Day One of Our Panamerica Road Trip

Day One of Our Panamerica Road Trip

The first day of our Panamerica road trip was a hectic day, not to mention my mind was working on overtime running through the emotions of worry and anxiety. For example, as we packed the van, my mind was beyond the present, thinking to the moment of the Mexico border crossing, thinking a million scenarios, wondering what the experience would be like. So instead of being in the present, experiencing the moment I was far, far away, apprehensive of the unknown future.

When we first planned the trip we did not know the best way to enter into Mexico. So we asked family and friends for advice. We were advised to make the city of Hermosillo our first stop in Mexico, entering at the Tijuana border, then going east through the Mexican desert. Later, a friend who regularly makes trips to Mexico recommended we drive through the desert in the US instead of Mexico, because in the US there are more towns to stop in for gas or other services.

We heeded the advice and drove on Highway 8 East towards Nogales, Arizona before crossing the Mexican border.


Back to that morning, we were off to a late start due to packing complications. Finally we left, driving 80 mph past vast expanses of desert and cactus greeting us on all sides.

Suddenly, our van started zig zagging and making a loud screeching sound – we had a tire blowout.

Pulling over to the side, we unpacked almost the entire van to find the spare wheel release. Luckily there was a town a quarter mile down the road, so we quickly found a repair shop to get a new tire.

Two hours later we were back on the road, but too late to cross the border.

So into the evening we drove, stopping for the night in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. We checked into a Motel 6 and stocked up on supplies for the next days of driving.

With that experience over, my worry and anxiety greatly reduced. I was happy indeed that the tire blowout happened in Arizona and not in Mexico with our limited Spanish. We were lucky to be by a town and not hundreds of miles away from anywhere.




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