Mexico Is My New Favorite Country. There, I Said It.

Campeche cathedral in black and white

I wasn’t looking for a new favorite country.

For the last four years, I’d been in a relationship with India. I loved India from the moment I arrived in 2012, even though she challenged and frustrated me. India was the crazy hot chick, the girl who is fun and exciting, wild and exotic – and a bit dirty. Our passionate relationship was made all the hotter by our feuds and struggles.

In 2014, I met a sweet, friendly and beautiful place named Indonesia and I fell hard for her, too, and I probably could have claimed her as my favorite, but I wasn’t ready to break it off with India just yet. The thing about a hot love affair is that it is hard to move on. Look, Indonesia, it isn’t you, it is me.

Then last fall, Mexico walked into a cantina and gave me a lascivious wink. She bought me a Dos Equis and we began to flirt. I spent two months traveling across her country, from the north to the south, from the Baja to the Yucatan, and when it was all said and done, I’d fallen under her hypnotic spell.

Maybe it was the tequila talking, but Mexico seemed to love me as much as I loved her. She welcomed and embraced me. Perhaps it is because I can speak fluent remedial Spanish, or maybe because I was raised on Tex-Mex, but Mexico was exotic and familiar at the same time, just like a good lover should be.

Even though India still has a place in my heart, I think I’ve matured to a point where I am ready to accept my true love. I no longer need the bad girl. I don’t think I would appreciate the drama and chaos of India as much a second time around. I need something more stable in my life. Make no mistake: Mexico is no demure, subservient lover – she is still a hot-blooded Latina.  But compared to India, she has all the fun qualities without the stress and drama. In short, you can take Mexico home to meet your mom.

So, Mexico is my new favorite country. There, I said it. It has as much diversity of things to do as any country in the world. In Mexico you can ride a train through the awe-inspiring Copper Canyon one day and swim with whale sharks in turquoise water the next. You can wake up in a 400-year-old colonial city and hours later by in a forest surrounded by millions of monarch butterflies. You can scale majestic Mayan ruins then cool off with a swim in an otherworldly cenote. Mexico has 68 recognized indigenous languages and pre-Columbian culture exists all over the country, yet modern buses and hotels make traveling comfortable and simple. And in Mexico, there is always the chance of encountering a rocking fiesta. Mexico is bewitching in a way few places are.

As much as I’d love to start a long-term relationship with Mexico, I am, ultimately, not ready to settle down yet. I am a ramblin’ man with places to see, other countries to check out. I have every intention of retiring in Mexico someday, and I’d happily move there now if the opportunity to work there were to arise. For now, we will have to have a long distance relationship. Mexico knows that I love her and that it would take something special to take me away.**

Photo Essay: What I Saw in Mexico

Here are 21 sexy photos that offer an overview of the great country, giving you a glimpse on why I fell so hard for her. (If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen these before.)

Basaseachi Falls

Basaseachi Falls, Chihuahua

 

Copper Canyon rainbow

Copper Canyon, Chihuahua

 

Copper Canyon train

Copper Canyon Railroad, Chihuahua to Sinaloa

 

Copper Canyon vendors

Tarahumara vendors on the Copper Canyon Railroad, Chihuahua

 

La Paz beach

La Paz, Baja California Sur

 

Palacio Bellas Artes

Palacio Belles Artes, Mexico City

 

Mariachi

Plaza Girabaldi, Mexico City

 

Teotihuacan in the rain

Teotihuacan, Mexico

 

Day of the dead procession

Day of the Dead, Oaxaca

 

Puebla Street Photo

Puebla, Puebla

 

Puebla zocalo

Puebla, Puebla

 

Cuetzalan Mexico at sunset

Cuetzalan, Puebla

 

Boy lights a lantern, Zozocolco

Zozocolco, Veracruz

 

Cathedral and blue sky

Guanajuato, Guanajuato

 

Love in Morelia

Morelia, Michoacan

 

Campeche cathedral

Campeche, Campeche

 

Uxmal

Uxmal, Yucatan

 

Merida Cathedral

Merida, Yucatan

 

Chichen Itza Pyramid

Chichen Itza, Yucatan

 

Valladolid Cenote

X’Keken cenote, Yucatan

 

Tulum, Quintana Roo

Tulum, Quintana Roo


 

Do you have a favorite place?

Do you share my infatuation with Mexico?

Follow me on Social Media to see how this lover affair plays out

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**It should be noted that Mexico is super jealous of Myanmar and worries that I may have a tryst with her someday.

54 Comments on “Mexico Is My New Favorite Country. There, I Said It.

  1. I agree, India is so full of drama, you don’t need that kind of stressful love, LOL!

  2. If I recall correctly, your family wasn’t very impressed when you chose to date Mexico. Hopefully, you have won them over with tales of your safe travels.

    • You are right. The first time I dated her was 12 years ago. Since then I’ve had flings with places like Zimbabwe, Israel, Honduras and Disney World, so I’ve been to far scarier and dangerous places.

  3. I didn’t see that coming, Jeff. Not that Mexico has become your favourite country – that was pretty obvious in the last 10 posts – but the way you proclaim your love for Mexico surprised me. It’s funny but also heartfelt and vulnerable, the kind of writing that should elicit a very big “awwwww”.

    You already know how much I adore Indonesia. The part about Mexico being exotic and familiar at the same time really resonated with me. I’d say that Indonesia is sweet and demure on the outside but wild and passionate when you get to know her better. And the lady has a temper sometimes – she’ll breathe fire and smoke if you’re not careful. 😉

    Although I really liked Myanmar, I don’t consider it one of my favourite countries. Sure, it is amazing and ridiculously photogenic, but I didn’t really connect with the people there like I did in Nepal and Indonesia. I’m expecting that Mexico will still keep your heart.

    • You are right about Indonesia having a wild side. The people are sweet and nice, the beaches are relaxing, but the volcanoes and the bus rides from hell prove that it isn’t totally sweet and innocent.

      Mexico for me is like Indonesia for you in a lot of ways – they are neighboring countries to where we grew up, we speak some of the language, etc. I think both are under-appreciated.

      You sentiment on Nepal seems pretty common too. The people are wonderful from what I hear, and of course you have the mountains and wonderful people. I can’t wait to go someday and cheat on Mexico.

  4. I have so enjoyed reading your posts about Mexico Jeff. It is not a place I would think to just go & explore but your description of your experience leaves with a very different impression!

    • Thank you Lynn. It is something I’ve wanted to do for many years and I’m glad it all worked out. Thank you for following along.

  5. And you are the reason why I’ve been pondering the idea of visiting Mexico sooner than later. Many people have written about the country before, but it was your series on your travel in Mexico that finally assured me that I should go. I guess that’s because you wrote those posts with love.

    For me, Nepal is my new favorite country. Maybe because I went there right after India, maybe it’s the rich history and beautiful ancient temples, maybe it’s the kind and gentle people I met, or maybe it’s a combination of all.

    • Nepal seems to have all the ingredients for a favorite country – the majestic Himalayas for sure, but there is rich history and the people are wonderful as you say. Mexico and Nepal are like supermodels – you can’t go wrong dating either.

      I think you’d enjoy Mexico. It has a pretty wild and interesting history that I think you’d find interesting. Thanks for following along on the blog.

  6. I’ve been mighty attracted to Mexico for many years, but I’m not ready to call her number one yet. I’m still in the head-over-heels, early phase of infatuation with Tibet and Nepal. I think they, like India, may eventually wear me down and I’ll come back to easy and comfortable Mexico (or Peru), though!

    • You are the third commenter to mention Nepal – I think I may have to check her out. Is she on Tindr or Match.com?

      Funny how Mexico and Peru can seem easy after India. India changes everything!

  7. Lynn said it perfectly for me.
    Mexico has never been high on my list of must-see places, but you’ve definitely changed my mind. You write so eloquently of your love for this country, and your photos …. Oh Dios mío … the photos!!! ❤

    • Thank you Joanne. I think Mexico flies a little under the radar. Everyone pretty much knows about the beaches and pre-Columbian ruins like Chichen Itza, but it is a very diverse and huge country. Thank you for following along!

    • Not sure. I think my wife has a crush on other places, but I think she is okay with me flirting with Mexico.

  8. A very pleasant read and Amazing pics. Your way of writing is fascinating. I don’t think Mexico is the type of place that I would like, but still I got curious and interested. 🙂

      • It’s hard to really choose. But if I have to, Norway, Netherlands and Wyoming will be in the top three. 🙂 Though I spent very little time in all those places.

  9. Although we have been to Mexico many times Jeff, traveling with you we saw a whole new country. Thanks for the amazing journey and one day we hope to visit many of these gems.

    • Thank you Sue for following along. Mexico is so huge and there are so many places to see. I’m glad I took the time to go for an extended trip. Do you have any plans to return anytime soon? It is an easy (and warm) escape from Canada.

    • HAHAHA. Yeah, he was probably realizing that marrying an Indian woman would mean having to live in chaotic India so he latched on to you! That is pretty cool though that you met him while traveling, especially half way around the world.

  10. Your photos are fabulous and your remarks make me laugh . The sixth grader kept that sense of humor well hidden from the teacher! I have only great memories of time spent south of the border. So glad you have experienced her charming side.

    • Thank you Mechelle (Mrs. Andrews). You, like everyone I know who spent significant time in the country, really love it. It is one of those places that defies stereotypes and deserves to be experienced. Thank you for following along!

  11. Mexico is a huge, gaping hole in my travel history, and one that I hope to remedy sooner, rather than later. You make it sound beyond fantastic. Guess I shoulda done that while I still lived in Canada. Sigh. One day…one day…

    • There are so many places to see, only one lifetime to see them in. I am an evangelist for Mexico now – make sure and go!

      • Well I will definitely consult your blog when we do make it there! Would love to spend a good chunk of time there exploring like you did… 🙂

  12. Pics of mexico are really adorable…They can make anyone to fall in love with your all girlfriends😉..But India…she is the most special one…yes I know about the chaos,but still I feel a charm in its noise too!!.. An overwhelming joy in this country! Never forget your past love dear..Indians are always there to welcome you.
    Your suggestions for her improvement are too welcome..

    • It is good to know that India will take me back 🙂 It really is an amazing country. I saw a photo essay of Rajasthan today and it made me remember why I love the country so much.

  13. Ha, a passionate proclamation if ever there was one Jeff! Shall have to go check out the competition myself. Have a sneaky suspicion I might fall head over heels in love with the saucy damsel myself 😉 Fab post and photos as always!

  14. Fabulous pictures. I love the way you personified the countries;) oh yes India is dramatic in a lot of ways. High voltage , chaotic but never predictable!

    P.s : I am an Indian 🙂

    Would love to visit Mexico someday!

    • I think that as an Indian you’d enjoy Mexico. The food is spicy (though not as much as yours) and the people are quite friendly.

      Never predictable – that is a great way to describe India. That isn’t a bad thing at all, just a fact 🙂

  15. Your photos definitely did the trick, but it was the writing that makes me want to move south 🙂 You did nail India pretty well, I think no one who been there will ever fully understand the sultry allure India will always have with those who have walked on her shores. Asia will remain loyal to me as that is where I find myself, but since I was a kid, Mexico seemed to have it all and you make it so very clear with this post of yours!

    • I think growing up on the USA like we did, Mexico always seems very close yet totally exotic, wild and almost taboo, at least the interior places (not so much the beach resorts). I thought most of the country was reserved for badass travelers. Now I know that Mexico is actually fairly easy to visit, yet India is the one that will make or break a traveler. If you can do India, you can do anywhere.

      Where are you currently? Are you in Beijing or HK?

      Thank you for the comments and for following along when we were in Mexico!

  16. A very bold statement, Jeff! Writing a blog post about your new girlfriend is quite a declaration, but I can see from all of your wonderful tales and incredible photos why you are so smitten. If you are really serious about her, you will print this out and laminate it! 🙂

    • Or post it to Reddit under r/Mexico, the modern day equivalent. 🙂

      What can I say, she is a great country. Thanks for commenting and following along our trip.

  17. Hi Jeff, I love your blog! I was turned on to it by my friends Jenny and Justin Jurek, when I told them that I’m planning to travel to Mexico for 4 weeks this summer.

    I’m curious for a recommendation/tip on accommodations in Mexico. Did you book things in advance and is that necessary? Did you stay anywhere particularly great? I appreciate it, thanks!

    • Emily,

      I answered some more technical questions on the other comment, but this one you ask about place recommendations. For a solo female traveler I’d say you can’t go wrong with Mexico City, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Oaxaca in the interior. You’ll meet many other backpackers in those areas and would have a blast. Also, if you are interested in ancient Mayan sites and beaches, you can’t go wrong with Merida-Chichen Itza-Tulum area.

      The more I think about it though, for a solo traveler, you just can’t beat Guatemala. I traveled solo there and Mexico and you will meet so many people in places like Antigua and Lake Atitlan that you will have a blast and get to see some great places and culture too.

      Happy planning!

  18. Mexican ruins were the awakening of my philosophical-historical worldview, which had been Euro/USA centric up to then. Your pictures are lovely, but the pond or lake is breathtaking!

  19. I love the way you express your love affair with Mexido. I can assure you she’ll keepl pleasantly surprising you at every turn. ❤

    • OOps, México! You would think I don’t know how to spell my country’s name. It was just a typo 😉 Swing by my blog sometime… Right now most of the posts are international but I will be uploading more content about beautiful and interesting places to visit in MX.

  20. I’m from México, and I have been trying to “finish” the country since 10 years ago. And I just can’t, is really big. Thank you very much for your article, it made me love my country more than I already do.

    • Thank you! It is always nice to hear from someone in the country I have written about. Mexico is huge! I have probably seen more it than my own country now.

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