A new adventure: The hunt for handicrafts!

FullSizeRender-1 Sweet, hot, sticky air. Cold showers. Bumpy roads. Brightly painted everything. Rooster alarm clocks. Outdoor markets. Hammocks. Wood carvings and tapestries. Carne asada and ceviche. That’s right, we’re back in Mexico! When I told a friend we were coming back to Mexico for our last month of World Tour, she exclaimed, “you’re like totally obsessed with Mexico aren’t you!?” I thought she was exaggerating a tad, but the fact that 6 out of 12 months of this “world tour” are being spent in this one country, I guess I can see what she means. It is true, we are in love with the culture and the color and the vibrancy of our neighboring country. IMG_4318 We’ve realized that our experience in Mexico and (many other countries for that matter) we’ve visited throughout this trip has been a tad different from the stories we’ve been hearing on the tele. Stories of drug cartels, violence, and crime lead to our most commonly asked question- “isn’t it dangerous there!?” And the answer we often give is “some parts probably are, but we haven’t ever felt in danger in the places we’ve visited” (Which is mostly true. There was that one time when our neighbors – who were American BTW – wouldn’t leash their dog and it scared the bejeezes out of me on several occasions until I finally had to knock on their door and confront them about it in tears!…I digress) The Mexico we are exploring is huge and diverse and is home to 68 indigenous languages and countless ancient ruins. Here we see grandmothers sitting in doorways watching the sunset, and men selling tamales on bicycles. We are constantly stunned to see so many people dressed professionally or traditionally, even when its 100 degrees and unbearably humid! (except at the beaches where shorts and sandals are acceptable..phew!) We love it when a random person walks by our table at a restaurant, smiles and says “buen provecho!” (enjoy your meal). Art, culture, music and food is everywhere. These are the stories we have been living. Are there real and tragic problems that deserve media attention and should put pressure on governments to do something about them? Yes, heck yes. But do these stories about a corrupt few define a whole people or country? Heck no! There are millions of real and beautiful stories that don’t make the headlines, perhaps because they just don’t “sell”. And it makes us wonder, what if stories of culture, beauty, and art were worth selling…

That leads me to the reason we are back in Mexico, because yes, this time there is a real reason- We’ve decided to bring a piece of the country back with us…hundreds of pieces in fact. During this last month of travel, we are on a hunt to find beautiful, hand crafted, unique artesanias (or handicrafts). We will be looking for items not easily found in Old Town San Diego, items that don’t say “I heart Mexico” or “Made in China” on them. We want items that we find beautiful and that tell a story. And we’re not limiting this hunt to Mexico. We’ve already bought some beautiful hand woven scarves from Guatemala and sent them home with a friend. Our plan is to bring back what we can carry and sell these items at one or more “Holiday Sales” this year to family and friends and whoever wants them. Why are we doing this? Well for a few reasons: 1) To try something new when we return home. One goal of World Tour was to open our minds to new ways of living and making moola. What better time to start a new adventure, than upon our return? 2) Carolyn wants an excuse to buy every colorful and shiny object she comes across. 3) Most importantly, we want to support local and traditional arts and crafts from the places we visited and loved. And maybe one day the most common question we get about the various places we visit will be, “isn’t it beautiful there!?” We’ll be blogging and facebooking about this adventure and hope you will join us along the journey and at one of the sales when we return! Vamos!


Our first purchase in Mexico!


We’re not traveling “light” anymore, not with this huge suitcase full of goodies!

Homecoming Announcement:

As many people know, we are coming home soon! August 19 to be exact. This date comes exactly 365 days after we left. We will have made it to 1 year! Woohoo! We fly into LAX where we will spend time with Carolyn’s family and then head to San Diego to spend time with Jon’s family and many of our friends. We still plan to do some touring of the US before the end of the year. We may be in a town near you! 😉 We are excited, scared, happy, and sad that World Tour is coming to an end. Still processing it. I sense a future blog post coming on…

Shout Outs:

Thank you SO MUCH Donna and Tony, dear friends and brilliant owners of Stratatax, who are helping us with the business side of our new adventure with the handicrafts! We literally could not have done this without your wisdom and guidance. You guys rock!!

Thank you Tamara for your wisdom and encouragement throughout our travels and for our return home! You have been an inspiration to us and have been more helpful than you will ever know! When are you going to start your travel/life consulting business? 🙂 Check out Tamara and her husband Chris’s adventures throughout the US…living out of their van (!) at http://www.nomadswithavan.com/