Finances and footwear

Often heard: Man I wish I could just quit my job and travel.

I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do this vacation / trip / sabbatical / Walkabout (shall we just call it a “sabbabout”?).  I’m constantly aware of this and thankful.

However, when I talk to people who want to do this about what is in their way, the first reason is usually money.  That’s a fine reason.  However, the surprising thing is that you do not need a lot of money to do this.  The good folks over at are spending a lot of time in Mexico, and they are doing all the work to detail their expenses every month so you can see what it actually costs.  Go check out their expenses page if you want some details.

My example: PDC is much more expensive than the inland Mexico, and even here I can live very well on less than $1k per month.  For example you can rent a furnished room in a house within a 10 minute walk to the beach for ~$500 per month, which includes everything (water, electricity, internet, etc).  If you are willing to be further from the beach it can be even cheaper, and if you really just want your own place, I’ve seen apartments advertised for around $400.  You can cook food at your place very cheaply, or eat out every day for between $2-$10 per person per meal.

Granted I’m missing out on things like Air Conditioning (and oh my; this is a rather important thing, it’s the one luxury that I’m considering adding back in somehow if I find myself in this country again), but still; I eat well, I’ve got a nice place, and I can be on the beach daily.

However, there have been some unforeseen expenses.  Let’s start with shoes.

I came to Mexico with three pairs:

  • My “every day walking shoes” which are some old cross trainers I’ve had for 5 years or so.
  • My “zero drop” running shoes (tiny and light, so they pack well in the Backpack of Doom).
  • Sandals.

Now, in PDC it turns out that the only reason to put on shoes is if you are going for a bit of a run.  The every day footwear is sandals.  I was quite happy with my sandals, until one night out on the town they suffered Structural Incoherence:

Walking home barefoot at 3am is a delicate thing

Much sadness.  They were good sandals.  So I attempted to replace them with the closest replica I could find.  These worked just fine for a couple days, when (again, one night out on the town), the left one began to suffer the same fate as their brethren.

Note to self: sandals and dancing don’t mix

So it was that I found myself shopping for footwear again.  This is more shoe shopping than I’ve done in the past 5 years, I think.  My keen mind quickly deduced that the common structural failure for these failed footwear products was that toe-thingy.  Get rid of that, no problem, right?

Structural issues resolved. I’m a genius

However, these are causing a horrible chaffing on one side of my foot.  I’ve tried putting band-aids over the chaffing spot, but it’s so hot out that the band-aid falls off within minutes (note: my super power is the ability to sweat profusely, apparently even on the side of my foot), so I’ll need to purchase yet ANOTHER pair.

So, yeah, this is the sinister hidden costs of life in Mexico.  I’ve been instructed to buy some name-brand sandals next.  I won’t mention the name until I try them out and can vouch for them.

And that’s more than I ever thought I would write on the topic of sandals.

3 thoughts on “Finances and footwear

  1. I saw a few people coming over to kick the tires from your post. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully our spending info is useful for others planning their own adventures

    Funny thing, we have been living this amazing luxurious lifestyle and it costs less than our frugal lifestyle back in Seattle. Most recently we were in a private casita with our own private swimming pool for less than our rent back home, for example. We love the 5-star dinners for the same price as a gut-bomb at Chili’s back in the US too

    For those that truly mean it when they say they would like to quit working and travel, its a short road to get there

  2. Mr. K, your shoe woes have been heard, but sandals are a difficult thing to source for you from Beijing without your shoe size, color choice, and preference for wedge, high heal, or flats. Good luck with your shoe hunt. Perhaps a quality pair of Keens would suit your needs.

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