Youtube, Couchsurfing and a journey of two brothers.

Mexico
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Just another day in Mexico, when doing Ranik Vlogs videos.

It’s not like I feel uniquely devoted to this country, but destiny made me spend more than 10 months of my life in Mexico. Let me explain to you, what reason made me go there, what I had done and how I had perceived Mexico. Let me tell you about my first adventure in 2009, getting recognized on the streets as a Youtuber and life with Couchsurfers.

  • 07.09 – 12.09
  • 10.15 – 01.16
  • Ten months

The first journey 2009 had been nothing more, than a coincidence, as we’d arrived from Havana to Cancun, and since the coast of Quintana Roo had many beautiful places to offer, we decided to settle ourselves. The second journey in 2016 had been a failed attempt to cross Central America, while I’d been traveling with Nobu. He got worried about the criminal rate of Central American countries, while being in Belize. Instead we’d turned the route and traveled the whole south of Mexico.

First Adventure, 2009

I’d been 16 years old and right in the middle of my longest journey of my life. We just had spent two weeks in San Francisco and decided to continue, by heading further South, Mexico. On the flight San Francisco – Cancun, I got infected by the once so famous swine flu which had been a problem, because we’d planned to go to Cuba straight on, but due to the circumstances, I’d spent two weeks in Playa del Carmen, where I cured out in front of a beautiful beach. After one month of Cuba, we gathered information, about where we should settle for a bit and that’s when we’d decided; we go to Tulum. A little place down South of Cancun, that gained more fame by now. It had less populated but absolutely beautiful.

I would still say today, that Tulum had the most beautiful beach I’d ever seen. No corals, no jellyfishes, no sandfleas, no other weird things, that can turn your holiday into a troublesome day. Only white and water. I would only compare the beaches of Grenada to Tulum. We rented an apartment and settled ourselves for the entire 6 months. My life was Pretty easy and local. I was living the loving. Beaches, good weather, good food and a chill life. I guess I’ll leave my statement that way.

Second Adventure, 2015

It had been amid of the Youtube-Project of “Ranik Vlogs” and “Easy Languages”. Nobu and I just realized, how much potential this project had, as soon as we saw the thousands of views on the videos, and growing numbers on subscriptions on Youtube. I organized a master plan, that would take us all the way from Mexico down South to Columbia.

Europe – Cancun flights were cheap and the season in Central America was just about to kick off, so we arrived in Cancun and visited:

  • Cancun: No, too wrecked, too crowded.
  • Cozumel: I think, there’s better, but it’s good.
  • Playa del Carmen: Party, yes. Else, go to Tulum.
  • Tulum: Nothing, but a beautiful Beach in a quiet place.
  • Merida: I enjoyed Merida. It has a unique flair as a city.

I recorded a pretty intense video about me, trying to cross the border to Belize with Nobu. They kept us on the border and forced us to pay around 20 USD each, but we had none. No money at all.

Note: Always carry emergency money with you, that is worldwide popular. I made this beginner mistake of not having any. Remember, as soon as your plastic card is not available, traveling usually gets messy for a bit of time.

In Belize, we chose to stay one week with a Couchsurfing host in Corozal. It was there, where Nobu got frightened about the crime rates in Central America and as the family kept on telling nightmare stories, he asked me, if we could switch directions and go North instead. To Mexico, where I’d been six months already. It was him and me, so I accepted his feelings and turned around, back to Mexico with him. And that’s why I went to Mexico again after six years, even though I wanted to continue the journey, I could not finish last time. I failed twice to go south.. It is a curse, Central America. A curse, I’ll defeat one day. So, I had to change plans and organize Couchsurfing places like a pro. Our journey had been:

  • Chetumal: Nah, go to Tulum.
  • Palenque: Nice vibe, check the ruins.
  • San Cristobal de las Casas: Of course.
  • Tuxtla Gutierrez: Except the canyon, there’s nothing.
  • Villahermos: Just don’t.
  • Coatzacoalcos: Just don’t.
  • Puerto Escondido: Nice for surfing, beautiful places and a good vibe.
  • Oaxaca: Hierve Agua, culture and vibe. A must.
  • Tehuacan: The host was great, but there’s nothing.
  • Puebla: Of course, a very famous city.
  • Mexico City: A must. Definitely one of my absolute favorites.

Unfortunately, the project had been suffering from divided impressions between us and our partners. It took me the greatest courage, to decline fame as a Youtuber, to stop our invested work and my goal of the journey. I believed, and I still do, only in the quality of a human being. I gave away my chances, to remain true to myself. It had been the right decision. I had departed from Nobu in Mexico City. He left for New York, while I’d finished my businesses with Easy Languages. Few days later, I made my way to Miami for a few days, until I took another plane to Grenada, where my family had been waiting for me. It was there, where I finally managed to calm down from all the epic adventures.

A tribute to Couchsurfing

We stayed with more than 10 hosts, just in Mexico and it was absolutely adventurous, how everyone had their picture of entertainment. One took us to the beaches, another took us fishing. One got me ritually high on LSD, the other host cut our hair. One served us cooked goat testicles, the other hosted me for around two weeks. Emiliano even invited us to his family during Christmas, so that we would not have to spend it all alone. Couchsurfing is one of my absolute favorite ways of traveling, these people just keep on making my days so interesting, so I really want to give a shout out to all my lovely hosts for making my stories so good.

The Food

We ate everything, we could possibly have found. Tacos, Nachos, Burritos, Cemita, Mole, Pig skin, insects, testicles and the Nr.1 fake Mexican dish I favor the most, Fajitas. I had strong weed, that made me completely throw up at a party, LSD, a ritual, which was funny, beer, beer and beer, and a terrible red wine. Mexican kitchen is absolutely delicious and should not be missed in life. Tacos are a dream, guacamole is life and the chicken dishes are amazing. I could never get enough of their kitchen.

Our life

We lived on a pretty poor budget and I have to say, that I would have chosen to spend more during certain occasions, but I was not alone. It’s hard to travel together, when lifestyle is devided like ours. It was incredible anyway, to see a Swiss and a Japanese guy traveling together. We’d lived many times with Couchsurfer hosts, so lived like they live; Local. The adventures are countless, not just ruins of Maya ages, or sights like the one you see above. Christmas with Emiliano, 2016 CS New year party, Natives around Veracruz, ritual with LSD, pork skin soup in Puebla, getting recognized twice by a local in a bar; once in Puebla and once during New year’s eve. I can’t describe, how fortunate I am, to have lived these incredible moments. Nobu and I created around ten videos per week and were absolutely busy in work. Nobu was continuously editing and recording, while I was organizing the scripts and travelings. Im glad to have a friend like him, who I have shared so many emotions and adventures. I wish, the project would have worked for Nobu, because he did help me so much and I had nothing else to give in return, but the adventures together and the possibility of getting famous Youtubers, and to live from that money for a long time.

Final impression

This country contains stories and emotions of my life, that were life changing to me. Mexico is variative in it’s sceneries and beautiful, Some cities and villages are absolutely astonishing. The cuisine is excellent, people are not always smart, but very lively, and the music is absolutely terrible. I love this country, probably the one I’d discovered the most.

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