A Great Letter!

Hello Carl and Lorena!

Please send me the costs and details of retirement in Mexico… just kidding!!

I hope this doesn’t sound strange (although I have a feeling you might get this kind of letter frequently), but even though we’ve never met, you both feel like good friends to me.

I stumbled across your Peoples Guide a few years ago when I was getting ready to graduate college and and knew I wanted to take some time off and travel… somewhere.  I hadn’t really thought about Mexico until I found your book, and the effect it had on me was immediate.  I couldn’t put it down, and read it cover to cover in a few days, and then read it a few more times.  My imagination was moving nonstop, and I couldn’t wait to try and experience some of the things I was reading about. 

A couple months later I was taking the bus across the border from El Paso, with a vague plan of heading south from there.  After the initial shock of finding myself alone in new country (and realizing most of my high school Spanish was forgotten) started to wear off, I realized I was having the time of my life.  Places like Batopilas, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, etc, were beyond what I’d ever expected, and the people I met were equally amazing.

Along the way, through email, I managed to convince a woman I (barely) knew from back home to meet me in el DF a couple months later.  We fell in love in Oaxaca and have been together ever since. We’re getting married this September.

That first trip changed and enriched my life so much, and I had an incurable desire to get back to Mexico.  The next year we scraped up enough cash to do an amazing four month van-camping trip in Baja, and right now we’re planning our honeymoon.  We’re thinking India and Nepal, but I have to admit I feel conflicted about not making it back to Mexico.  Next time.

Anyway, Carl, you’re one of my favorite authors; I still laugh like a maniac re-reading some of your stories.  I’ve tracked down all your books (I think; I have the PG, Boating and Camping, RVing, and the Off The Road Cookbook), are there any more?), and love giving the People’s Guide as a gift.  Your website is great too, and I’m excited to see you updating it.

I can genuinely say that some of the best experiences of my life, including meeting my soon to be wife, stem at least indirectly from reading your book.  Really, thank you for writing it. And I’m so sorry about Steve.  He’d already passed away when I read about him in your books, but I still feel such a sense of loss knowing I’ll never get to meet such a great character.  I live in Eugene and am one of probably few of your readers who has actually been (well, passed through) to Deadwood, and I would definitely have tried to track him down to buy some of those tortillas.

Right now I’m emerging from an especially dreary Oregon winter, dreaming about warm waters and blue skies.  I hope this reaches you, because I’m really curious to hear what you’re up to.  Are you living in Mexico these days?  How’s that retirement book coming along?  You can count on me as one more person who will buy it right away.

Best wishes,
Andy P
Eugene, Oregon

2 Responses to “A Great Letter!”

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  1. Carl says:

    Andy:  letters such as yours are (almost!) better than a royalty check!  Lorena and I got a lot of chuckles out of your email — since we may even be responsible for your marriage, I presume you’ll be naming your kids after us?  As for the retirement book… well, Andy, don’t hold your breath.  I’ve been putting it off year after year… and at this point, that’s about all I can say.  But, if I keep getting emails like yours, perhaps inspiration will overcome me once again.  As for India… we highly recommend it, though our impression of that country is that in terms of travel challenges and "local color" it almost makes Mexico look like Switzerland.  India will be unforgettable, believe me!

  2. Kathy Hoffman says:

    Hello Carl and Lorena

    Thank you for giving my husband and I all the reasons for driving into Mexico!
    Everyone tells tales of the bad stuff and none of all the good!
    We’re off in October to see friends in Todos Santos and hope to go back to Oaxaca, one of our favorite places in Mexico.
    I want to share with you something that happened to us in Guatemala if I may. We where walking down a back street when a young man came up to us. At first I thought he was coming to us to ask if we wanted to buy drugs. Being that we’re in our middle fifties, he asked if we wanted to buy Viagra. We couldn’t stop laughing.
    Thanks again for all your wonderful help.
    Warmest regards!