There are places that make you want to come back. The Grand Canyon. Savannah. South Dakota. They say, “You could spend hours getting lost here. You’ll have to come back, but that’s OK, we aren’t going anywhere.”
And then there are places that make you want to become a part of them. New York. San Francisco. They say whatever they want; they’ve got things to do, but you’re welcome to jump into the stream and come along – if you can keep up.
Mexico City is not waiting for you.
It is too busy thriving and pumping. It is dancing and eating and celebrating. It’s evolving and reinventing itself. It doesn’t notice when you arrive or leave; it’s you who notices.
The part of me that plugs into New York City the minute I step off the plane surged in Mexico City when I visited two weeks ago. It was as if I’d discovered another portal to the life force that beats beneath the Earth, and every cell in my body yearned to soak up the power.
To try to tell you about Mexico City is to try to explain humanity. There’s too much to say; it would take a lifetime to comprehend.
I can tell you what it’s not, how I was mistaken. It is not Americanized or watered down. It is not begging for the USD (in fact, most places only take pesos). It is not underdeveloped or primitive. It is not quaint. It is not dangerous – at least no more so than any other major city.
It is bursting with life.
It is loud.
It is old and modern.
It is beautiful, trendy, chic, and delicious.
When I arrived in Mexico City the day after leaving South Dakota, I was overwhelmed to discover that almost no one in the airport spoke English. For a moment, I was afraid that I would get lost in this big city of Spanish speakers, and I was embarrassed that I’d expected to be catered to. But by the end of my three-day trip, I was thinking in Spanish – albeit very slowly. I was living proof that travel makes us happy because of the way it challenges and surprises us.
I had been invited to Mexico City so that I could write about it as a family vacation destination for Parentables. I was skeptical, because I’d heard about the how dangerous the country had become in recent years. But I learned that Mexico City is not only safe, but a place I really want to share with my children someday.
I want them to have to learn how to think in Spanish.
I want them to see that queso and sour cream are not necessary elements of Mexican cuisine.
I want them to meet Mexicans who are proud of where they come from and have no need or desire to flee for a better life.
I want them to experience the ways that we are different, and the ways that we are the same.
And I want an excuse to go back myself.
Have you ever been to Mexico City? Have you considered going?
I visited Mexico City as a guest of their tourism board. My airfare, lodging, admission to attractions, and food was paid for. Yes, that’s two press trips in one month – and I’m on my way to a third this week. I’m a lucky girl (and it’s press trip season)!