While in Mexico, Ted traveled extensively, climbed volcanos, went on epic bike rides, explored underground rivers, ate countless types of tacos, learned Spanish, and wrote two guidebooks. You can read his stories about living and traveling in Mexico on his blog <a href=”https://nohaybronca.wordpress.com/”>No Hay Bronca</a>.
- Local Of: Currently on the road with no definite destination
- Expert of: Many places in Mexico and China
- Travel Style: Budget, Backpacker, Midrange, Wildlife, Beach Bum, City Lover, Hiker
- Traveling Since: 1999
- Favorite Destinations: So many, but some standouts are Chiapas, Mexico; Havana, Cuba; Lake Atitlan, Guatemala; Florianopolis, Brazil; Kruger NP, South Africa; Ireland (all over), Spain (all over), Sichuan and Yunnan, China; Angkor, Cambodia; Cebu, the Philippines; and British Columbia, Canada
- Backpack or Suitcase: Backpack
- Window or Isle: Window on short flights, aisle on long ones
- Bus or Train: Train, but the bus is fine
- Education: Master’s Degree in English Education and Bachelor’s Degree in English
Connect With Ted
I first started teaching English in 2002, and it became my means to travel the world. I eventually became a university teacher, first in Mexico and then in China, and was able to travel even more because of long vacations between semesters. I learned Spanish while in Mexico and began working as a Spanish-English translator and freelance copyeditor.
After years of writing fiction, I began writing about travel and living abroad while in Mexico. I started a blog called No Hay Bronca, wrote many articles online and in print, wrote two guidebooks about Mexico, and won several travel writing contests on Transitions Abroad. Shortly after moving to China, I began writing and editing for Goats on the Road, an association I’m very proud of.
Ted Around The World
Ted’s #1 Travel Tip
Don’t try to visit too many places or do too many things during your trip. I usually plan one thing per day. If there’s time left over, then maybe I can see or do something else nearby, but more often than not I end up spending the whole day wherever I choose to go.
I know some people make a detailed, itemized itinerary for their vacations. I don’t, and I think it pays off. For instance, at a wild elephant reserve in China, my wife and I arrived early in the morning and didn’t see any elephants from the elevated walkway until late afternoon, about an hour before closing time. We did see, however, countless people come and go during that time. When multiple groups of elephants emerged, we were practically the only ones still there. If we’d made a plan for the afternoon (as I assume the other people did), we’d also have left early and seen nothing.
This goes for destinations as well. As a teacher (and traveler), I often hear about the dream trip of my students who are aspiring travelers. They want to go to Europe, and they want to see London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Santorini – in two weeks. Or South America: Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina. In one week. I explain that every day you change destinations, you lose a day, and not only by traveling, but by checking into a hotel, packing, unpacking, and all the rest. It’s so much better to choose one city, or one region, and really check it out.
Ted’s Favorite Food
Mexican seafood may get somewhat overlooked because of all the other great Mexican food out there, but it’s incredible. And I’m not just talking about fish tacos (which are delicious), but shrimp cocktails, whole fish cooked with garlic, and the best octopus in the world. (Mexican chefs beat it with a metal club to make it tender.)
And you don’t even need to be in a coastal town in Mexico to get great seafood. There are humble seafood markets in Mexico City that serve food far better than the fanciest restaurants you can find. But obviously, you’ll get the best close to the source. My favorite seafood restaurant in Mexico is Los Buzos in Acapulco.
Favorite Travel Experience
It’s so hard to pick a favorite! So I’ll tell a recent one. My wife and I hiked out of the Tiger Leaping Gorge in China on the day of the Chinese New Year. We knew the holiday was coming – it’s a week-long celebration in China – but we weren’t certain of the specific day.
From the trailhead, we got a ride to the nearest small town, but because of the holiday, no buses or other public transportation were running. Very few cars were on the road and most businesses were closed. Our next destination was several hours away. After lots of waiting and haggling with random people who stopped to remind us of the holiday and offered to take us for exorbitant prices, we finally got a ride for a reasonable price.
We arrived late at our hotel, a traditional Tibetan-style house. We were the only guests, and the owner of the hotel was preparing a small party for some of her friends. Naturally, we were invited, and we had a great time with them eating, drinking wine, and watching the big NYE show on TV. What began as a very confusing and somewhat frustrating morning turned into one of the best experiences we had in China.
Where Have You Lived?
I most recently lived in Huizhou, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in China from 2020 to 2023. Previously I lived in Toluca, Mexico; Vancouver, Canada; Seoul, South Korea; Milwaukee, Yellowstone NP, and Brighton (Michigan), USA; and several more places as a child.
Funny Travel Quirk
I hate going out to breakfast. I think it’s a huge waste of time and money. When I’m home, I cook. When traveling, unless the hotel includes breakfast, I buy fresh fruit and bread or something else local (like samosas) to eat before leaving for the day.
I love coffee, so I always travel with a pour-over coffee maker and quality coffee. If I’m traveling in a coffee-producing country, I only bring a little so I can buy more there. I have zero interest in drinking coffee in a hip, up-and-coming cafe. I’d rather make it myself and then get on with my day.