Day 200 of the Privileged Travel Life – still alive, not robbed, not kidnapped, not divorced, still fat.Back when we left New Zealand I had a vague notion that we might get to Antarctica by February 2015, haha – it’s pretty clear now that we will be lucky to get past Latin America – maybe Ecuador or Colombia.
It’s in Trinidad, Cuba that we celebrate 200 days of this privileged travel life.
We’re living at Miriam’s house in Trinidad and we are very much part of this extended family. Miriam is the mother and Olinda is her friend, together they cook, clean, feed and look after us, it’s nice, it’s so nice we stayed all week. They’ve even cooked us barbecue lobster and whole fish for dinner on numerous occasions for just $10.
Looking back at Day 100 in Mexico, it felt like we were never getting to Guatemala let alone Belize, the Yucatan and now Cuba. But that’s how things roll living a travel life, you never know where you are going to be next and why. Everyday brings an opportunity for some sort of new adventure.
Some highlights of the last 200 days:
All of this is just part of daily life and some of the reasons I love living outside of New Zealand. This cost of this travel life falls under our very modest budget of $135 a day. In fact right now we are sitting at just $102 a day. That’s $37,230 per year for 2 people having all this fun – pretty simple really. Imagine all that living, eating, entertainment, getting around, having a blast would cost in New Zealand. Hell – a 1125ml bottle of Cuban Rum here costs just $7.00.
So that’s all the fun stuff, but sometimes is not so much fun although those times have been pretty rare.
The major for me has been my camera issues which have been all my own carelessness. Celebrating out for dinner with our Spanish teachers at a fine dining restaurant in Xela, I sat my camera on a empty chair (not in it’s case – first mistake) and somehow managed to knock it to the tile floor. Commenting that wasn’t good for the camera, continued with dinner. It wasn’t until the next day I realized the lens would not engage, again not being too worried thinking Des will be able to fix this. This started a 2 week dramatic run around to try and get a new lens, also 2 weeks without a camera was real pain for me. I had to put up with iPhone, but that was better than nothing. Long story we finally got one shipped from the US to Guatemala, the day it arrived felt like Christmas! I was in camera heaven again – but for how long was the question?
We arrived in Old Havana to our apartment late one night and as always when arrive somewhere I take some quick shots of our abode before we make a mess. Tired I returned the camera to it’s case, but omitted to clip it in and zip the case up. You guessed it next morning I picked it up by the strap and BANG it fell from waist height to the tile floor – AGAIN.
I am beside myself and in tears this time – I’m in Cuba no less and with no camera!!!!! 3 weeks in Cuba with no camera is my worst nightmare. Des tries in vain to fix it and almost does, but we give up in the end. Somehow I just feel so incomplete without my beloved camera. It records so many of my memories and tells the story of my experience. There is one good thing though I have my iPhone and Des’s Smartphone plus the new GoPro but it’s not the same as my NEX6. I don’t think I dare to claim insurance on a second one! Now I have another ‘spare’ camera, a new lens and an adapter so I can buy another lens if necessary. That just added to my luggage!
Another challenge was a 10 hour squishy and hot shuttle bus ride to St Elena. And then the hassle of no taxi showing up to take us on to Tikal. Then we managed to leave behind our bag of dirty clothes in the van. That’ll teach me for putting the washing in a garbage bag! Of course because we wear our best clothes first – these were all the ones we lost, like my fav shorts and tops. While they can all be replaced, that’s just not so easy in the middle of the jungle or on a tiny island in Belize! Down to 2 wearable shirts Des goes on to lose another one on the beach in Cuba. He’s now a one shirt man!
Another little cause for frustration was buying a Go Pro Camera in Cancun. Although expensive, the camera was easy to buy, but try and get any accessories or a vital SD Card was impossible. We traipsed around for a couple of days trying to find these in Cancun. So back to ordering and getting shipped from the USA.
The other thing that gets on our wick at times is the Internet – speed and reliability of it. We just get settled in to some work and then down it goes, or in the middle of uploading it goes and stuffs everything up.
So realistically we have very little to complain about; we’re not sick, we’ve not been robbed or kidnapped, we always have some food and shelter.
It’s a privileged life with loads of adventures and new experiences and one that is surprisingly low cost.
We’re getting to like this life a lot.