Hey, friends! It’s been a while since one of these monthly recaps. I’m seriously overdue, because sooo much has happened in the last three months. Case in point: I’m writing this from my family home in Michigan. Yup, the longterm travels in Latin America are officially OVER!
I’ll try to keep this recap brief but there’s just so much to cover. You’ll probably still want to grab a coffee or tea and settle in for the read. (Oh, and keep reading to the bottom to get a sneak peek into my upcoming travel/life plans… AKA what happens after Latin America?!).
P.S. The blog is going through a big technical redesign project in May, so this is one of the last blog posts I’ll be publishing for a month! Sign up for my email newsletter to get exclusive stories from our travels/wedding planning/etc in the meantime!
Where was I in February, March, and April?
- Countries: Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Dominican Republic, USA
- Cities: Copan Ruins, Lago Yojoa, Utila, Pico Bonito National Park (Honduras); Rio Dulce, Lanquin, Semuc Champey, Flores (Guatemala); San Ignacio, Caye Caulker (Belize); Bacalar, Oaxaca, Mexico City (Mexico); Santo Domingo, Punta Cana (Dominican Republic); Florida and Michigan, USA.
- Flights: 4
- Days on the road: All of them!
February, March, and April on the blog…
Although I haven’t been writing monthly recaps, I’ve still been publishing other blog posts! Primarily, my Latin America border crossings series (while the info is still super recent and fresh in my mind), and my sponsored/partnership posts.
Check out my new blog posts:
- The Ultimate Gluten Free Costa Rica Guide
- How to Get From Guatemala to Copan Ruinas in Honduras
- Gluten Free Cannon Beach, Oregon Guide
- Honduras to Guatemala Border Crossing Guide
- The Best Antigua Guatemala Cooking Class (100% Gluten Free!) – collaboration
- Guatemala to Belize Border Crossing Guide
- Belize to Mexico Border Crossing Guide
- How to Go Cliff Jumping in El Salvador with El Salvatours – collaboration
- Paddle Boarding Lake Atitlan: Everything You Need to Know – collaboration
As you can see, I definitely haven’t left the blog by the wayside over the past few months! In the coming months, expect tons more posts about our travels in Latin America. I’m focusing on publishing our collaborative posts first, but if you have any general travel planning questions for the region, feel free to comment or send me an email at [email protected].
February adventured like…
I began the month (very burned out) in Honduras. In total, Dan and I spent 16 days traveling in Honduras. It was enough to get a taster of the country for sure, however I will say that I was at the worst of my “travel burnout” in Honduras.
Discovering Pico Bonito National Park in Honduras was a dream. I started getting my my mojo back during our days staying in this stunning Eco Lodge on the Rio Cangrejal (blog post coming, I promise!). When people say “hidden gem”, this is actually what that phrase means. It’s unbelievably peaceful and gorgeous and the #1 place I’d return to in Honduras.
Then came Guatemala, part two. If you read my January recap, you know that Dan and I already visited Guatemala on our travels. Well, this time we spent two weeks exploring the lesser-visited eastern side. That included a few days in beautiful Rio Dulce at this boujie AF river lodge, and then an INCREDIBLY CHAOTIC journey to Semuc Champey, and finally a few days in Flores (including seeing the famous Tikal Ruins).
We got drugged against our will in a remote jungle lodge in Guatemala. Say what?! Look, this is one of my top 5 craziest stories from our 10 months traveling in Latin America, and it’s hard to even believe it happened. Let’s just say, thank God we are okay and now we have a hell of a story. If you want to know the whole story, let me know and perhaps I’ll write a blog post or email all about it (all names removed, of course, for legal reasons…).
March adventured like…
Come March, we said “adios” (and good riddance) to Guatemala and crossed the border into our final country in Central America: Belize. Look, if you read the previous paragraph then you know why we were both very happy to get out of Guatemala. Honestly, from our first step across the border, Belize was already a breath of fresh air.
We spent 9 days exploring Belize, and it definitely wasn’t long enough. One of my biggest regrets from how our travel plans worked out was that we didn’t have longer in Belize. I would totally come back here. We really made the most of our 9 days, though, from adventures (and meeting some of our best travel buddies) in San Ignacio, to getting our minds blown by the blue waters and snorkeling in Caye Caulker.
Then, we crossed into Mexico, the final country on our big Latin America backpacking itinerary. Our first stop in Mexico was Bacalar Lagoon, where we were supposed to meet my best friend Mary for 5 days. Unfortunately, Mary missed her flight from Chicago (wahh!) so Dan and I made the most of Bacalar just the two of us… AKA we ate, and ate, and ate… Eating Mexican food after 10 months of rice and beans and pineapples was INCREDIBLE.
Next up was exploring Oaxaca, the food capital of Mexico. When we planned our time in Mexico, we knew our focus was going to be food. My celiac-blogging friend Jodi was particularly helpful here with tips on where to eat in Oaxaca, as she formerly lived there. Combined with some Netflix foodie-show research and good old-fashioned exploration, we ate to our hearts’ content in Oaxaca.
Our final stop was Mexico City… and the best Airbnb I’ve ever stayed at ($40/night!!). After many, many Airbnb/accommodation horror stories over the course of our travels (you know what I’m talking about, if you watch my Instagram stories), staying with Julian at his stunning apartment was the greatest thing ever. I absolutely recommend his place if you EVER visit Mexico City! Our days in CDMX were similarly focused on food, including a gluten free cooking class and street food tour that I’ve yet to blog about. We celebrated the final stop of our backpacking adventures by splashing out on a hot air balloon ride over the Teotihuacan Pyramids.
April adventured like…
But wait, there’s more… April started out with a flight to the Dominican Republic for a friend’s wedding! If you’ve been following along, you know our whole itinerary was structured by traveling north through Latin America, so we could make it to the Dominican Republic in time for my friend’s wedding. We only spent 4 days in the country, pretty much all focused on wedding events/recovering from wedding events. Verrrrry different from our past 10 months of travel but truly some of the best and happiest days!!
Next, we spent a week in Florida. With our Latin America backpacking trip officially over (*tear*), we stepped foot on USA soil for the first time in a loooong time. Our first week back, we stayed with my Uncle in Vero Beach, Florida and focused on spending quality time with him and my Grandma Joan, AKA GJ, AKA the first and #1 fan of this blog (and the whole reason I started it… to keep her updated on my exploits when I originally moved to England in 2015).
I came home to Michigan, which truly marked the end of our travels. Dan and I spent the rest of April with my parents (and dogs!) at our home in Michigan. Actually, Dan’s parents flew in from England, and our parents met for the first time in our nearly decade-long relationship. It was very special to have that time together. Other than hosting Dan’s family and showing them around humble mid-Michigan, I also helped host one of my childhood besties’ 30th birthday party, reunited with a lot of other friends and family, caught up on my writing assignments, and of course got takeout from all my favorite places.
February, March, and April travel budget breakdown…
As a reminder, Dan and I had a goal budget of $1500/month which is about $50/day while we traveled Latin America. I was under budget in July, August, and September, but over budget in October (+$279), November (+$388), December (+$237), and January (+$147).
Well, the trend continued… LOL. Turns out, traveling in Central America (during post-pandemic inflation, no less) is more expensive than we expected and there wasn’t too much we could do about it other than really change our travel style. That, combined with being burned out and wanting to stay in nicer accommodations, made it tough on the wallets.
As you’ll see below, March was way over budget (our highest month yet!), largely due to a mix-up with a flight we had to book to get home. Belize, also, was more expensive than other countries we’d visited.
Very luckily, I’m working online (and earning money blogging!) while we travel, so we had the flexibility to go over budget, within reason.
February travel expenses:
- Accommodation: $599.04
- Travel: $305.57
- Activities: $182.59
- Food: $563.53
- Miscellaneous: $38.16
March travel expenses:
- Accommodation: $741.42
- Travel: $755.83
- Activities: $596.94
- Food: $814.57
- Miscellaneous: $168
February, March, and April blogging income report and update…
Well, as I mentioned, I’ve been earning money while we travel which really made the dream a reality!
I will say that during the past three months, my focus has not been on work, and my income has completely stagnated as a result of that. I really wanted to soak up the final few months of our adventure and that meant less laptop time, more travel time!
I’m going to be vulnerable, here… I was a little hesitant to publish these numbers as, well, they’ve remained essentially the same for months now. But then I reminded myself that I started sharing this information because so many of you are curious about how I make this style of travel work, how I earn money blogging, and you’re looking for a truly honest and achievable insight to that!
And honestly, I’ve not been able to scale my blog while traveling full time. I’m just paddling water and keeping up with my current level of commitments, and you know what? That’s enough for now. My hope is to grow my income and blog later this year, but I’ve realized that for me, I can’t do that while traveling at the rate that I have been!
FEBRUARY 2023 BLOGGING INCOME
Here’s how my income broke down in February:
- Advertising: $1,525.76
- Freelance Writing: $900
- Affiliates: $269.14
MARCH 2023 BLOGGING INCOME
Here’s how my income broke down in March:
- Advertising: $1,343.37
- Freelance Writing: $1,650
- Affiliates: $391.69
APRIL 2023 BLOGGING INCOME
Here’s how my income broke down in April:
- Advertising: $1,364.13
- Freelance Writing: $900
- Affiliates: $115.92
Note: This is my gross income, before expenses and taxes.
So… What Comes After Latin America? Is the Adventure Over?
I have spent the last year (as of May 6!) traveling full-time. My longterm travel adventure started with part 1: a road trip across the USA, including getting engaged to Dan in Oregon. Then came part 2: 10 amazing months of travel in Latin America, all the way from Peru to Mexico.
So… what’s next?
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t experienced travel burnout, or grappled with the how/why of my love for travel over the last year. But I’d also be lying if I said I feel ready to stop and move on from this style of travel.
So, I have some news. The longterm travel adventure is officially NOT over, and will continue through October of this year!
Currently, I’m taking some time out at home in Michigan with family, while Dan is now back home in England doing the same. We’ll reunite in mid-May when we officially (as of yesterday…) have our flights booked to kick off the longterm travel adventure part 3!!!
Want to know where we’re headed? Sign up for my email newsletter because that’s where I’m sharing the news, first!
Upcoming in May…
May is a bit of a misfit month for me, as I’ll actually be spending it on 3 continents (if everything goes according to plan).
I’m currently enjoying my last week at home in Michigan, before I jet off for a very exciting press trip! I got the offer for this press trip – which includes snorkeling and visiting a turtle hospital – right after my epic snorkeling trip in Belize where I swam with my first ever wild sea turtle. It felt like a sign from the universe that I was on the right path and I’m so glad I’ve been able to make it happen. Stay tuned to hear more about that!!
After the press trip, I’m flying directly to London where I’ll spend a little over a week with Dan and his family and friends. I think pretty much every single day is booked full with activities… including our engagement photo shoot!! Eeee, very excited.
Then, we’re off on a loooong flight to kick off our next leg of travels. Want to know more about that? Sign up for my email newsletter, where I’ll share the news first. Any guesses where?
As a reminder, I won’t be publishing blog posts for at least a month, due to a big technical project I’m undertaking on the blog! If you want to get the goss, get on the email list or follow on Instagram (where I promise I’m gong to start posting again, whoops).
Anywhoooo, what have you all been up to over the last three months?! Let me know in the comments below!