When you fall for a person, there is rarely just one thing that makes your heart flutter. It’s the way they look, the way they feel, the way they smell – the way they make YOU feel. The more you learn about that person, the more you want to find out and the more deeply you fall in love. Flaws become interesting quirks and bad habits endearing. The same can be said of places, and for me, that one place is Mexico. Have you ever been somewhere that you feel so immediately at home in? The culture exciting and intense yet intoxicatingly comforting. We are often asked by friends, family and even strangers where our favorite place of travel has been. Without missing a beat, my answer has always been the same. Whether in a busy street of a cosmopolitan city, the cove of a deserted beach or buying avocados at a market stall, I have always felt at home in Mexico. I have returned countless times to my second home. I have seen more of this one country than some people see of just their own and yet I feel I’ve only scratched but the surface of this vast and varied land. Mexico, I have basked in your oceans, wandered your colonial streets and spoken with your people. I have drank ice-cold beer in the shadow of your forests and swam deep beneath the surface of your cenotes. I have explored Mayan culture through sight and sound, the traditions, colorful dress and unique language all speaking of a time gone by but one very much alive, the ancient ruins still shrouded in jungle, an adventure to discover.
Mirador de Pipila, Guanajuato.
I have taken thousands of photos; mustached men against colorful walls, blue waters and cobblestone streets. Images carried in my mind, and in print. Images of my Mexico. A Mexico without hate or crime, pictures too rarely seen by those who do not know. No, this country goes far beyond the fancy resorts and tattooed men of the media; the Mexico I fell in love does not exist within the window of a travel agent or on the beaches of Cancun. My Mexico is found along quiet dusty roads, in towns with no airports and upon the faces of men with few teeth. It is hidden within forests, beneath waterfalls and on a beach with no name. It is out there, if only you know where to look. Some of the fondest memories we have are those of small beach towns, the sort of place buried deep within the covers of well-thumbed guidebooks.
La Gruta, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Whether you choose to experience a single state or spend months exploring my very favorite country, there is no denying that Mexico leaves an indelible mark. Be it an addiction to chipotle and a constant quest to find mole just like that tiny restaurant in Guanajuato or a never-ending love affair with the esquite, I have no doubt that your heart will leave painted white, red and green.
Mexico, I do not know when I will return again, but I know that there is still so much to explore. ❤️
“I HAD WHAT I CAN ONLY DESCRIBE AS AN EPIPHANY, A MOMENT OF LUCID AND COMPLETE SURRENDER, IN WHICH THE WHOLE OF MEXICO SEEMED TO COME UP INSIDE ME AND I FELT THAT THIS WAS A MOMENT THAT WOULD NEVER END AND THAT WHEREVER I WENT I WOULD NOT LEAVE THIS PLACE.” -HUGH THOMSON