Winter in Baja: The last day

San Felipe -> Arizona //

It’s difficult to not begin the day in a lazy fashion wandering out onto the long expanse of sandbar that low tide has exposed while taking in the sunrise.  But we have a 3 hour drive ahead of us to get to the border and the sooner we get there the less likely we are to have to wait in line for hours.  One of the rules of thumb for camping safely in Baja is to not camp near border towns which is why we always camp near San Felipe for our last night.

A little after 9am we roll in to Los Algodones.  Rather than following the direct route through the most hectic part of town, Mark skirts the edges of town following a network of dirt roads that eventually bring us to the towering steel wall that separates Mexico from the US.  Ten minutes after getting in line we’re pulling up to the border patrol agent that will decide just how easy or difficult our re-entry to the States is going to be.  Past experience and shared stories from fellow travelers has led us to dread this unavoidable task as the agents are typically not friendly.  However, today, the two agents that question our whereabouts and possessions onboard could not be more kind.  While one agent takes a peek inside the camper the other strikes up a conversation with Mark about our truck. 

“Is that a 7.3?”  I hear him ask.  Right then and there I knew the agent wasn’t too concerned about us smuggling illegal contraband.  Anyone that knows this truck, that is said to have one of the best motors ever made by Ford, is bound to strike up a conversation with us.  And then, by way of more questioning, it comes up that we’ve been all the way to Cabo and back over the course of nearly three months.  A look of awe and stoke comes across both agents faces and I can only think to myself…you have no idea. 

20 minutes after getting in line we’re driving away from the border and back onto US soil.  Last year, re-entering the hectic pace of the States felt jarring but today feels different.  I feel like Baja is making us more seasoned travelers and crossing borders is simply becoming part of our life.  

We wasted no time getting to a grocery store where we happily handed over $250 in exchange for a cart full of food that we hadn’t had access to in months.  Then it was off to pick up our other home on wheels and get to work on moving back in.  When we first step inside, its spacious 160 square feet feel like a mansion.

While Mark hooked up the trailer and moved it out to the desert, I went straight to the laundromat.  It had been four weeks since we’d last been anywhere near a washer or dryer.  While I waited I couldn’t help but begin to daydream about our future travels, even logging on to Craigslist and beginning the search for the things we’re seeking to put those future plans in to action.  For us, Baja has turned out to be a gateway drug for international overland travel.  Living in the truck, immersing ourselves in new cultures, and exploring unknown landscapes makes me feel the most alive I’ve ever felt, the most comfortable in my own skin I’ve ever been, and the most connected to Mark, the best travel parter a girl could ever ask for.  The road is our home.  I cannot wait to see where it takes us next.

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We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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