In 2013 I started a one-year voluntary service in Cardonal in the state of Hidalgo in Mexico! For one year, I was able to get to know this fantastic country and its incredibly friendly people and since then, Mexico has been like a second home to me 🙂 My main task on site was youth work and so I mainly had to deal with many children and young people, but also made a lot of music (in mess, among other things).

Mexico is super exciting because it is an incredibly diverse country with many faces: on the one hand, there is a lot of corruption, violence and drug war (only in some regions, Mexico is huge and safe in many places). On the other hand, Mexico offers beautiful landscapes, unparalleled cuisine (even if Leonie says that food in Mexico only consists of corn and meat…), traditions and customs that are thousands of years old, a wide variety of languages and a population that is hard to beat in terms of hospitality and love of celebration!
In Mexico I have eaten cacti, snorkelled, tasted bugs (they kind of taste like cheese rolls), played spin the bottle with nuns (even if they would never admit it), seen volcanoes, eaten grasshoppers, played football, bathed in a lukewarm river, built a house out of tetrapaks, admired waterfalls, climbed peaks, visited ruins, and so much more.

Since that time, I have been fascinated by Latin America and have been back to Mexico several times: Among others in 2018/2019 for a semester abroad. In the state and city of Guanajuato, I studied mathematics and also took the odd politics course. And even though I really spent a lot of time at university compared to many other exchange students, I also had a lot of time to get to know Mexico in a completely different way:
Instead of a small village with 1,000 inhabitants, I was in a large city with countless bars, restaurants and winding, crooked alleys. These are what make Guanajuato special, because normally colonial cities were always built in squares. Instead of Mexican children and families, my environment consisted mainly of students from all over the world. Interestingly, the largest group of students were not Germans (as you might first assume), but Mexicans. This fact made the size of Mexico even clearer to me: Mexico is so big that students spend their semesters abroad in their own country.
Afterwards, I did an internship in a sustainable food cooperative in Chile and got to know wonderful people there – something really special, as I found and still find, because I was only in Valdivia for 6 weeks and still took the people there so much to my heart that I long to see them again!

When I returned from Chile, I had a dream: to travel from Mexico to Chile and get to know many other countries, cultures and people in Latin America.
Since the beginning of the year, this dream became more concrete and so I decided to quit my job at Sea-Eye at the end of June and plan the trip. It will finally start at the beginning of October. I deliberately took a lot of time to come down after my intensive time in sea rescue in the last years, to enjoy the summer, to see many people again and to prepare the trip. (By the way, in my next post I will tell you about my preparations and thoughts on planning the trip).

Since I am now more concerned about the impact of my behaviour on the environment & climate and want to avoid flights, I have decided to cross the Atlantic by (sailing) ship! To do this, I will go to a port in southern Spain and talk my way through until I find someone who will take me. By the way, I want to hitchhike until I get there. I’ll report back on how that works out 😉

I’ve already sailed several times and was on the Mediterranean with Sea-Eye three times for several weeks each time without even getting a glimpse of land, but it’s still going to be a big adventure for me. Even though I know some people who have already crossed the Atlantic and a friend of mine has also “hitchhiked” across the Atlantic like me, I can’t really estimate yet how long I will actually be on the road, whether it will work to find a ship, how exhausting it will be and exactly where I will arrive.
My goal is to celebrate Christmas in Mexico. Keep your fingers crossed and follow my journey! Because I’ll be travelling south from Mexico and I’m just as excited as you are to see where I’ll end up!