The Beauty of Routine

I expect that the title of this post is confusing (and maybe even off-putting?) to some. It’s not what one might expect from a couple who sold it all to travel – who perceptively eschew the routine of a corporate/suburban life in favour of the carefree nature of a road less taken.

And for the most part, that is true. But it does sometimes happen that we absolutely crave routine.

It is one reason why we love house-sitting so much. Not only do we get an entirely new type of worldly experience, but it gives us a chance to relax and recharge our travel batteries.

We’ve been going non-stop since our last house-sit in September. We’ve been bouncing from place-to-place, living in some places that weren’t so great, and then humbly borrowing beds in others (hi Mom)! Upon our arrival to Mexico, it had been almost six months since we had been able to claim a space all our own, to comfortably unpack and settle in with full amenities at our disposal.

We were due.

And hallelujah, we arrived here.

 

Puerto Sunset

 

With this beach just steps away in one direction, and shops and restaurants just steps away in another, we settled into an apartment and were sold. Within five minutes of our arrival, we had decided to add more than another week to our two week stay.

We were ridiculously happy about so many little things. A blender to make fresh fruit smoothies every morning, a giant veranda/work space, *decent* wi-fi (most days), even a hammock! I read a book, a whole book, for the first time in a very long time.

 

Hammock Time

 

Our blissful routine for most days became this:

6:30am – Early wake-up courtesy of either the bright sun, cacophony of dogs barking, or that wretched rooster next door (if he hadn’t already woken us up even earlier).

6:45-7:30am – Pete would get his morning run in along the beach. I would sometimes join him and walk part of the way, spread out a blanket and meditate to the sound of the waves. (The days I didn’t join him was likely because I was too grouchy and cursing the rooster).

7:30am – 3pm – Work! Fueled by smoothies and other random fresh goodies, we settled in for hours of undisturbed work. Which may not sound exciting to some, but when you love what you do, and when you can do it with the sound of waves crashing in the background, life is all good.

 

Working Away

 

3pm – ? – With our brains sufficiently melted by the creeping heat, it was time to cool down. Barring any conference calls or other pressing issues, we would head down a dozen stairs and directly into a shady corner of the plunge pool. Our time spent here would vary, depending on how hot it was and how cold our beers stayed. Then it was back to do a bit more of work, or answer the call of that blessed hammock.

 

Pool Time

 

Our evenings would vary – some would include watching the sunset on the beach, others would see us head to town for dinner, or we’d cook for ourselves and eat by candlelight on the veranda. One last dip in cool water (a shower!) to cool us down, and then it was lights out by ten at the latest. At the latest. Lame? Yes. Ashamed? Not at all.

While this relaying of our daily routine may just register as the most boring “travel” post we’ve ever written, it has been one of the most purely satisfying for us.

 

Beach Selfie

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Where we stayed

There are so many options in Puerto Escondido, and without knowing anything about the city, we booked accommodations in La Punta, a neighborhood on the far edge of town most popular with the surfing crowd.

At first we were unsure of being out that far, but as stated above, we absolutely fell in love with our little apartment and our tranquil location. Casa Kalani offers a brand new and fully equipped studio apartment at tremendous value, and it was exactly what we needed. The owners were friendly, extremely accommodating and went above and beyond – taking us on a wee tour, constantly offering us food and bringing us poolside treats. We can’t recommend it enough.

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  • Hey, you’re allowed to write boring posts now and again! Being a lover of routine, I love reading organized stuff like this.

  • March 31 2014

    We can totally relate. We try to go by a rough schedule of 4-6 weeks of travel followed by a couple of months in one spot. We love traveling and the excitement of seeing new places but we also love settling down to a routine of work and play in our own little space for a time and being able to slowly explore our new home for more than just a few days.
    It’s a perfect balance for us and life is all about balance!

    • April 2 2014

      Yeah, we typically like that type of schedule too – like 2 months sit and 2 months travel. But for whatever reason, we’ve been out of control since last fall! 🙂

  • Cam
    March 31 2014

    Looks like a great place to catch some routine! We’ll be heading a little north next month, to Sayulita.

    I can’t remember the last time I made it past 10:00pm… 🙂
    Cam recently posted..Photo Essay – Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    • April 2 2014

      Haha, well, you’ve got a good excuse Cam. Us, not so much. Enjoy Sayulita!

  • March 31 2014

    Boring is underrated – particularly if it involves sunsets at La Punta. One of the things I’ve realized since starting this whole long-term travel extravaganza is that I actually love routine – as long as it’s set in different places around the world. Good luck!
    Lunaguava recently posted..Pink Poodles and Phenomenal Pizzas in Livingston

    • April 2 2014

      Yep, that is us too. It took us awhile to figure it out, and we’ve “strayed” from that strategy far too often lately, but now we’re getting back in the hang of it.

  • March 31 2014

    Sounds like a dream. I could take a break in a tropical destination any day. I do love the snow and sports that come with them, but sometime a little sun and beach is what the body, mind, and sole need.

  • Mom
    March 31 2014

    Hi Kids!!!!!!!

  • April 1 2014

    It looks as though you’ve easily slipped into the rhythm of beach life aka rooster time…enjoy the rest of your stay! Sorry I’m not in town right now soon headed to the Dominican Republic. Hope you’ll stay awhile
    michele peterson recently posted..Win a pair of CityPASS ticket booklets

    • April 2 2014

      Hey Michele – sorry we missed you! We actually blog a little behind so we’ve since left PE. 🙁

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    April 1 2014

    Oh, we have definitely come to find the beauty in routine, or at least the beauty of staying put for a while. I mean, as you say, when your daily schedule puts you in the path of beautiful beaches and copious quantities of Mexican food, there’s not much better than that, is there? 😀

  • April 1 2014

    Ah, that sounds wonderful. I too have been traveling more than at “home” this year. What to do? Travel to Bali, rent a house and yes, establish a routine. Probably get itchy feet in three days.
    Jonathan Look, Jr. recently posted..Borsang Umbrella Village

  • April 1 2014

    I would never leave!

  • April 1 2014

    I really get what you are saying, Dalene. A few months ago, constant travel was my routine. A new hotel every second or third night, another train or plane ride, a new DMO media kit to read. But the thing is that this lifestyle quickly wore me out. I didn’t appreciate the discoveries anymore. Travel had become a habit that no longer impressed me. That’s why I returned to Montreal – to recenter myself, and to take a break from travel so I could learn to love it again. It’s nice to slow down in order to appreciate the little things, and it’s totally okay.

    And it worked. I’m going to Iceland in July and I’m more excited than a little girl on Christmas Eve.
    EuroTripTips recently posted..How to Stay in Europe Without a Visa (Legally, of Course)

    • April 2 2014

      Oh yes! We normally like to take it MUCH slower, but things have just been nutty. But it also makes us love our down time that much more. Especially when there is a beach and tacos involved.

  • Jordana
    April 1 2014

    Ah, you are on my routine! I am spending 6 weeks in Mazunte, rening a room in a local woman’s house, then on to Mexico City to fly out as my visa is soon up. Post any tips for there please!

    • April 2 2014

      Hi Jordana! Our few days in Mexico City did whizz by, but we can offer a few tips. We stayed at Casa Gonzalez in the financial district, and really enjoyed it. Pete did a great food tour with Sabores Mexico Food Tours and other then that we spent a whole day wandering the Zocalo. There are a few museums we want to see but missed that time.

  • April 2 2014

    I think it’s all about balance between travel and routine – well it is for me at least! Sounds like you had a well-needed, relaxing break 🙂
    Lisa – Wee Wanders recently posted..Village Life in Lahic, Azerbaijan

  • April 2 2014

    What do you think of PE as a long-term base?

    • April 2 2014

      For us, it wouldn’t work for only two reasons: the heat (I am miserable when it gets too hot and couldn’t stand the summers), and the fact that it now holds a pretty awful memory for us (the robbery). That was just bad luck, so I would never not recommend it to anyone – otherwise we felt very very safe. I like the size of the town and it has all the amenities you would need. The beaches are gorgeous, but not if you want to swim every day (there are some that are ok for swimming, but the waves are rough). Even though it was high season for us to be there, we found it to be very uncrowded. If you like more laid back spots, then La Punta is perfect for that. I would put it on your radar, for sure.

  • April 3 2014

    Returning to routine once in a while is important to refresh the momentum of traveling. I wrote a similar post a while ago, but thought I am the only one to think like that. But I guess, we all sail in the same boat (at least in some way).

  • April 4 2014

    Hi Dalene, thanks for the great post! A lot to be said for settling into a routine – something I imagine you have to do continuously when you lead a life of travel. My wife and I have been following your blog for sometime. We, too, are in the midst of settling into a new routine as we recently moved from the United States to Tanzania in East Africa. Like you and Peter, we have a passion for travel and post weekly updates on our experiences.

  • I LOVED this, as boring as it might be! I think the best way to travel is to stay in one spot a little longer, and if that means settling into a routine, then that be it. I wouldn’t mind working in a spot like that, with the waves and all… although right now after couple of months in New Zealand and then criss-crossing between Finland and Morocco, it is so good to be back home in Norway for few weeks! 🙂 Enjoy!!

  • April 6 2014

    I think that’s why I enjoy being an expat versus a nomad. I enjoy having my own little routine, though it doesn’t involve the crashing of waves or a pool, sadly.
    Heather recently posted..Exploring the Colonial Charms of Annapolis, Maryland

  • April 9 2014

    Beautiful photo and great to hear, even you guys crave routine! 🙂

  • April 10 2014

    I’m such a routine lover. It’s an odd thing both loving travel and routine, since they don’t exactly go hand in hand. I tend to make my own routine when I am on a trip though, specific to that place. Your routine sounds delightful!
    Sarah recently posted..Los Angeles, Here I Come

  • April 10 2014

    Routine simply is part of all walks of life 😉 It helps us get things done and sometimes, be relieved from the stress brought about by spontaneity.
    Marcello Arrambide recently posted..Is Day Trading & Traveling Really Possible?

  • April 16 2014

    Looks like you guys were in a mini-paradise! And hey there’s nothing wrong with a little routine in your life-even when you travel. Glad you had a satisfying trip.

  • I totally get it. When I was on my travel sabbatical, I stayed at least a week in every place so that I could keep some routine. Even on my short trips now, I do what I can to keep at least the healthy part of my routine (morning run, making most of my meals, and getting 8 hours of sleep).

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