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You’re probably thinking “wouldn’t that be a tragedy for anyone?”. Yes my dear reader, but only a Mexican knows the exhaustive amount of time it will take to replace your driver license or passport, your office or school ID, and the list goes on … there’s nothing worse than the bureaucracy in Mexico.
Let’s be honest, Mexicans are amorous by nature, and falling in love outside of Mexico is a real tragedy for us. Yes, it is more of a problem than a blessing. If this is your case, you’re faced with: “what if I stay and live with him / her?”… “And if we both go to Mexico?”… “And if he/she doesn’t want to leave his/her country?”…”Can we survive a long distance relationship?”…and the dreaded,”fuck, I have a partner in Mexico” or even worse, “I don’t have a visa to stay…who cares… I’ll stay illegally for a while, I’ll do anything for true love”.
Your body will thank you for this trip abroad because you’re not going to be eating fatty food. No more tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and pozole. This trip is going to give you energy and will clean your intestines. BUT CAUTION! Your return will be painful. You’ll spend several hours in the bathroom lamenting your love for real Mexican food.
Especially if you’ve spent a lot of time outside of Mexico and if you are in a country where the food isn’t spicy or doesn’t have many condiments. You’ll be the laughing stock of your friends and family when you return to Mexico and you ask for your elote con chile del que no pica.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a party at a friend’s house, in a bar or a nightclub, it will be a real tragedy. You won’t recognize the music, it is very likely that someone wants to dance as much as you do, the drinks and snacks are strange, and of course, nobody wants to listen to cumbia. The party will be worse if it includes karaoke; you don’t know any of their songs and if you want to sing a ranchera, no one will sing along with you.
Before leaving your country you had the wonderful ability to use words with double meanings in order to make a joke or a word play and everyone applauded you for that. You know how sad it is to be the only one who laughs when someone says something that has a double meaning? Your brain will begin to forget this ability and you will become a cold, direct and boring person. HOW AWFUL!
Your friends will tell you, “You ‘ll be fresh meat”, “they’ll love your dark skin”, “you’ll be the exotic one”, “everyone will flirt with you” … and there you go all excited waiting for a thousand indecent proposals. It is true that people on the street pay more attention to you and you are an interesting person at parties, but don’t have high expectations because sometimes things don’t go as your friends told you they would.
Your new friends won’t understand you when you say “chingón” or “chido”, and your insults will become obsolete. You need to modify your expressions if you want others to understand you. You’re going to be the mockery of your friends when you’re back home with your new accent and slang.
No matter where you are or where you go, getting sick away from home is always the worst. But if you’re Mexican, this tragedy is multiplied by ten. You don’t have any of your herbs or homemade medicines; your wonderful friends are far away; nobody is going to visit you; and of course, you don’t have your Mom to pamper you, which is the only good thing about getting sick, anyway!
Kindness is a skill that Mexicans have perfected, but when you’re outside of Mexico it becomes a curse because you worry too much about offending the locals. Are the people here punctual? How should I dress for a party? Should I buy a gift? Do people greet each other with a kiss? Can I hug someone in public? Is this country gay-friendly? Will they be offended if I ask for salt? Am I talking too loud? Is the bill divided equally or does everyone pay their share?
Maybe it’s because we watch too many “telenovelas”, but Mexicans are professional at being melodramatic. The worst thing that can happen is an attack of existential questions during your trip: what am I doing here? Why am I alone? Am I doing what I really want to do? Am I happy? Have I taken the right decisions? These attacks are more common if you are alone, facing a beautiful landscape on an important event (your birthday, Christmas, New Year , etc.).
Do not lie, Mexican, we love our families and our friends. And while traveling is an enriching experience, there will be times when you’ll want to share a place, a time or a sunset with that special friend back home.
We like to fill our luggage with little treasures but if it’s your unlucky day then you’ll get checked by customs. Real suffering is when they confiscate your hot sauce, that wonderful bottle of mezcal you had saved, your Mexican candies and even your bar of abuelita chocolate that you brought well hidden in your socks. No matter how much you cry or beg, they will not have mercy on you.
Mexicans are well received in many parts of the world. We generally have a good reputation and it is easy for us to make new friends. Within a few days, we generate strong bonds of friendship and empathy with people around us. But this is a disadvantage when it’s time to say goodbye. You’ll feel strange, nostalgic and even sad to think that you have to go home and leave all your new friends behind. Pinches Mexicanos, we are very melodramatic.
I dare to say that every Mexican always knows how to enjoy an adventure outside our beautiful country …and that’s the worst tragedy of all. The more we enjoy our trip, the more confused and sad we are to return. Only a Mexican knows how hard it is to return to the routine and discover that everything is as we left it, that we are strangers in our own home and we have no other option but to start planning our next trip …
Cab drivers near airports or train stations are known to pull this scam, but it can happen anywhere. When you get into a taxi and start to drive, the driver will inform you that the meter is broken and charge you a ridiculous price (to the tune of 100s of dollars if you’re not careful).
This is a very common one in Central America, especially Costa Rica. I’ve probably had 10 different taxi drivers try to pull this scam on me around the world. I fell for it once, during my first year traveling.
Negotiate rates ahead of time, or ensure the meter is in fact working before you get in the car. If the taxi driver refuses to turn on the meter, or tells you it’s cheaper without the meter, get out and opt for another driver. Not all cab drivers are scammers.
6/11/2019 — By Robert Firpo-Cappiello
For a few unlucky travelers, vacation can feel a little like that bad dream where you're walking the halls of your old high school with no clothes on. Missed connection? Lost reservation? Credit card crying "Uncle!" halfway through your trip? Wake up to these common-sense fixes.
When we talk about "dream trips," we mean the good kind of dream. But every so often a trip goes awry, sometimes due to poor planning, sometimes just because of bad luck, and turns into a nightmare. Here, we've rounded up some of the common disasters and mishaps that can be relatively easily averted or dealt with. Bon voyage!
However, as I read the comments on the article about the disappearance of Harry Devert, my blood just boiled. Victim blaming has now mixed with country bashing and delivered some very hateful comments about why everyone who is planning on visiting Mexico is basically asking to be killed. It wouldn’t surprise me if those same mindless people also write comments about why ladies with cleavage are asking to be raped. The most “epic” comment of the bunch? “Never travel alone, this was a DUMB idea.”
I bet that all of you solo travelers have heard a version of that comment at least once in your lifetime. Concerned friends and family members who have urged not to travel to that dangerous place that they saw once mentioned but know nothing about it (one of my aunts was adamant about me not traveling to the evil capital of China: Korea. Yes, let that sink in).
And yet, I agree with the fact that traveling alone COULD be a dumb idea if you’re not prepared. Harry Devert was NOT prepared, he ignored the locals and entered Mexico’s most dangerous state on a motorcycle that he barely knew how to use. The same could have occurred to him in almost any country in the World and yet, the news focus on how dangerous Mexico is and how careless he was to travel there alone instead of focusing on the fact that he was simply not prepared for a journey like this.
Did you know that you can even get killed in “civilized” London if you’re careless enough to enter one of its bad suburbs? It’s not a matter of Mexico versus “safe and civilized” Nations, it’s a matter of well-prepared travelers versus those who clearly are not.
A final piece of advice? Don’t let cases like this stop you from traveling alone. Just do me a big favor and be prepared. Buy a phrasebook. Read a guide. Get informed about the latest news. And more importantly? Always give your family and/or friends back home your complete itinerary. Yes, I know that doing that might make you feel less than a grown-up but trust me, even I started to do it from now on. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 20-something or a 60-something, nobody is ever alone in this world. And that’s a good thing :)
Agree, disagree? What has been some of your most scary experiences while traveling alone? Join in the discussion and let me know what you think!