C-day is the start of Cassey’s Excellent Adventure.

There has been quite some delay in me keeping up with this crazy adventure I’ve been on. I cannot believe that I crossed the boarder to Mexico on September 5th! It feels like an eternity ago.

I have skipped a few stops in the process because that is how behind I am. I still have to update you on New Orleans, and 2 weeks in Corpus Christi Texas. Hopefully I will be back soon with those iterations.

A day before the day I woke up to cross the boarder to Mexico, I completely freaked out to a man who was born and raised for 30 years as a submariner. Let me tell you, there was no sympathy there. Just an added dose of my 10 years of military experience. But with no sympathy comes no emotion, and I think that my freak out came at a time when I was not fully prepared to drive to the boarder. As in, I had not even yet sorted out where I was gong to drive to once I crossed the boarder, or what I would do once I got there.

So I said, “I am not leaving today,” matter of factly, and I got in my car and drove to Barnes and Noble where I sat for 3 hours at the coffee bar and did some serious research. I bought car insurance for my car in Mexico, starting the next day, I bought my tourist visa in advance and I found out where the heck I was going to drive to once I crossed the boarder.

Phew. Now that I had that sorted, I walked to the next plaza to the Academy and picked up a flare gun, ohhh yes, as a female solo traveler I had planned for some tricks up my sleeve and I certainly would not be going down without a fight. So after that and walking back to my car, I climbed inside and I took a deep breath. The past 2 years of dreaming, the driving to Sonoma CA with a check to buy this van, the past month of modifications, it was all culminating to this one space in time, and for me, it was time to start the journey.

I went back for a final dinner and I sorted the rest of the stuff in the van, and climbed into bed. I had rescued a dove 4 days before after she was hit by a car and so I pet her and rubbed her neck before taking the last few loads of things out to the van and crawling into a friend’s bed. This was truly it.

The next morning I was up at 4am. A huge storm had rolled into Corpus Christi and I was running outside with the last few items to pack in the van while lightening and thunder crackled above. At that moment I shut the door to the back of the van and sat on the cooler. What kind of omen was this? For some reason I couldn’t move past the excitement and I was ready for whatever was being thrown my way.

I ran back to the house to have a cup of coffee with Mani and say my farewells to him, his brother, the dogs, his new pet dove Maya (the rescue), and after a final goodbye I was in my van and driving off down the newly wet road, a flat road that stretched it’s way from Corpus Christi to the boarder to Mexico.

After a frenzy of emotions, the thoughts, and intense planning I had done for this trip, which had started 2 years before, after the painstaking money crunching, the reviews upon reviews of gear and picking out what fit my adventure best (I think I am a little obsessed with adventure gear come to think of it), and modifications dreamed up and executed by myself and my dad, then later with Mani and his neighbor Jeff, after buying extra knives, a hatchet, and pepper spray that sprays up to 30ft. I nonchalantly and without a care in the world to show all of that emotion, easily, and with little effort crossed the Mexican boarder.

It took all of 5 minutes and was nothing to even speak or care about. I went to the office, got my car visa, my personal visa, and showed them proof of insurance, and that was that, I was on the road towards Monterrey. I was however, promptly pulled over by the cops within 20 minutes of crossing the boarder. This would become my new theme, about 80% of my journey through Mexico would get me pulled over on the highway. Luckily it was not for the corruption and bribery everyone has written about regarding cops in Mexico. I have been treated very kindly and even offered a hand in marriage by an older cop of a younger one during my travels though Mexico.

My first night was spent at the Northern Climbing town of Protereo Chico just outside of Monterrey and on the drive there, I have never felt freerer or full of more excitement then those pivotal hours on the road. Even when was stranded before a tollbooth without pesos. Everything worked it’s way out when I bartered with another woman at the tollbooth and got help crossing through. When I setup camp for the first night I was excited, and ready for Mexico had to offer, and it has not disappointed. Stay tuned for my take on Protereo Chico.

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.