Croft -- I want you to know that dear husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogs. Your blog and TiogaGeorge's blog are two of our favorites. If you have the time, please continue your blog. We have become tired of big Mexico resorts and Mexico cruises and are looking at other ways to see Mexico, and we do RV but have never done so in Mexico. But I have to ask this question. Is it just a coincidence that all this trouble is breaking loose now so close in time (i.e., your friends' carjacking and the shootouts at the border Wed. and Thurs. of this week) when so many people are traveling north from their winter hiatus?Dee, The troubles on the border are not connected to RVers at all. It is drug cartel members fighting over turf and this has been going on for years. Every once in a while the press takes notice of it and makes a big deal out of it. And it is a big deal, don't get me wrong, but it is not a deal that affects us. We have our own rules about the border. We do not spend the night within a hundred kilometers of the border, we stay on the toll roads and we always cross the border (in both directions) as early in the morning as possible. The bad guys are usually creatures of the night so never being within a hundred kilometers of the border after noon has kept us safe.
Take care, so that we may hear from you again.
Dee from South Carolina
Our RV'ing friend, Belgique (who just may possibly be retired CIA) explained his rule of "Situational Awareness" which would serve to keep all of us safer no matter where we are. He tells us to always be aware of our situation and surroundings. Never become so complacent that you do not recognize signs of possible or pending danger. If you are someplace and something does not feel right, leave. Get yourself out of that place or situation. This could be a lonely street, a restaurant or a lonely highway. Always be aware and diligent. Like I say, this is not just for Mexico, it works in New York or New Delhi just as well.
For every story like this recent hijacking, there are thousands of happy stories that do not make it to the RV Forums and Blog pages. Anyone looking at these forums with no personal experiences of traveling in Mexico themselves would get the impression that this sort if thing happens to everyone. The doom and gloom forum hangers-on who have never been more than a few hundred miles from their own safe little houses all join in to say they would never come to Mexico when in actuality they would never go anywhere except perhaps fenced, guarded resorts or cruise terminals full of carbon copies of themselves.
This is why we RV, and why we extend our boundaries a little further than many would be comfortable with. I remember the first time we crossed the Mexico border with the motorhome. The language and culture barriers made even the simplest things difficult. Buying gas, groceries, finding and paying for an RV park, getting a haircut... everything. Soon these things became just as easy as they were at home and we started looking deeper into the eyes and souls of the Mexican people and discovered what brought us here in the first place. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Yes it is a little different than what we are used to but that is why we are here.
Cheryl and Frank followed all the safe travel rules and still got in trouble. They traveled in the daytime, stayed on the well traveled toll roads and did not flaunt their wealth. This sort of thing is not supposed to happen to them. But it did. Could it happen again? Sure, and it probably will. But it could happen to anyone, anywhere in the world. You could stay home and never leave your house but then the home invaders could come or a drunk could drive through your bedroom wall. Shit happens everywhere and it cannot be completely avoided. We just go on with our lives and reduce the danger as much as we reasonably can while still testing our boundaries and exploring our world in the little time we have to do it.
The fact remains that in recent years there have been more RVers murdered in Canada (2) and in the USA (2) than in Mexico (0). These are the facts.