough to what they loosely call ‘Summer’ for the “Where’s the f**kin snow?” t-shirts to be hilariously apt.
5.)Is there anyplace that you would refuse to go back to under any circumstances?
No. I’ve always said I’ll try anything twice. Once to see if it’s any good, and again just to be *really* sure. People change, tastes change, and there’s always something new to discover that just might make the difference. Corny, yes, but also true.
6.)What have you learned from travel that you did not expect to learn.
That you can be on the road for ages, exhausted and wanting to rest, and when you finally get home it only takes about 2 weeks before you get bored and think “Crap, I wish I was travelling”. It’s addictive.
That I am the worst photographer in the world, and should not even be allowed to hold a camera, much less own one.
That it IS possible to be drunk for 6 months straight.
That during aforementioned drunkedness, you will believe you are far more fluent in a foreign language than you actually are. Don’t try and impress people – they’ll just end up laughing at you. A lot.
7.)What piece of advice would you give young women travelling alone?
Trust your instincts. They’re usually right. Just don’t be too lame about it, you want to actually have some fun. People are generally good – it’s the few bad ones that spoil it for all the rest. Do your research, and you’ll be fine Oh, and take at least one nice outfit with you wherever you go. You don’t want to be the only girl who didn’t bring a dress. Well, maybe you do, but if that’s the case then we have nothing in common. Sorry.
8.)Your next trip is to Malaga, Spain. What has you excited about this trip?
It’s going to be sunny and warm. Imma get my tan on. Just kidding – I don’t tan. Destined to retain a fluorescent porcelain complexion for all eternity.
Seriously though, I’m planning to chill out, catch some rays, and eat/drink myself into a coma. What’s not to get excited about?
9.)What is your all time best travel tip?
Stop saying “Oh yeah, I’ve been thinking about planning a trip to ” whenever someone brings up their travel plans. No, you haven’t. You’re just saying that to deflect from the fact that you haven’t done anything about it. It’s travel procrastination. Do something about it. Actually PLAN your trip. Save money, do what you gotta do. Then we’ll talk. Ok?
I’m really much nicer than this in real life. Promise.
Disclaimer: The editor of this blog has yet to find any documentation to support the claim that Chloe is nicer in real life….Read More
I love reading new bits of information and learning things I had no idea bout. This morning I read on BBC that the Northern Hemisphere has a longer summer than the Southern.
Somehow I feel I should have known that. Did you know? The source is here at BBC ” Our orbit and missing days of winter”
Let me know and comment below.Read More
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
William Wordsworth. 1770–1850
Hello Travel Bloggers,
I am looking for a panel of bloggers to do a weekly Podcast. This is a great way for you to promote your blog and have a little fun in the meantime. You don’t need to have any experience in podcasts or radio. All you need is Skype and a headset.
The format will be a panel of niche bloggers that will first discuss whatever is hot news related to travel at the moment. This will be an opinion based general discussion not reporting.
The next topic will concentrate on one of the bloggers niches. For example: A foodie shares a recipe for Vindaloo they got in Goa with the bloggers prior to the podcast and the panel talks about how it came out at home. Ok. Maybe a lame example but you get the idea; one expert and the rest of the panel are introduced to that niche.
The panel should be diverse. An expat living in Cambodia, an Anthony Bourdain hopeful, solo backpacker, traveling mom etc etc. It does not matter what the niche as long as it is mixed up.
I would like to try to have interviews and guests for the panel as well.
The benefits for you as a blogger are pretty straight forward. You can get exposure for your blog, post the podcast on your site if you like and meet some fellow travel bloggers.
This is all in the concept stage so any and all suggestions are welcome. If you are interested in participating send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org