Travel Vignette — Mexico

When you’re swimming in the new, it’s hard to take stock of what’s in front of you. Difficult to make out the impact of all the new sights, tastes and people you’re experiencing. Hard to gain perspective when you’re too busy soaking it all up. Which is a way of saying, I wanted to write about Mexico. I wanted to paint a travel vignette of the country, a snapshot that somehow signifies the whole. To capture the warmth of the people and the unexpected beauty we found in Mexico City, a name more synonymous with drugs and crime than with its rich history and countless cultural activities. To tell of the unencumbered smiles we got at our first taqueria, how we used our broken Spanish to order a second taco after the first was so.dang.good. To share the smell of the dry forest and the way the airy canopy of low lying trees looked light yet expansive, sprawling out as far as the eye could see from atop a centuries-old Mayan pyramid in Coba – that’s somehow, amazingly, still standing. The genuine responses and reactions we almost always received at stores, cafes, hostels, and on the streets even though loads of tourists had already cycled through the same places. The frenzied energy and large yellow signs of the tostada stall at the market. Sneaking glances at the locals sitting next to us to see how to eat our tostadas properly. Bite in and let the toppings fall or break it up into pieces and scoop up the leftovers with a fork? But most importantly to convey how refreshing Mexico was after weeks in cold Europe, how I almost forgot what true hospitality was, how amable people could be. All of this bundled into a humble and tasty package, fitting neatly in my singular carry-on suitcase and expanding its grasp through my whole being, taking ahold of my mind.

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