Lo Siento, No More Pesos
I left the states back in September to fly off into the Colombia sunset. It was a one-way ticket to a dream come true.
I spent two months exploring the charms of Mighty Medellin then headed due south to the Cocora Valley in the coffee triangle.
Cali lived up to it’s title of Salsa Capital of the world and so did the busy business culture of Bogota.
I wasn’t long before I was off to Mexico’s capital for tacos and what was supposed to be a momentary visa run.
As (un)luck would have it, my dinero started running low.
Poor planning leads to awkward sleeping arrangements so, coach surfing (and an Airbnb couch — yes, those are for rent too) saved my ass until my hostel gig started.
I shack up in Colonial Roma for a month while things cooled off and I waited for the next payout from my consulting gig.
With a few Franklin’s in the bank, I was back up and running plotting world domination with my biz partner via Skype.
I read some books — Code of The Extraordinary Mind, Millionaire Fast Lane.
I got back into the hustle state of mind — Get money, take money, make money monay!
My little brother Josh flew into D.F. to ring in the New Year with me in true Mexican style (minus the Tequila pero con Vodka).
We hit up Teotihuacan, Coyoacán and crashed a hipster party.
We said our goodbyes over a couple of caramel infused churros and I headed North West to Guadalajara.
It was here that I would discover The Lost City of El Dorado. Well, sort of.
Once again Couch Surfing and Airbnb came to the the rescue.
I was low on freedom units but got word of a place where I could shack up for cheap and still be close to all the action — $78/mo.
It was kind of a shit hole but definitely a step up from the hostel — I had my own room this go round.
The co-working visa helped me boot a couple days gratis at various spots until I landed a free desk in a hacker space (they’re the good guys).
Guadalajara was more of my speed. Palm trees, 80 degree sunshine and $5 breakfast buffets. Not to mention beautiful feminine woman that kept my head on a swivel.
El Dorado at last. I had arrived.
With one small problem. Freedom units totaling $0.
We had a sale come through which got me back up to a respectable about of pesos (man the things you can afford with $200 here).
But alas, I was back down zero no sooner than I had come up.
The reality check came on a Sunday afternoon when I met my date for coffee and I could only pay a portion of the 80 peso bill ($4 US).
Lo siento. No more pesos.
So now what? I’m going with the flow.
I got the feeling in my gut that it was time to head back to the states and regroup.
So for now, the journey will take me back stateside until I stack more dinero.
I share all of this for two reason:
1. So you get a holistic view of what it’s like to bootstrap a business from the road in another country.
Yes, It’s cheap. yes, you can live like a rockstar, but It’s not without its challenges.
2. It’s OK to go home to regroup and get your house in order. It’s ok to go with the flow.
I imagine some people out there on the road probably felt like me. “I’m not going back until X date.” or “I can’t go back, people will look at me as a failure” or “This is part of the struggle.”
At this point in life, I’m wise enough to distinguish between the negative B.S. self-talk, lizard-brain ego part of my noggin. When that thing speaks, I counter by doing just the opposite.
More importantly though, I’ve learned to pay attention to the sings and go with my gut (even when it’s filled with delicious tacos).
We shall dance again soon, Mexico.
P.S. I occasionally write about remarkable travel adventures, mental gymnastics and street food at my home base www.vernonfoster.net. You can subscribe there to follow more of my musings.