|Two days ago, I encountered an American woman at the laundromat and I asked her why there were so many Americans in Oaxaca. Her response was that it was because of the weather. It's true the weather is incredible here, all year long. When she learned I was from Canada she said “Ah! You're escaping winter too!”. I'm not escaping winter... I'm exploring the world. But it's true I will probably arrange myself not to fully experience another winter in my life. As I planned my trip I told myself “Let's skip winter forever, I've experienced it enough for a lifetime”.|
But now that we're in the thick of it,
I do miss the cold. It was very weird to experience Christmas and
New Year's celebrations without any snow or cold (although it got
near freezing point) in my life. Today in Oxaca it's about 50
degrees warmer than in Montreal (in Celsius!) where it snows and
My desire to skip future winters is
essentially due to logistics. Getting dressed for winter (I mean
real winter with snow and all, not just below 20 C!), is a pain in
the ass. Yes, it's expensive too but that's not the main issue. In
a case like mine I'd basically have to buy a new coat every year...
since I wouldn't carry out this dead weight for 9 months for nothing
in my luggage (not that it would even fit!). The real issue would be
boots. I can't find running shoes that fit my huge feet in Mexico
(and I don't expect it to be different in the rest of Latin America),
yet alone boots!
Since I can't find shoes locally, I had
a friend ship me one pair from Montreal. The shipping costs were
almost as expensive as the shoes (which were not cheap either). That
pair of shoes costs me in total more than I pay for my housing for 2
weeks in Mexico! I can't afford to have this kind of expense three
or four times a year. So, I will make the switch to sandals most of
the time, while carrying with me a pair of shoes for exploring the
jungle or visit rocky terrains, but using them as little as possible.
I will also have to find a way to have sandals custom-made for me
locally. Needless to say that sandals and winter don't go hand in
I will see snow for sure in the
future... but it will be for a week or two, while passing through the
mountains for example (as I saw on the volcanoes between Mexico City
and Puebla). I don't foresee a situation where I'll spend months in
winter weather, at least not while in Latin America because of my
footwear issue. Once I'm in Europe, I might explore cold countries
for a long time and face winter again.
But meanwhile, yes, I do miss the
cold... but not THAT much :-) At least for now, I still prefer the
risk of occasional sunburn to frostbites. The pictures of this
article were taken during and after a 40-cm snowstorm in Montreal, on
December 27, 2012.
Dec. 28, 2012, the morning after a 40-cm snow storm in Montreal.