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 !
    Bon 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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