I recently spent 2 months in Mexico. I had traveled to Mexico before, but I spent only a week in Cancun at a resort.
If you have read any of my other blogs, you will know that I am not a resort traveler. I like hostels and getting to know the local community more in depth. So, I don’t consider my one week as “being in Mexico.” However, now that I have spent 2 months, I can finally say I have been to Mexico.
Of course with the little asterisks that there is a lot left to see. Which actually is my first lesson from traveling Mexico.
Before I jump into my list, I want to confess.
I never was a fan of Mexico. Maybe because I grew up close to the border and had experiences with Mexicans. Not that I disliked Mexicans, but I felt like there were other places to visit and other cultures to experience first such as my time in Argentina or Spain (to name the Spanish speaking countries). Also, as a Spanish learner, I felt that the Mexican accent was very difficult. Which, if you have learned Spanish could seem funny to you because Southern Spain and Argentina also have unique accents, but I just love theirs so much more (sorry Mexico!).
However, my 2 months in Mexico made me realize that I really love Mexico. Don’t get me wrong. Spain and Argentina will always have a place in my heart – especially with their accents – but Mexico is a diamond in the rough. It is so much more than its beaches.
Here are my lessons learned from my time in Mexico and I hope it inspires you to visit this beautiful country!
There is so Much to See
I always knew Mexico was a big country and very diverse, but it is different when you are actually “on the ground.” To fully appreciate everything Mexico has to offer, it could take years. This isn’t the same for other countries.
For example, Argentina has a lot of to offer, but within a year, you could see most of it to be satisfied. I truly believe that you could spend 5 years in Mexico and still not see everything. I spent 2 months and just scratched the surface of places in the middle of the country. There are still the coasts, the south, and the north!
There is so Much Slang
As a Spanish learner, Mexico is a bit of a challenge. In my Spanish learning experience, other countries don’t have this much slang and expressions. This might be because Mexico has so much diversity. From their native/indigenous history, but also from their various immigrants over the years.
Currently, the biggest immigrant population outside of Latin America is Chinese. Any new immigrant population will bring their own culture and experience and the new home country will take aspects of that and adapt causing more diversity in the language.
It’s pretty cool, but frustrating as a language learner.
Feels Safer than Europe
As a solo female traveler, I have been in situations that I didn’t feel the safest. Not necessarily to my physical well being, but to my material goods (purses, bags, etc).
However, there have been moments that I have had to keep an eye over my shoulder.
In Mexico, I felt none of that. I felt comfortable leaving my bag on the chair next to me at the restaurant. I felt comfortable with my bag in the bus storage area.
Though I always made sure to count my change when shopping, I never really got the impression that Mexicans were looking to short me a few pesos unlike other countries.
There is often this perspective that Mexico, being a non “first-world” country is unsafe and Europe, being a more “civilized” place is safer – to me, is utterly wrong. I would much rather live in Mexico than in Europe when it comes to safety.
And most of the reputation of Mexico’s safety comes from the media. In today’s society, we are weary of listening to the media. However, there is still this persistence of how dangerous Mexico is.
Most of the dangers in Mexico revolves around the cartel, which does persist.
But guess what? If you don’t involve yourself, the chances of you being in danger is slim to none. Most of the tourists who have been harmed by cartel activities are usually because they were looking for and purchasing drugs.
Just don’t do drugs – in general, but specifically in a country that is not YOUR country.
Mexicans are the Nicest People
I never doubted that Mexicans were nice people, but when you spend 2 months in a place, it really hits you that they are NICE.
They are the most welcoming, helpful, and considerate people. The expression: “Mi casa es tu casa” is a real thing for them.
Don’t ever be afraid of reaching out to a Mexican for help.
The Food is Amazing
Another, probably, not a shock lesson. Since I grew up along the border, I knew what Mexican food was and what real authentic Mexican food was – not just TexMex.
However, there are dishes that have not made their way north. Which is a shame because they are super delicious!
One of my favorite things is the fruit juices. They call them “agua frescas” and it is like a lighter version of a smoother or very fresh juice. Delicious!
Remote Working and WIFI
During my 2 months of eating and enjoying the local community, I was also working remotely. There can be some tricky spots with the WIFI, but overall, there are plenty of opportunities for great WIFI. Hostels have decent WIFI and any Airbnb will have a strong connection.
Further, in major cities, you can find city WIFI in the streets. It might not be good to have Zoom calls, but you can definitely use it to play a game or to send messages or read emails.
My last lesson that might be of interest for individuals looking to do extensive travel in Mexico is that they time change a few weeks later than the United States/Canada and Europe.
This is important to note for remote working if you have meetings with people in different time zones. You might be in “Central Time” in Mexico, but those in Central Time in the United States will be an hour ahead/behind.
Definitely look into that.
I hope you enjoyed my lessons learned and are looking to experience Mexico on your own! Please let me know if you have questions and be sure to pin on pinterest!