“Ozzie and Canada”

October 15, 2022

During our few weeks at home re-supplying for our world travels, Diana saw a Facebook post from a couple who had just entered the US from Canada. When the border immigration people asked where they were headed, they said “Mexico”, to which the border agent — who likely has never spent any time in Mexico but instead relies on State Department information — replied, “I wouldn’t go there right now. It’s not safe.” Which of course got them wondering. So they decided to ask around, with the usual mixed results…most people — correctly, in my opinion — said “You can’t paint an entire country with a brush based on one area”, or something along those lines. As I’ve always said, lots of people are shot in south Chicago every weekend, but yet you never see a State Department notice that says “Avoid the Entire United States” because of it.

Diana reached out and offered a little advice on border crossings and invited the couple to stop by on their way south, since they mentioned they were planning to enter Mexico via Texas anyway. Within four or five days, Danny (from Australia, thus “Ozzie”) and Debbie (from Canada, thus…well, duh) pulled into our drive on their Harley Davidson. They had crossed the US from north to south very quickly, as there wasn’t much they hadn’t seen before and their real intent was to get out of the States and have some new experiences in another country.

Danny has spent most of his life traveling, mostly either with a backpack or on a sailboat. The only new part for him was having to import a vehicle through these countries. We quickly found that we shared a common outlook on traveling. We both prefer to avoid cities, opting to spend more time with the locals in the more rural areas in order to gain appreciation for the culture. And we all love experiencing new foods, especially local street food.

We spent a bit of time poring over a map of Mexico and Central America with highlighters, marking off places to go as well as places to avoid, sharing experiences about surf beaches, caves, tunnels, wildlife, food, and all types of water from seas to rivers, lakes and pools. We helped them with their Mexico immigration forms and bike insurance, walked them through the Temporary Vehicle Import process, and made sure they had all their paperwork in order for the border crossing. We talked about the wonderful (not!) world of topes in Mexico, local driving customs, and introduced them to breakfast tacos. Our goal was to make the process of entering Mexico as smooth as possible, while at the same time picking their brains for suggestions on where to go in Australia when we finally get there.

Sharing travel stories with Deb and Danny.

After a couple of days sharing stories, routes, and plans (okay, we shared our plans…Danny and Deb prefer to totally wing it. Very impressive), Ozzie and Canada loaded up and headed south. We’ll keep in touch via Facebook, etc. and hopefully cross paths again somewhere down the road.

Ozzie and Canada ready to head south this morning.