2004 Journey: Central and South America
The contrast from cold Nebraska to warm and muggy Cancun, Mexico couldn't be greater. Cancun marks the beginning of my journey. From here time will continue to take me further south, away from the cold and the snow. I've run into a temporary obstacle. My travel companion received a very nasty burn on her foot right before she left Paris to join me, so we are patiently waiting for that to heal.
Cancun isn't really Mexico, but it's where I find myself killing time. Even in this place, there are opportunities. Thirty years ago, Cancun had 150 people living in it; today it has over 900,000. There are two worlds here; the tourists, and the service industry catering to those well-heeled people. Needless to say, with my intended $15 dollar-a-day budget, we are not staying in the infamous hotel zone. Instead, we have landed downtown in an area called El Crucero. When we tell other tourists where we are staying, they generally give us a strange look, confessing they never heard of it. I don? have the heart to tell them that I could live for 2 months on what they will spend in one week. Of course I'm sure their toilet has a seat on it, which ours does not, and they have more then a ceiling fan for keeping cool.
Cancun is like Las Vegas; no one is from Cancun, unless you are under the age of 15. People have come from all parts of Mexico to seek the opportunities for work.
One morning, we spent listening to a sales pitch from an organization selling memberships to a time-share holiday club. We nodded with some interest, but that quickly went out the window when he announced the $15,000 joining fee. Truthfully, the real reason we did it was to kill some time and for the gift they baited us with to listen: a free trip to Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Additionally, a day for a couple of low-budget travelers to hang out in a nice hotel was a nice perk.