The first thing that took me was the color. Cities awash with jewel toned palettes adding a vibrance to life, interlace with runaway vines of the deepest, muted greens that overflow from parks and apartment windows. Earthy yellow, deep orange, azul; these accents are what linger in my mind, tinting my memories of my time there like a pair of rose colored glasses.
Mexico is like a dream come true. Growing up in the southern hemisphere in one of the most isolated cities in the world, it is everything you want it to be and then some. Foreign, iconic, culturally rich, and best of all, far, far away from home. Traveling to Mexico City for the first time was surreal and a long time coming. Like a snake, I’m attracted to the heat of the sun, but also the draw of bustling, lively streets. I wanted to explore the heart of the country and absorb the feeling of life amongst the people there. I opted to stay away from the tired tourist beaches of the coasts and planned a trip starting in the capital, then winding through regional inlands to the jungle of the northern Yucatán. It was one magical week of new discoveries, new flavors and letting my eyes wander over things I had never witnessed before.
We ate and drank in Mexico City, hopped across town from bar to bar and ate lunches on rooftop terraces next to historic, gold laden churches. We opened bottles of wine on our balcony in Centro Historico and snuck up to the roof of an old King’s palace to watch the sunset over the city. We made our way east and drove across the countryside to lay in the sun amongst ruins in Uayamon. We were the only guests at a luxury hacienda as we celebrated my birthday over margaritas in the starlight. We jumped into a remote cenote somewhere in the Mayan jungle and swam undisturbed in the bluest, clearest depths for hours. We were searched by police on the side of the highway and tried local dishes next to roaming Iguanas. We danced in cantina’s in Merida, and cruised the kaleidoscopic streets after too many mezcal’s.
After the week, I felt more rested and inspired than I had ever before. It’s if I had taken a long drink from a tall glass of laced water and I vowed that I would return as soon as I physically could to drink more. And that is the beauty of travel. It fills your heart and mind with a revitalized love for the world and for the humans within it. You walk, you run, you lay, you dream.