Preparing for a Different Trip

Oaxaca 2011
Four years ago, I visited Oaxaca for a month in the summer rainy season. At that time, I was recently retired and had longish red hair. Brown and orange were my wardrobe staples. Now I am planning a carry-on suitcase wardrobe of grey/black/blue clothing that can be washed out in a basin and dried without much fuss. I will be away for 10 weeks. I will be staying in a non-resort area of Mexico and so want to appear modest and inconspicuous.

In the last 4 years, my approach to my wardrobe has changed. I don't need so many pieces and would really prefer to have a simple uniform that I can dress up or down. Four years ago, Monsieur and I were both working so I could afford to have "wardrobe orphans." Today, I have created an "active duty" section of my closet. Gradually, the other items are being donated or given away to friends. As my basic neutrals have changed, accessories, shoes and bags seem "off"but I really can't afford to replace everything. For ideas on how to combine colours that seem difficult, I read The Vivienne Files daily. Janice Riggs has shown me how to use a scarf to integrate colours from different palettes.
I'll probably wear grey capris and many different tops.

For the next few months, there will be few accessories of any sort. Oaxaca is a culturally and historically rich state but its people are poor. I hope to volunteer in a tutoring centre or library so I will probably wear loose pants or a skirt. The weather will be about 28 degrees celsius with cooler nights and mornings. I will probably walk over 8-10 km. of really treacherous sidewalks. Retired Teacher, a very interesting blogger, just wrote about his experiences last week. His blog is definitely worth the visit.

I will miss Paris this year and I will miss sharing "my Paris" with my visiting friends and family, especially Janet who has shared my adventures for three years. I have been doing a lot of research
to locate my nearest market and grocery store. I won't be "eating out" much but will probably prepare simple meals at the apartment. There are few sidewalk cafés but a lot of vendors and food trucks. The first year that I visited, I bought a tamale in the park and my host cautioned me against it. However, I met a Home Ec teacher from Baltimore who ate from every mercado in the villages and had no problem. I've had hepatitis shots and will be packing Immodium so I should be okay.

If the food is freshly cooked, it should be safe for me to eat.
There are lots of cultural and religious activities during the Lenten season in Oaxaca.  Music and colourful processions occur at least once a week. It's only two weeks until departure and I am eager to go.


  1. My wardrobe too is getting pared down to an "active duty" one. I'll be 60 in May and I now find myself more interested in simple serviceable style and colour in my wardrobe.

    It's summer in Australia now so we are having weather very similar to what you describe for Oaxaca, I wear all cotton or linen at this time of year, synthetics of any description don't breathe enough. The one exception I make to that is a little elastane in jeans or trousers.

    Your trip sounds so interesting, I hope that you'll be able to blog from Oaxaca.

  2. Yes, I have become fond of linen and I have become accustomed to a bit of a wrinkled look. I am hoping that the wifi is good so that I can write in Oaxaca.

  3. I hope you DO find a way to post from Oaxaca. 10 weeks will be an abundant amount of time to explore and reacquaint yourself with the city and its people. I traveled there maybe 15 years ago when we lived in Mexico City. So vibrant an experience, it seems only a blink away. Safe travels - and enjoy

  4. Thank you for the plug for my blog. I have been getting some visitors from it!
    I hope you have a safe and wonderful time in Oaxaca, and I too hope that you will be able to blog from there.

  5. I will be eager to follow your adventure In Oaxaca. I surely hope you can blog from there.

    Today, it is cold and snowy in Colorado so a warm destination is appealing

  6. I'm another one who hopes you'll be able to blog from Mexico. I've so enjoyed following your adventures in retirement and find you an inspiration for my own, so to be enjoyed. . .


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