Mexico: Land of Enchantment
I have always enjoyed traveling, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world.
One such place would
undoubtedly be Mexico.
As you may have read in my previous post about traveling, there are some benefits to doing the touristy things when you travel; things like seeing the famous sites, going to museums, etc.
But then there are times to go rogue and truly become immersed in this foreign and wonderful place that you find yourself in. There are times to avoid the popular destinations to get a full perspective. Well, if you find yourself in Mexico – my advice is to do just that (within reason).
The Beauty of the Desert
Mexico is a fairly large country with a wide range of scenic coastal towns, bustling metropolises, dense forests and of course – grand deserts.
Cancun may be the best bet for spring-breakers and MTV, and Mexico City is a great place for food and culture. Yet there is something special about the isolated and calming nature of the Mexican desert.
Located in the state of Chihuahua, the Chihuahuan Desert is an almost spiritual place. It’s the single largest desert in North America and spans well into the United States and is home to many mountain ranges.
What I like most about the desert is how remote it feels. No people hustling around, no Kansas City traffic, no rush – just the soothing sound of the wind.
As I mentioned, if you really want to see Mexico for what it is – you have to stray away from the tourist zones and check into some of the lively small towns and villages that dot the countryside.
This is where you’ll see just how different life is in other parts of the world. The days and nights pass more slowly and people seem to be more relaxed, almost happier. You feel completely disconnected from the world for just a little while and content with a simpler kind of life.
It’s a sort of therapeutic experience.
One city that I would recommend visiting is Guanajuato. It’s a very vibrant medium-sized city with multi-colored rows of buildings, cobble stone streets and a town center where city dwellers exchange goods at a market. There also happens to be a very interesting “Museum of Mummies.”
South of the Border
By far one of my favorite aspects of our southern neighbor is the different expectations that they have of businesses and services. It is eye opening and interesting to see how different the world operates in their day-to-day.
In some rural parts of Mexico, it’s not uncommon for businesses to close up shop for a couple of hours in the middle of the day; “siesta.” This is one of those aspects of their culture that I wish I could bring back to Kansas City, and I don’t think I’m alone on that.
It’s also not uncommon for prices to change depending on the mood of the shopkeeper and whether or not they can be talked down. Although you won’t need to necessarily talk down too many shopkeepers because the American dollar can go a long way down there.
See It for Yourself
There are so many differences between the U.S. and Mexico that you have to see it for yourself to truly understand the difference in feeling.
Mexico is a wonderful country that offers a lot in the sense of adventure, natural beauty and fun. My advice if you go is to take your time, enjoy the slower pace and really enjoy the experience.
~ Michael Gortenburg Kansas City, Missouri