A rustic church and people in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

Cutting Drifting Distance: A Travel Hack

I am a huge fan of travel hacking. If efficiency can be increased, then more momentary happiness is created. One solid travel hack is cutting drifting distance. Covering less earth typically saves time and dinero. And it’s more eco-friendly.

When pricing tickets to Mexico City from Tampa, I noticed a layover in Cancún. I tried that alone and got an $88 Tampa to Cancún direct flight. The flight time is under two hours.

My immediate instinct was to start investigating the Yucatán Peninsula.

I recall hearing great things about this half-island land mass, which for some reason, I have never considered visiting until now.

From Florida’s west coast, across the Gulf of México and onto the Yucatán Peninsula, is almost a stone’s throw, so to speak.

The Yucatán Peninsula and state of the same name share the Gulf of México with Cuba, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and the Méxican states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Tamaulipas. There are 32 states in México. It’s a big country of around 132 million people.

Méxican Culture

From what I recall while on a three-week Méxican (mostly Oaxacan) stint a few months back, street and market food is relatively inexpensive and easily accessible. Eating in food stall/restaurants or inside markets with random locals can be a quaint, authentic experience.

It helps to know survival Spanish. This includes numbers so you can ask the price and not get taken advantage of. If a place is frequented by many gringos, there’s a chance you’ll be charged an estadounidense price that can turn out expensive. Be on the ball just in case. This is from first-hand experience in a culturally aesthetic Oaxacan market.

People in a market, Oaxaca City, Mexico.
People in an Oaxacan market, Oaxaca, México.

Food can be outstanding in Mexico and it is no surprise. You might feel the gastronomical urge to try something potentially incredible in a restaurant. It may not be cheap but the qualitative value can be superb.

México is Home to Culinary Wizardry

Since I was subconsciously stretching my drifting dollar, I typically stuck to street food and markets. However, an exotic-restaurant splurge now and then was deemed necessary in such an intriguing gastronomical climate.

Cutting Drifting Distance: A Travel Hack Gourmet Mexican cusine: Chili en Nogada and Oaxacan specialty
Chili en Nogada, an Oaxacan Specialty, Oaxaca City, Mexico.

History and Nature

The Yucatán is loaded with archaeological ruins, some of which are renowned, wonders of the world. This allows the possibility of time travel to an ancient Mayan empire.

Away from touristy areas there are many modern-day Mayans on the Yucatán. There is so much that can be learned from indigenous peoples. Their millennia-old know-how could be critical to the survival of humankind.

There is gorgeous tropical nature including swimmable cenotes (fresh water caves and sinkholes) all over.

Along with these wonders that make the Yucatán a spectacular place to visit, the best reason to go to this fat neck of land is that I’ve never been.

Have you been to México’s Yucatán Peninsula? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Here is the complete set of photos from Oaxaca.

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