WE ARE GOING TO MEXICO!

Last updated on June 23rd, 2019 at 08:45 am

May, the month where there’s a great probability of ending up in an online booking battle with other travelers, was just around the corner. Having planned to book another trip throughout Europe, it was time to snatch those plane tickets before everybody else did. Something felt off though. Did we really wanna go to France and Italy?

We then proceeded to brainstorming previously discussed travel destinations: India, Morocco, Japan, San Francisco, The Philippines, Miami, and so on. Japan can be unbearably hot and humid in July, as can Morocco. Last year The Weather Gods decided to turn the thermostat up here in Europe, resulting in several forest fires and brown fields of grass here in the city. Naturally, BBQ and fire pit restrictions were necessary measures in order to prevent disastrous consequences. When we were in Italy and Madrid last year, the climate was unbearable at times. People even died. Consequently, we weren’t overly eager to explore as much as we could’ve. The good thing is we finally had the time to watch all seven seasons of Game of Thrones during our three weeks of travel. Thank you Wi-Fi!

We concluded that scorching heat and unbearable humidity was not a viable option for this year’s summer trip.

But where could we go?

«Let’s go to Mexico!» I exclaimed moments after my mind had been bombarded with vivid, impactful images of diverse people, mouth-watering tacos, and colorful piñatas. Not to mention unibrows. It didn’t take long before my partner in crime, Lars, was on board the taco train with me.

Photo: Filip Gielda

THE HISTORY

In the home country of the well-known artist Frida Kahlo, the culture is injected with Ameriindian heritage. The country of Mexico is in fact one of the cradles of modern civilization. The Mesoamerican Mayan people, developed cities around 750 BC and are well-known for their sophisticated writing systems, art, monumental architechture, such as the pyramids, and mathematics.

Up until the 1512, Mexico, then named Cuauhnahuac (place by the woods) was ruled by the Aztecs (1300-1521). Unfortunately their reign ended, in the Spanish Conquest of the Mexica. Hernán Cortés and The Spaniards arrived starving for land and power. Cuauhnahuac was seized, demolished, and virtually all signs of the Aztec empire. Today, the city rests on the ruins of the ancient civilization.

Of course, stopping by the National Museum, Museo Nacional de Antropologia, is a must when we’re in Mexico City. I never cared that much about history before. My mind was often waiting for the next meal, Starbucks, or ice cream. Today I feast on history and art.

Location: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Photo by Jezael Melgoza.

THE LANGUAGE

So, I’m half Filipino. My mother is from the wonderful islands of The Philippines – another country whose indigenous people have suffered under the hands of greedy Spaniards. Up until around 1900, The Philippines was a ruled by Spain, and today the language reflect this cultural influence. If you were to ask me how my Filipino is (don’t), shame would come and visit me. Learning the language, along with Spanish, is on my neverending list of future activites. Having said this, conversing with locals while traveling through Mexico, presents an excellent opportunity to get started on working on my fundamentally non-existing Spanish. Mexico is, in fact, the most Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Photo by Jeremy Lwanga. Thank you!
Photo by Jeremy Lwanga. Thank you!

THE FOOD

YUM! Who doesn’t like crunchy tacos, enchiladas bursting with flavor, and warming quesadillas? I’ve never been much of a beer fan, but Michelada (beer mixed with lime juice, hot sauce, and various other sauces) and mango daiquiri are my go-tos when at a Mexican restaurant or bar. Naturally, there is a whooole range of food and drinks to dive into while in the colorful food landscape of Mexico. Airbnb has plenty of classes and tasting tours. Among these offers are coffee tasting, Mezcal Mexican beer tasting, and cooking classes, to mention but a few.

Photo: Adobe Stock.

THE PYRAMIDS

Ancient pyramids from early civilisations, such as the Mayans, are one of the many landmarks the nation of Mexico is proud to present. Some of the most jaw-dropping sets of archaeological ruins are located right outside the capital: Pirámides de Teotihuacán – pyramids of the ancient mesoamerican Teotihuacán people.

Mexico and Mesoamerica holds a range of stunning pyramids just waiting to be climbed (no, it is not prohibited) and admired.

Photo by: Filip Gielda

MORE DESTINATIONS

As mentioned, Mexico offers an abundance of places to immerse ourselves in, among them is the stunning Yucatán peninsula, in the southeast, bordering the Caribbean Sea. The Yucatán offers tremendous food for the eyes – it is a buffet of natural wonders: turquoise waters, wild animals, []. The chance of running out things to explore is miniscule. As we’re still in the planning phase, Cancun, Holbox Island, and Mexico City are the only places added to our travel itinerary so far.

I’m immensely ecstatic about our kayaking trip through the mangrove swamps of Isla Holbox.

Wanna know how to get to Isla Holbox? Click here.

Isla Holbox is located just north of Cancún. Click to open in Google Maps.

ANIMALS

Being an animal lover, although highly allergic to their furs and feathers, my heart is racing in anticipation at the image of getting to witness the tropical, magnificent wildlife in Mexico. Last year, when Lars and I were looking for non-touristy, inexpensive sights in Milan, Italy, for the first time in my life, I got to marvel at non-plastic, non-inflatable flamingos – real flamingos – REAL FLAMINGOS! They are quite the sight, navigating their way around in a fascinating and, at the same time, hilarious fashion.

Despite being awe-struck at their presence, my heart shattered and my tear ducts filled up, as I learned that their wings (and many other birds’ wings) had been cut or manipulated, preventing them from flying. Shame on them!

Photo by Simon Matzinger. Gracias!

However, this time I get to see uncaged, free flamingos. YAY!

Photo by Ellicia. Gracias!

And sea turtles in Isla Mujeres.

Photo by Randall Ruiz. Thank you!

Still in the making. More updates are on their way.

HELPFUL WEBSITES

You don’t really need this list, right? There is an abudance of travel websites out there. Well, here’s the list anyways. These websites have been very helpful in sparking inspiration and in planning our trip so far.



Written by Justin