Welcome To The Jungle


Feng and I at the bor­der between Belize and Guatemala in 2001

Ten years ago, in Novem­ber 2001, I flew to Mex­ico to meet a guy I briefly study with when I was in Bei­jing in 1999. He was Cana­dian, I was French. We had stayed in touch by email between 1999 and 2001.

In fall 2001, he was about to embark on a trip from Mex­ico to Brazil by bus and had asked if I wanted to come. I had just grad­u­ated from high school and I had just com­pleted my first work expe­ri­ence in Hong Kong. I was free. I wanted to travel. I had never been to the Americas.

Sure,” I said with as much con­fi­dence as I could muster.

That guy was Feng. He picked me up at the air­port in Mex­ico City. My plane was late, I barely spoke Eng­lish and he didn’t speak French. I was jet­lagged and he had a cold.

Worst case sce­nario,” I thought, “if we don’t hit it off as travel part­ners, I’ll roam around Mex­ico for a while by myself. Looks like a great place anyway.”

I was 18 and I wanted to travel the world. I was on my way of becom­ing a travel junkie.

We hit it off.

I had told my par­ents I was going to spend a cou­ple of weeks in Mex­ico. I came home four months later after back­pack­ing through Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, and after com­ing back to Canada with Feng.

Ten years later, Feng and I are still together. I moved to Canada, became a Cana­dian cit­i­zen and we have explored dozens of coun­tries together.

This time of the year has come again. After an excit­ing and busy year work-wise, I need a break, I need my free­dom back. A new begin­ning, maybe.

I’m still a travel junkie. I’m afraid there is no cure for it.

On Decem­ber 14, Feng and I will land in Can­cún, Mex­ico, for seven weeks of travel. As usual, we have no defined travel plans. We will go wher­ever the chicken buses will take us. This will be our third time in Mex­ico and Cen­tral Amer­ica. The last time we were here was in 2003-04, right before I moved to Canada. I’m curi­ous to see if it changed.

Fol­low us on the road… Wel­come To The Jun­gle!

Feng and I in Guatemala, 2003


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Oh quel bel arti­cle ! Je suis émue de voir que cela fait si longtemps que cela dure entre vous ! Et je suis aussi heureuse que vous repar­tiez : après avoir lu tous tes vieux mes­sages, je vais enfin pou­voir suivre un Zhu travel “en direct” !
    Avec Ben, cela va faire 8 ans. On s’est ren­con­trés jeunes, aussi. Et on prend le chemin inverse que vous avez pris : après avoir réuni un peu de sous, on com­mence enfin à voy­ager un petit peu, et inch allah, le back­pack­ing vien­dra bien­tôt !
    Bön voy­age à tous les deux !

    • Huit ans, ça fait un bail aussi, on a com­mencé jeunes! 😉

      Je vais met­tre le blog à jour pen­dant le voy­age, on embar­que tou­jours un mini-ordinateur.

  2. I have always wanted to ask you how you met Feng :) This is such a per­fect love story and I wish both of you well.

    This is what life is all about…exploring things and travel together, it need not be any fix rules or plans and that makes you hap­pier too.

    I am ‘stuck’ and it is not per­fect pic­ture for me at the moment but I take it in my stride.

    Have fun Zhu and update us…travel safe 😀


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