Amazing Things Our Family Has Learned Traveling In An RV In Mexico
Life on the road is always interesting. You never know what you are going to get. You get big waves, small waves, friendly communities, private communities, safe places and sketchy places. We have encountered communities of RV’ers who are slightly entitled and we only lasted one night as we felt we didn’t fit in and a community of RV’ers who were immediately like family and the kids adopted as their own, which meant we stayed much longer than planned. One thing we have learned on the road…. if you are staying in one spot for a prolonged period of time, you still don’t get to pick your neighbours much like anywhere you are settled at home. So hopefully you have the neighbors you love and adore.
We have been blessed with either having no neighbors at all (at the time we wished for neighbours), or neighbours who have been like immediate grandparents and the kids cannot get enough of. However we have been witness to people who have had less than desirable relationships with their neighbors. This is something I never took into consideration before our journey of full-time RVing and that probably is affecting us less than others who are staying in one spot for a full RV season.
There are definitely pros and cons to moving around for the RV season here in Mexico. Like most things in life there is a positive and negative to each situation. Let’s cover a few of them while we are here.
Always moving around with kids takes patience. There are trying times with having to keep things organized and with the kids continually pulling out their toys. However, with moving around we get to show the kids the importance of staying organized and tidy. This is coming from me who was not an organized person before. I have definitely learned as well! With always rearranging we learn what we don’t need and pay it forward to others who can use these things.
On the road showers are not to be taken for granted. Many RV parks have showers but by the time I am ready to shower in the evening, the mosquitos are terrible. Or often the showers are cold, or non existent when we are dry camping in a parking lot or gas station. Thank goodness for wet wipes. I am usually a person that showers daily after my workout. However on the road we are not always fortunate enough to be able to shower daily. Good thing we are a close knit family and love each other unconditionally. Yes our RV does have an indoor and outdoor shower but first off our shower needs a bit of silicone and repair (as evidenced by the duct tape in the picture) and secondly, when we are unsure when we will next get the opportunity to fill up with water again, showers are last on the priority list. Water for cooking and washing dishes is more important, otherwise we will be overrun with ants and bugs.
We get to meet people from all walks of life, who speak different languages, and have different beliefs. We can all learn from this exposure! Many Mexican people truly adapt and live by “mi casa es su casa” or my home is your home. This has been the most wonderful experience for us to feel a sense of family when we are so far away from our families back in Canada. However, with each good experience of having met amazing people, it means we also have to say goodbye to them and hope our paths cross again. Thank goodness for social media these days and being able to stay in contact this way at least!
Even though there are a lot of welcoming, friendly people, we have also encountered some very unfriendly, judgmental looks. We have been in a couple towns that were less than desirable in terms of feeling unwelcome. In one town it was the fellow travellers from the USA and Canada that made us feel unwelcome because we didn’t fit the “surfer” stereotype, even though we were there to surf. We do not wear brand name clothes or dress in a certain fashion, which allows us to travel and live the life we are living.
Unfortunately, because we do not subscribe to the trends, we were definitely singled out and made to feel unwelcome. In another towns it was the local tourists from Mexico who scowled and glared rather than saying the regular “hola” back when we greeted them.
In one instance as I tried to mount my bike with my 5 year old riding on the back (in a seat, strapped in with a helmet on), the bike toppled and fell over. Rather than any of the ladies sitting two feet in front of me asking if we were okay, they frowned and shook their head in dismay. Our daughter, ‘Anela was totally fine and laughed. Obviously the last thing I would ever want to do is cause harm to her. And it’s not as if bikes with kids are not a thing here in Mexico because they sure are, even with multiple kids on one bike!
You can’t always please everyone. Whether it be your spouse, kids or people around you, you can’t always please all the people all of the time. The main thing is that your family is taken care of. You learn to live with what others think of your parenting or lack there of. We are not helicopter parents and have had some interesting experiences with people thinking our kids are hurt. They worry that we are not caring or paying attention. When in all actuality, I am always watching, assessing and analyzing the situation. If my child falls, it’s okay. They need to learn to deal with situations and be able to handle themselves. If our child is hurt or appears to need help, we are quick to jump to the task because as I said we are always watching. I am sure many of you are the same. Kids need to learn independence and one of our goals with this trip was to raise independent, empathetic, worldly kids.
Don’t Plan- Just Go!
Not having and itinerary is a pro and con. When we find a beautiful, magical spot we can stay longer than planned. And when we come to an area that is not what we hoped for we can move on, no problem. The times we have found places we loved, such as Aguascalientes, La Peñita, And Melaque, we have to make the decision to leave and go find he next hidden gem and hope for something just as spectacular and amazing. You leave a gem behind and might stay at a gas station or two and go days without showering before you find the next diamond in the rough.
It’s a humbling experience living amongst the Mexican people of all classes. Some of the RV parks, gas stations and parking lots we have stayed at are in areas that appear to be just like Canada with big box stores, North American restaurants (such as Applebee’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, etc) and well maintained houses. Here are the areas where everyone is dressed well, drive nice cars and appear to be of the upper class.
We have also stayed at many places where the houses are falling apart, people are in old dirty clothes and people are of a class that is not so fortunate. There is a definite divide between the people of Mexico with either the upper class or lower class and only a small middle class. We are getting to learn a lot about the Mexican people. What they do to make money, such as owning their own businesses, selling various things they no longer need or have found on their travels, making tortillas, washing clothes, making breads (pan), teaching, etc.
Even with working long, tiring hours for not a lot of money, they people are generally happy, and giving. It is not a materialistic, consumerism culture as we are used to in Canada. As I said there are big box stores but that is not the norm for most people of Mexico. I guess this isn’t a pro or a con of traveling in an RV through Mexico. It is an eye opening realization that many people live lives of wealth while other live in utter poverty. Many of these people are happy to interact with us and instantly become friends.