AK Monthly Recap: January 2020

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How did I start a new decade? Fast asleep. Seriously. My friends and I went out for dinner on New Year’s Eve in Havana, but we were so exhausted that we were in bed by 10:30 PM! (I pushed through and read my book until 11. WHAT A PARTY ANIMAL.)

This month, I returned to the nomadic life — a lifestyle I enjoyed from 2010 until 2015. Even though it’s only for a few months, I’m relishing in the freedom. (Well, the freedom of NOT HAVING TO PAY NEW YORK RENT, mostly. And NOT HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE NEW YORK SUBWAY.)

Oh, and another big milestone — this month this blog turned ten years old. I think the anniversary of the first post was February 6, but I got the blog all set up in January 2010! What a crazy journey it’s been…

Destinations Visited

  • Havana and Viñales, Cuba
  • Mérida, Progreso, and Celestún, Mexico
  • New York, NY
Our home for two months in Mérida!

Highlights

Living in Mérida. I’m a bit sorry that I never wrote about my trip to Mérida last year — and even sorrier that I didn’t name it one of my favorite new destinations of 2019. (I traveled to tons of new places last year and the list was LONG — I had to make cuts.) Mérida is blissful. I adore it here.

Right after arriving, I saw two people I had met on my trip last year and they gave me big hugs and told me how glad they were that I came back. That really set the tone! Since then I haven’t been doing a ton of touristy things in Mérida — just working, spending time with friends (both old and new!) and going out to all the wonderful restaurants and bars.

Mérida is an extremely livable city. It’s warm year-round (though horrifically hot in summer, I’m told), it’s often cited as the safest city in Mexico, and there is a friendly expat community, including lots of travel bloggers. If you’re in Centro, it’s quite walkable, and if not, Ubers cost less than $3. And everything is so affordable! A cheap warm place is SO NICE after coming from New York.

Viñales made up for the rest of Cuba. For the most part, I didn’t really enjoy Cuba as a destination — but I got to Viñales and LOVED it. Such a peaceful, beautiful village surrounded by dramatic mountains. I loved spending a day hiking out to a farm, gazing at the gorgeous surroundings, and learning about rural Cuban life.

A fun beach day in Progreso. Progreso is the…

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