a pirate looks at 40
We were only back in PDX for a few days before packing a bag and heading out for a a different type of travel for us (at least recently). We have clearly decided that for the foreseeable future our travel will be (mostly) via vanlife so that karma can be with us in our adventures… because it just doesn't feel fair to stick her in the belly of a plane anymore and we just can't bear to be without her for long.
But…occasionally a trip comes along that we simply cant say no to; and chad’s birthday trip to mexico was absolutely one where we never even considered declining.
Sunshine, friends, margaritas by the pool. That pretty much described our entire week. This was all about celebrating chad’s “a pirate looks at 40” moment and enjoying our friends with a bit of sunshine and pool time thrown into the mix.
This isn't the type of trip we have taken often recently, so it also really got us thinking about our current lifestyle and finances. Obviously air travel requires more advance planning/booking than simply pointing the van in whatever direction we choose to drive each day, but it also costs significantly more than the simple, low cost lifestyle we typically pursue.
It's not the shock of the trip expenses that got us pondering… It's more the desire to be in a place financially where we will never hesitate to say yes to whatever group of friends happens to be setting out on a holiday or adventure that sounds amazing, invites us along, but is will also almost inevitably cost thousands of dollars.
We booked our tickets using our alaska airlines companion fare, packed our bag (basically bikinis and swim trunks only) and grabbed a Lyft to the airport. Within hours we were basking in the sun and enjoying our friends poolside. What a stark contrast to our last few months of winter roadtripping, and even the last few weeks of constant gray rainy days in portland!
We normally live and travel for a couple of months (including absolutely all living expenses) on the amount of money we spent on this trip , and it's not lost on us that our friends and their choice of having an income makes these trips far more accessible for them.
Don't get me wrong, we wouldn't change a thing… but we also want to make sure we're at least considering how to plan long term in a way that allows us to travel abroad as much as we want as well (but somehow without having to take the “job” to pay for it).
Nothing quite like knowing that your two lifestyle goals are complete opposites to one another to get the brain spinning. We did venture outside the house (on rare occasion) for a day on the beach, a meal with our toes in the sand, and a daylong deep sea fishing excursion...but those were by far the anomaly during our stay in Cabo as it was almost impossible to convince anyone in the group (much less everyone) to rally enough to leave the packyard oasis of our pool and hot tub.
It was an utterly relaxing trip and stay for us, and a complete blast in every way. There's obviously a reason we don't do these trips often... but also a reason when the right opportunity comes along that we don't want to ever say no.
After a week of bliss, Jen and I threw some hugs as our friends departed for the airport and then spent a few more days in Cabo even further outside our typical travel habits.
We seem to often end up with layovers like these because we can find cheaper flights midweek if we simply stay in paradise a few extra days and our schedules clearly allow it (doesn't take much convincing). Normally we end up seeking the remote cabin or palapa when we book beach travel, but for our last few nights on this trip we stayed at the Melia (ME cabo), which lured us in by having one of the only swimmable beaches in the area.
We didn't really realize exactly what we were in for, but within moments of our arrival it was clear that the Melia is a hip, groovy, clublike atmosphere. The lobby and rooms overlook the pool and the cool grooves of the dj were flowing through even upon our checkin.
The atmosphere here was otherworldly, and the food and drinks devine. We spent the next few days lounging by the pool, crowdwatching, enjoying perfectly frozen cocktails and soaking up the last hours of sun before our return to the pacific northwest.