Travel Journal Mexico:”Boxing Day”

While most people were out frantically shopping, this is what we did on December 26th:

The Klima/Barrons are due to arrive tonight – I am so excited to have more people to swim with. Today I have been to the ocean twice solo because mum didn’t want to come and Kath was sleeping. The ocean is magnificent regardless but I love the company when swimming and body surfing as well. So far nothing has extended past our 100 ft radius (beach + bungalow). We are going to go to JEEP (Jaltemba Equine Education Project) which an animal refugee and adoption shelter. I’m excited.

We fucked up and JEEP closed at noon… it’s 2pm.

Another beach day (are there any other kind?). Kath and I body surfed, then mum and I played cards. We went to Los Brisas for lunch. It was 3 blocks away and we had a gorgeous view of the ocean. The restaurant was rooftop and we were practically on the beach! Elkie and Minota came with us (ladies from Saskatoon that we met at the bungalow). They are very interesting, well-travelled ladies (79 years old, they’ve been friends since grade 9). Henry, Julia etc arrived (finally) at 6:30pm – their flight was delayed 3 hours! We played Camel Up + Settlers. I can’t wait for tomorrow.



For board games such as Camel Up and Settlers: the

For delicious drinks at Los Brisas


Travel Journal Mexico: Feliz Navidad

Today has been the most relaxing Christmas yet – I woke up first at 7am, finished my book (The Slap), then swam in the ocean at 8am. Luxury! I swam for about an hour, it was such bliss. Then tanned by the pool and read my other book “Everything I Ever Wanted” by Jillian Lauren (which is fantastic by the way). Then I went swimming solo again – body surfing! Then more lounging. For breakfast I had a banana, croissant and galleta from “Santa”(Bob + Linda the bungalow owners). Then mum, Kath and I had a homemade lunch of guacamole, beans, rice, peppers, lime and tortillas YUM. With G+T (Gin and Tonic) of course. Off for an afternoon stroll soon.

We went for a walk at sunset (after swimming 2 more times with Kath). The sunsets here are like no other I’ve seen (or remember anyway). The sky turns into a pastel-coloured mash-up, like a canvas painting. With soft pinks, blues, yellows, oranges, red – the pictures don’t do it justice. Then Kath played settlers with us! Twice! I lost both times (ridiculous!). Best Christmas yet.

Travel Journal Mexico: Christmas Eve


I slept from 8pm to 7:20am! Hopefully I can stay awake longer tonight. This view is spectacular! I love waking up to the sound of the crashing waves. My grandma would love this place (she doesn’t get to travel enough). We made our own breakfast of avocado, eggs, tomato and I had banana. We had to soak our fruit in drinking water with some drops (Microdyn) to remove any harmful bacteria etc that could cause sickness.

 (Not sure if I believe in this or not but no one got sick the whole trip).

Then we went to the market and saw an animal rescue booth called Jaltemba Equine Education Project (JEEP).

This booth had a black dog who had been abandoned with a litter of pups, only one puppy survived. It really effected me and my family. We promised to go on Saturday to visit the refuge.

I bought a pair of black matted sunglasses for 70 pesos (less than $7 CAD). I was the only one who bought something, which was shocking because my sister loves to shop and I do not. Then we went back to the bungalow (Casita) and went swimming in the ocean! Best waves ever!!! Kath and I went body surfing and mum came swimming too. We swam for a solid hour and tanned for a bit before we left for lunch. This restaurant was not as good – food was pretty bland. Oh well! Then we got some more groceries for tomorrow in case everything is closed on Christmas day. At 4:30 my sister had a nap and mum and I went to join Bob (one of the owner’s of the Casita) for drinks. He made everyone in the building margaritas (strong ones!). Yum! All of the renters here are Canadian! Everyone was very friendly. These two ladies from BC are here until the 6th (we leave on the 4th) – so we may do a day trip with them. Then mum and I played board games and card games until Kath woke up. Kath and I went for a walk on the beach and around town. I love this place. Merry Christmas Eve! Feliz Navidad. Fireworks and firecrackers light up the sky and blast my eardrums.




Travel Journal Mexico: La Penita de Jaltema

I found a travel journal guys! This one has Costa Rica, France and Spain and my most recent trip to Mexico. I just got back two weeks ago from La Penita de Jaltemba which is two hours north of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. I was writing in my journal and my family was questioning my blog. I explained how I never make the time to write anymore, when my sister suggested that I just write my journal entries on my blog – so here it goes! Hope you like it.


What a day! We woke up at 3:20am Victoria B.C. time, had a connecting flight to Seattle, then got to Puerto Vallarta (PV). After arriving in PV at 4pm, we then had a two hour taxi ride up to La Penita de Jaltema. I felt nothing but bliss on the drive up. It was the most gorgeous green scenery – all different types f trees and mountains. I kept thinking, as the taxi driver drove around other cars with frightening speed, that even if it was my time to die, I would be completely satisfied with my life. (Who else can say that?). I was at such a serene state – I kept thanking the Universe (silently), almost like a prayer. But I was also aware of the poverty and various socioeconomic backgrounds I was witnessing. Some places were filled with car lots and others with half-starved horses/live stock. Our driver was booked through our accommodation “La Casita de Penita” (will post a link at the bottom). Both the service and accommodation were delightful! The “Casita” is right on the beach, almost literally. We have an ocean view and as I write this I am enveloped by the rythmic song of the waves. AS soon as we arrived we leaped out of the car and ran to the beach (my sister, Kath and I) and of course I jumped right in and the waves were ferocious.  I laughed and laughed as the break of the wave hugged my back… like a long lost friend. Oh, Mexico, how I have missed you. Afterwords, we went to “Hinde y Jaime’s” for dinner (will post a link). Kath is vegetarian (I am no longer one) so she had cheese quesedila with rice and salad and guacamole. We all shared the guac, chips and salsa verde. Mum and  I split the fish tacos (to die for). As well as 3 chicken enchilladas which came with salad. YUM we also got complimentary corn tortilla chips and fresh made salsa. We ALSO had a gin and tonic (mum), pina colada (me) and margarita (kath) to toast the beginning of our holiday. All for the grand total of… 300 pesos ($24 Canadian), which included the tip (which is not a usual custom in Mexico, you tip if you want to). What a steal of a meal! We are exhausted now and it is only 7:30pm. The Thursday square market is tomorrow and then drinks with the Casita owner. Life is so great: PS the ocean is perfect; we went body surfing and my soul has been replenished.


Casita de la Penita, Owners: Bob and Linda

Hinde y Jaime’s


Plan To Be Flexible

Having a plan is great, in theory. But, when it comes to travelling to places you have never been before, where you may not speak the language or understand the transit system, you always should allow room for change.

Sometimes, the hardest part of travelling is letting go. It isn’t easy to fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants when you are in a foreign country. But, the reality is, you are going to get lost even if you have a map.

Here are just a few things you should realize you can’t solidify:

flight times (they get delayed and it screws up your whole schedule, allow for flight delays so you don’t miss connecting flights or meet-ups with potential friends)

the weather (going on a sunny vacation? pack one warm outfit just in case!!)

the people you will meet (whether you are travelling solo or with a friend, you will always meet people travelling – be as open to this as possible because the people you meet can change the course of your whole trip, if you’re lucky)

your itinerary (having a plan is great! have a list of things you want to see in each place you are visiting BUT just be open to change and embrace it!)

your emotions (you can’t plan for the ups and downs you will have on your trip, but acknowledge what your body is telling you, whether it is physical, mental or emotional and learn from it – I truly believe there is a lesson to be learnt in every hardship)

It is important not to get caught up in the parts of your trip that don’t work out as planned. Worrying about things that are in the past or out of your control are a waste of energy – and we all do it! My solo journey in Spain was an exploration towards my true self. I think that travelling, and definitely travelling alone, speeds that process up. I have always known that I love to be alone. Not all the time, but every day I relish those moments – however few and far between – where I am completely alone. Now, what I learned travelling, is that being completely alone for an extended period of time such as a week, is too long for me to be alone. I realized that I alone am not enough; I crave social interaction equally as much as my quiet down-time. But, even though there were periods of my trip where I did get lonely, I realized that it was okay to feel that way and it forced me out of my comfort zone to meet people I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to introduce myself to. So, did I plan to be lonely? No. But I discovered more about myself and grew from the experience.

The most memorable moments of all of my trips were ones that were spontaneous, unplanned adventures where I didn’t know what to expect, who I would meet or what I would see. The world is a beautiful place, so make sure you are paying attention because you will blink and the best night of your life will come to an end. Extraordinary moments are rare and fleeting, but don’t try to hold onto them, just enjoy them while they last.

Be receptive to what your trip has to offer you,

~Wanderlust Jess

Wanderlust Wednesdays

Coming soon – Wanderlust Wednesdays!

These past 2 months have been crazy for me, new job, new house and my writing has taken a backseat. I want to make it a priority, so I am going to have Wanderlust Wednesdays starting March 11th. I will be posting little tidbits relating to travelling, such as helpful packing, planning and purchasing tips in addition to places I have travelled with the how-to’s and what-not-to-do’s. I hope you guys will enjoy it!

Until then,

Wanderlust Jess


To paraphrase Hozier “somewhere for these death and guns, we are young and free and feel none of it, adding shadows to the walls of the cave; we are nursing on a poison”.

I want to run away and never come back… for selfish and selfless reasons. Selfless reason number one: Be the change

There are so many in physical pain and we need to forget about ourselves and actually help. I don’t mean to just donate money towards an organization, I mean change the way we live. For those who have restrictions and can’t physically leave the country this means making conscious choices to buy local, support fair trade and conserve clean drinking water.

I am currently sitting on my bed, in my home, where I have immediate access to heat, clean drinking water, and food. I have more than most, and take it for granted. Every person should have these things. At the very least every person should have water. This is not a new concept – people have been saying this for years, but I am inspired and pissed off, so I am writing about it. Which brings me to reason two: live simply, so others can simply live (Gandhi).

In live in Canada, where we have been hard-wired to believe that we always need more… but we are “distracting and sedating ourselves” from real issues. We spend our time thinking about ourselves (and I do too! don’t get me wrong, I am just as bad) but I am tired of being this way. How can I live in a world where people are suffering and I just go about my life as if I don’t know starvation and disease related to malnutrition kill thousands every single day.

I need to seriously evaluate my life and find out how I can best utilize my time, because while I feel that I am doing my part in Victoria, it just isn’t enough.

Some related documentaries include: The End of Poverty?, Food Inc, Food Matters, Blue Gold, Tableland… a quick google search found me this list:

Just be conscious of what organizations, corporations etc that you are supporting! What are there ethical values and do they match yours?