Of course I do! I have wanted to visit Mexico for years. It was always the main draw for coming over to this side of the world – the first six weeks that I spent in the United States evolved around Carisa and Shane’s wedding. May as well see as much as possible while I’m in the United States right? Of course! I had a fantastic time, which I hope you have read about, but Mexico was always the main event. By the end of those six weeks traveling around the US however, I was doubting my Mexico plans.
It’s no surprise that Mexico suffers from a lot of negative press in the US – the country certainly has its problems in certain places. The result of this is that when I told people that my trip was taking me to Mexico my plans were often met with such alarm that it started to rub off on me! When you are surrounded by negativity and fear mongering its hard to block it out, despite the fact that I know plenty of people who have safely visited, and loved, Mexico. It’s interesting to compare the reactions I got in Australia vs the US. There’s plenty of Aussies who thought it was a bad idea, but perspectives were a lot more balanced. I was excited when I left Australia, but after six weeks of US negativity I was started to get anxious. I was reluctant to tell people about my impending trip because I dreaded the inevitable disapproval. I even messaged a friend who traveled alone around Mexico last year to ask for reassurance, that’s how much I was freaking out!
If I had a dollar (or even a peso!) for the amount of times I have been told to be careful, I’d be able to travel for a lot longer! And I promise, I am being careful. I specifically purchased a fight to Guadalajara that had me arriving in the day time – its a rule of mine not to arrive in a new place in the dark. Even though it was very expensive compared to taking a local bus, I took a taxi to my accommodation. And I was nervous. Once I got to where I was staying I stayed inside and did not venture out again that evening. I took some deep breaths and took my time acclimatising. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit how anxious I was! I was excited sure, but that first day it was outweighed by anxiety. And it’s almost funny to look back on now. Once I did emerge and got my bearings and got myself around I started to relax. And now, after a month in Mexico (half of that time being spent on the beach) I am feeling very relaxed!
For the past few years I have maintained that the friendliest and most helpful people I have encountered when traveling have been the Irish, Turkish and Colombians. I am definitely adding Mexicans to that list. Every single person I have dealt with has been so polite, so friendly and so helpful that it makes being here a very enjoyable experience. I don’t feel that people want anything from me. Nobody is trying to take advantage of me. And Mexican men have not been leery and sleazy like some tried to warn me about. On the contrary, the guys have been sweethearts for the most part.
So rest assured American friends! And those Aussies who were worried about me. I’m having a great time, making lots of friends and enjoying my tacos and tequila.
Although I have been here for a month, I haven’t actually done very much! I’m taking my time, that’s for sure. So it remains to be seen whether my observations up until now will be born out for the rest of the country. Attitudes, customs and behaviours often vary from one part of a country to another, but I hope that what I have experienced so far is the standard I can expect for the rest of my trip.
Actual details of what I’ve done in the last month are coming soon!
Would you be worried about traveling around Mexico on your own? Leave me a comment!