Maya Train Rides/Airlines With Bad Legroom/Space Elevator

Nomadico issue #97

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.

Aboard the Maya Train in Mexico

I just took four rides on Mexico’s new Tren Maya, traveling through three states and spending the night in four cities. The train has gotten more bad press than a misbehaving celebrity, most of it well-deserved, but the operation started to get its act together this month and my trips were mostly smooth—as was the ride itself on the brand new tracks. It’s a joy to get around Mexico by rail, even though the stations are way outside the cities and require a shuttle bus ride to the center. See the revamped booking site finally in English here, though sections beyond Playa del Carmen won’t be open for a while.

The Worst U.S. Airlines for Tall People

You probably could have guessed this already, but if you’re more than six feet tall (183 cms), you’re going to have a tough time getting comfortable on a Spirit or Frontier flight in the USA. Their average seat pitch is just 28 inches according to this study. It might be worth paying a bit more to fly on JetBlue, the highest at 32.3 inches or Southwest, at 31.8.

White Noise Machine With Low Frequencies

If you’re staying in noisy urban places and need white noise to block it all out so you can sleep, Austin Kleon recommends the Douni sound machine in his fun newsletter because, “It has has a lot of low end and a fan setting that masks engine noise pretty well.” Who is Austin? Two of my most-recommended books for creatives are his entertaining classics Show Your Work and Steal Like an Artist.

A Virtual Ride in an Elevator to Space

One of the coolest web pages I’ve seen in a long time is this “space elevator” one on It takes you up in a hypothetical transport system higher and higher until you get into space, showing what creatures, vehicles, and atmospheric elements are or have been at that altitude, with explanations like this: “Most meteors burn up in the mesosphere. It’s estimated that over 48 tons of meteors hit the atmosphere every day.”


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