We’ve now been in Mexico for just over five weeks. It’s gone extremely quickly and I’m already worrying about how little time we have left with a whole bunch of places left that I still want to see. We’re currently in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-biggest city. Our Air BnB is a little outside of the city in a new apartment block with a swimming pool and a lovely bright, modern room with excellent views from the 11th floor we’re staying on.
Apart from nice weather, a Spanish-speaking population, and tacos, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Mexico. Here are some thoughts and what I’ve learnt from our time so far.
The Food is Incredible
A few people have asked myself and Mitch what our favourite country is for food. It’s always a difficult question but Mexico is fast becoming the answer. Mexican food has flavour like British food simply doesn’t. It’s also much, much more diverse than just tacos. We’ve had some delicious tacos since being here but I’m also a huge fan of the torta ahogada (drowned sandwich), cheese-smothered enchiladas, and molletes. I’ve never known a true love of lime, guacamole, refried beans until now. I don’t think I ever want sweet tomato bakes beans again.
Lots of Colour
There is so much colour in Mexico. Towns and buildings are painted brightly. Even in restaurants, the table clothes and chairs have beautiful colours. When the sun is shining and you have bright colours all around you, it’s impossible not to smile.
I Feel Very Safe
Mexico has a bad reputation. I know that some travel bloggers have been robbed in Mexico City and on buses. However, thankfully, this has not happened to us. Like any country (even the UK), it’s about being cautious and wary. Overall, I have felt very safe here so far. The drug problems that the country has are restricted to very limited areas and not frequently where travellers hang out.
I Need to Improve my Spanish
Much like in China, only a small majority of people speak English. This means that Mitch and I have been trying to pick up Spanish. Reading menus is fine because I can take my time and I have now mastered a lot of words for different kinds of food. It’s the casual conversations we have with people which are more difficult for me. I’m trying, though, and it is definitely a lot easier than trying to learn Mandarin!
Mexico has History I Knew Nothing About
I’m not very good at history. I knew two things about Mexican history before arriving: parts of the USA used to be Mexico and the Spanish invaded. I always think that travelling around a country is the best way to learn its history. It’s certainly what I found when we were in Eastern Europe and heard about the breakup of Yugoslavia first hand from people who lived through it.
Visiting the Teotihuacan pyramids and the Templo Mayor has taught me a lot about the history of the country. We also visited the National Anthrolopoligcal Museum in Mexico City which gave an insight into not only the history of Mexico but the history of humans in general. Mitch is making some awesome Mexican history videos, with some footage from our trip, which you can check out on YouTube.
I Haven’t Met any “Bad Hombres”
If you followed the US elections, you probably heard Donald Trump’s use of the phrase “bad hombres” in the final debate. Well, I’m here to tell Donald Trump (because I’m sure he’s an avid reader of Bristolian Backpacker) that I have not met any “bad hombres” and we’ve received some wonderful hospitality on our trip so far.