Falling from the sky to Mexico City
Trip Start Jul 09, 2012
14Trip End Jul 23, 2012
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I departed Miami 2:30 en route to Mexico City for a two week trip. As excited as I am to get away, I suddenly feel hesitation as my head is filled with everyone's positive messages of "be safe", "try not to get killed", or "I hope you don't get killed". All of these sentiments form a wonderful cocktail of fear in my head as they join my greatest personal fear: FLYING! To those that know me know that that fear of flying seems absurd when you consider all the places I've been fortunate to visit. But I calm myself down with the reminder of the journey of self exploration that comes along with many solo journeys.
People always question why I do these long trips all on my own. The truth is that it's not my preference, but rather the reality of not finding anyone emotionally or financially capable of coming with me. Friends are either married and unwilling/unable to go with me without their families. The single friends should be a shoe in but they never seem to have the cash or would just simply rather stay at home. So the question to me is would I rather stay at home vegetating on the sofa (certainly a fine possibility and one that I have enjoyed often) or see the world on my own. It seems like a no brainer to me.
This should be an interesting trip for me as it follows the most tumultuous time of my life with my divorce, selling a home, and moving into a new one just one week ago. So, if anyone needs a vacation right now it's me, right?
I am also looking forward to seeing how I enjoy my experience as a backpacker at this stage of my life. Sure I've done more low budget, hostel-staying, backpacking trips than most anyone I know, but at my age now I'm curious to see how I adapt on this one. I'll be staying at 2 hostels and while it's low end accomodations with a dozenbeds in a room and shared bathrooms, the reality is that sleeping 9 nights in Mexico City will cost the same as 2-3 nights would have cost in a hotel. Moreover, even if I paid 2 or 3 times as much for an actual hotel, I think that that hotel would be way sketchyer than a hostel. My friends that have never stayed at one just don't get it and how despite sharing a room with a dozen strangers is actually quite safe considering everyone is of the same mind of travling and seeing the world affordably. I find it absurd when people say they've seen a country despite only being there for less than 24 hours. NEWS FLASH: Running off of a cruise ship and running around for 7 hours is not seeing a city and it sure as shit isn't seeing a country. And if you're not even able to eat an authentic dinner there then you've seen even less. This will be my 4th trip to Mexico, but it will be the first time I actually see the country. I'll stay 2 weeks and still I will barely scratch the surface of what is here to see. So sad that everyone is afraid to go because they think they'll be kidnapped, but they have blinders to the fact that they are missing a plethora of UNESCO sites and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
For the first time since the "electronic age" I'm traveling without my beloved iphone, ipad, laptop, etc because I fell victim to the fears my friends put in my head. But it will be fun too. Hey I have been traveling long enough to think back to trips when an iANYTHING never even existed yet.
For all of the danger I'm to expect, it doesn't seem like it could measure up to the final 20 minutes of my flight into Mexico City. We were making our decent and low enough that I could see Mexico City for miles in each direcdtion. Suddenly the plane just plumeted out of the sky at a speed an angle that you do not want to ever have to experience. I felt my stomach in my throat, everyone was screaming and it seemed like we were about to "land" on multiple rooftops when the front of the plane rocketed up as we made an ascent of escape.
I guess I arrived around 6PM. I was shocked at the cleanliness of the airport and how easy it was to get my bags and quickly get out despite the fact that this is a major airport in a major city. I took a taxi to my hostel and after settling in I had my first meal. After that I went for a long walk to explore. I felt totally at ease and not the slightest bit concerned for my safety. However, I did have one embarassing moment. As I walked I made sure to keep my guard up and as I stoood waiting at a crosswalk I turned and was startled that someone was standing so close to me. To make matters worse he was wearing a black mask over the bottom portion of his face. I'm going to get mugged! Kidnapped! Oh wait, it's just an ordinary person with a black scarf over his mouth to stay warm. Ok, nothing to worry about.
After I finished my walk, I made it back to the hostel about 10:30PM and sat outside on a pedestrian street to have some beer and food.