In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to from my personal experience. In this article, we will be covering country #4: Mexico. If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN recognized countries.
The 4th country I have ever visited in my life was Mexico. I went there back in 2005 when I was only 21 years old. Back then, I was absolutely clueless about travelling. For this trip, I actually went with my mother who ended up redeeming her Air Miles for a G-Adventures trip to Mexico.
I’m 100% sure my mother had no idea she had redeemed for an adventure type of trip. My mom is not the type of person to go on adventure travel. She prefers to go sight seeing somewhere safe and normal and going on adventures is not really her cup of tea.
This became obvious to me when we actually started the trip and my mother was shocked at all the hiking we were doing.
Forgive the poor quality images used for this blog post, these pictures were taken back when you had to develop your film.
VIDEO – Country #4: Mexico
Flying into Mexico
Going to Mexico was my first real adventure trip. Upon landing in the Cancun Mexico airport, there was a black out. Suddenly, all the American tourist lining up in immigration started laughing and mocking Mexico.
This was my first exposure to these sort of behaviour and I thought it was rather condescending.
And while the American tourist were happily mocking Mexico, I can’t help but see the truth in some of the things they were saying. The immigration was definitely taking forever to move and there was an overall feeling of inefficiency in the country.
After going through immigration, we went outside to grab a taxi. My mother is a super paranoid person and started yelling at all the taxi drivers to go away. She was paranoid they were going to steal our luggage.
Eventually, my mother decided to go with this one taxi driver (I have no clue how she goes about her decision making process) and off we went to our hotel.
It wasn’t long until our G-Adventures tour guide arrived and debriefed our entire tour group on what to expect and the culture in Mexico.
Our first destination was Chichen Itza, which is the first of the 7 New Wonders of the World that I’ve ever visited.
It was super cool exploring Chichen Itza back then because they actually let you climb to the top of the pyramid. Nowadays, tourist aren’t allowed to climb this pyramid. They even warned us back then that this was the last season they would allow tourists to climb up Chichen Itza.
After exploring this world wonder, we went off to swim at some Cenote near Chichen Itza before heading to Merida for the evening.
My mother is definitely not a pleasant person to travel with. While walking towards the restaurant to eat dinner with our tour group, she started acting frantic. Every time she saw a Mexican walk by us, she would freak out and start running. She keeps thinking that the Mexican people are out to get us.
After dinner, she did the exact same thing on the walk back to our hotel. She started running every time she saw a Mexican and I literally felt like I was babysitting someone.
The accommodation we stayed at in Palenque wasn’t very comfortable from my memory. The room was extremely hot and was full of insects. One of my fellow tour group member actually had a giant spider in her sink.
Regardless, we made our way to the ancient ruins in Palenque and I actually had a great time here. The tour guide told us some stories of the ancient Mayans doing drugs and thinking they were seeing some magic unfold in front of their very eyes.
After Palenque, we hanged out in a local city and I ended up watching some telenovela with some locals. For some reason, I felt that this was one of my favourite experiences during this trip to Mexico.
After we were done with Palenque, we were off to the ancient ruins of Tikal. This ancient ruins is actually located in Guatemala and is technically, the 5th country I’ve ever visited.
The trip to Tikal was pretty fun. We saw some bats inside the ruins and did some hiking in the area as well. The hike wasn’t very easy and out of the 8 people in our tour group, only 3 of us made it to the top.
The other two women that made it to the top were part of the US military so I felt proud I was able to keep up with them and make it to the top.
Mosquito swarmed cenote
After Tikal, we went to check out another cenote nearby. This next experience was absolutely awful. The entire hike to the cenote, we were swarmed by massive amounts of mosquitoes. I’ve never had so many welts in my life.
I literally had my entire arm, body, and legs covered in welts. This was a terrible experience and all the individuals in our tour group hated it.
After we were done with the cenote from hell, we ended up going to this tree house accommodation in the middle of the jungle. The tree house had limited power so they turned off the electricity overnight.
It was a neat experience and we were fed lots of delicious organic foods. The next day, we joined a boat tour to see manatees.
Afterward the boat tour, we drove back to Cancun where we would be taking a ferry to Isla Mujeres.
Upon arriving at Isla Mujeres, we got a chance to go to our hotel first to drop off our stuff. Unfortunately, my mother fell down a few steps of stairs and got a big bump on her head. She’s definitely not having a great time in Mexico. Luckily, it wasn’t serious but her fear of something bad was going to happen did happen. I think it’s really a self-fulfilling prophecy so it’s best not to think so negatively. Be cautious but not negative.
Afterwards, we went on a sail boat trip around the island. Unfortunately, many people in the boat got seasick from the constant rocking and everyone was happy when it ended.
We finished up the evening with dinner and some dancing to Mexican music before calling it a night.
After the tour was finished
After the tour was done, my mother and I stayed for a few more days in Cancun just to relax. Honestly though, we wanted to leave but our flight wasn’t for another few days. So we pretty much just wasted the next few days doing nothing.
Mexico was my first real trip outside Asia and North America and it was a terrible first introduction to travelling. I think for me, the biggest thing I realized was this Mexico trip could have been fun had I travelled with my friends.
This was the second time I’ve travelled with my mother and this confirmed for me that your company during your travels makes a huge difference.
After this trip, I would not take another international trip until country #6 which is to Jamaica.