In 2003, my husband Kelly and I traveled around Mexico — mostly the northeastern part — for about six weeks in our small RV. I wrote and published a book about it, Mexico with Heart. Later, I created this website to put the book online, since the color photos added so much to the stories.
Here’s what one reader emailed to me, after reading the book online one winter:
For two evenings your writings about your trip in Cando made the time fly by on this frozen Illinois farmland. — Don Logsdon
The book is available at Amazon, with black and white photos: Mexico with Heart: Travel Tales, Photos, and a How-To Guide
You can read the book onlineby clicking on the links below. Each one will open in a new tab.
Part I. The story:
Introduction: Overcoming fear to go to Mexico and our background of travel to Mexico.
Introduction, page 2: Overview of the trip we took in our small motorhome, along the Gulf of Mexico and back through the central highlands.
Entering Mexico: Chatting with Mexicans and Americans as we wait to enter Mexico at the Pharr bridge, McAllen, TX.
Entering Mexico, page 2: We enter Mexico in our RV and encounter some challenges in driving.
Entering Mexico, page 3: Reflections on driving and roads in Mexico, as our trip gets started.
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico: We discover that Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas in Mexico, is a delightful place. I have a great Saturday night in the supermarket.
Ciudad Victoria, page 2: The photoessay on Ciudad Victoria continues.
El Chorrito, Mexican pilgrimage destination: About El Chorrito, and its famous cave, near Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, where Mexican pilgrims flock.
El Chorrito, page 2: I go through the line at El Chorrito, Mexican pilgrimage town.
Camping by a Mexican Lake: We camp at a small government campground with idyllic views.
Camping by a Mexican Lake, page 2: Mexican travel tales and information: we camp by a lovely lake.
Southward along the Gulf of Mexico: We drove south along the Gulf of Mexico, past Tampico, and were given directions to a place where we could camp.
Southward, page 2: We found a fascinating place to camp at no cost (or boondock) so we stayed an extra day and enjoyed the scene.
Southward, page 3: After a long day of potholes and traffic, we camped at the Poza Rica Inn where security was tight.
El Tajin, one of Mexico’s great ruins: Photoessay on El Tajin, a great Totonac archaeological site in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.
El Tajin, page 2: Ruins of El Tajin, Veracruz, Mexico: photos and thoughts.
El Tajin, page 3: At El Tajin, Veracruz, Mexico, talking with Totonacs and seeing the Dance of the Voladores.
Toward Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico: We relax at a beach on the Gulf of Mexico, pass Mexico’s only nuclear power plant with a shudder, and enjoy the hot springs at Carrizal.
A Day in Xalapa (or Jalapa), Mexico:We bang up our RV a little, meet many friendly people, but don’t succeed in finding any place in Xalapa where we can camp in our RV.
Escaping Xalapa: We finally find a delightful camping spot outside of Xalapa, in a little town called Xico.
In Xico, Veracruz, Mexico:We chat with a philosopher, see the famous waterfall, and have a heartfelt connection with some Mexican hippies in the little town of Xico.
Back into Xalapa, Mexico: We get lost again in Xalapa and hire a taxi driver to guide us to the anthropology museum.
The Anthropology Museum in Xalapa: Photos of some of the high points of the excellent museum, and brunch with the taxi driver who guided us there.
Beyond Xalapa: As night falls, a Mexican woman warns us not to camp where we were set up with our RV.
Teotihuacan: I tour the great Teotihuacan archaeological site with a new friend who has lived in the adjacent town all her life and knows the ruins well.
Teotihuacan, page 2: My husband Kelly’s reflections on the construction at Teotihuacan, noticing details.
Bernal: This charming Mexican town in the state of Queretaro, is known for the calming energies of the volcanic plug above the town. We found the people very welcoming too.
Bernal, page 2: Conversations in Bernal with local residents who perform traditional dances, and Americans who live there.
San Miguel de Allende: An overview of San Miguel, with a visit to the Public Library
San Miguel de Allende, page 2: We visit Karacadir, a sustainability center just getting started, and reflect on the essence of San Miguel.
Northward: We drive north from San Miguel and find a pleasant hot spring for camping.
Northward, page 2, Parras de la Fuente: Back roads take us to Parras de la Puente in Northern Mexico, home of a centuries-old winery.
Northward, page 3, Chihuahua:The famous pottery village of Mata Ortiz enchanted us — plus an informal rodeo and the end of our Mexican journey.
Back in the USA: Our Mexican trip over, we start dreaming for the future — and find a pleasant surprise on our land near the border.
Part II. How-to Guide
Sixteen Ways to Meet People When You Travel: The top 6 of 16 ways to meet people and make your trip much more enjoyable, when traveling in Mexico or anywhere.
Sixteen Ways, page 2: Ten more ways to meet people and make your trip much more enjoyable, when traveling in Mexico or anywhere.
RV Travel Tips for Mexico: Pros and cons of RV travel in Mexico, with tips on driving and speaking Spanish.
RV Travel Tips for Mexico, page 2: What size RV is best for Mexico, plus tips on finding campgrounds, danger, and more.