I was under the age of 10 the first time I flew on an airplane by myself and I loved it. I loved going alone. I loved flying to NY or back home wherever that was at the time. My dad was in the military for most of my life, so we jumped around often when I was a kid.
Sometime in my late twenties, I started to have a debilitating fear of flying. I would do it, but sweaty palms, not loving flying at night, the slightest drop, everything would feel like I was going to fall out of the sky.
Once, an airline that shall remain nameless, had a lovely flight attendant who told me to open the shade on a plane because “more sets of eyes sees any issues”.
When I tell you I freaked out, I freaked out!
Cut to 2016, My little brother, his then girlfriend (now fiance) and my mom were headed to Mexico City. I wanted to go because my then boyfriend (now husband) went and loved every bit of what Mexico City has to offer.
Let us count the ways:
Public art!!! You’ve never met a city (maybe Paris) that has more examples of how organizations and government agencies invest in public art. We went soon after Day of the Dead (read here to learn more, it is dope) so so many beautiful examples of the Mexican culture were on display.
Food is amazing! From high-end restaurants to small, no seating establishments, everything is delicious. It is also very inexpensive to eat there especially in comparison to other places I have visited over the years including living in Miami, Paris and Tokyo. People do smoke there and they have not banned smokers to the cellar like they do in the US. LOL! #Imkidding #butseriously
Public displays of affection. I know this seems odd to comment on, but it was lovely to see people holding hands, kissing and connecting so openly. That’s it. I’m a sappy sap and so is Mexico City.
Public Transportation! It is bomb. That’s it.
Weather is the best I’ve ever felt anywhere. It was the time of year (October/November), but my hair was perfection. There is no humidity. None. Zilch. Zero. My natural hair twist out was FOR THE GAWDS!!!
There are the coolest, slightly hipster areas all over. People do not always love this and Singapore also gives you “we are weeding out the non-rich for “pretty” developments no one can afford vibe, but I did not get the impression it was unliveable and that was cool.
Mom, Lauren (fiance) and I met the nicest people. One woman knew we were American (Americans do stick out like a sore thumb sometimes, don’t we?) and came up to us to tell us that why the Frida Kahlo was a cool museum to go to, it was not the best. In fact, she gave us the impression it was so commercialized that you lose the essence of art that is Mexico and by extension Mexico City. It is in the top 10 list of cities with the most museums. Russia is number 1, if you were wondering. Gil and I are considering going there next.
Not a lot of people speak English and I loved it. You do not have to speak the language or have things “feel” American for you to have fun. Be adventurous, be aware and enjoy what is nothing like you’ve known.
3 Trip Tips for… Mexico:
You may get a little weezy. It is high altitude so be mindful of that when you are traveling. It took me a day to get my balance. ;)
I loved staying in Reforma. It is easy to get everywhere, but by far not the illest place to stay in what was a really amazing place.
Walk. I will suggest this when I talk about every city I visit. Take public trans, if you have to take a rideshare (Mexico City does not have Lyft when I was there), but more than anything I want to encourage anyone to walk. You see and feel it.
I still don’t love flying, but I have been on quite a few trips and I can say without a doubt, my fears will never be as great at my desire to connect with people and cultures.