After the first time I travelled to Mexico I knew this remarkable country would be in my head for the rest of my life. We travel to Mexico as much as we can, but it’s still not enough. And every time we leave we miss it.
I’m asked all the time what it is I love about Mexico and I can’t really pin it down to one reason. There are so many reasons to love Mexico but here are my top 5.
1. Volkswagen Beetles
According to this article the cool older style Beetles were produced in Puebla, Mexico until 2003. They are often taxis in Mexico City, however, they don’t seem to be the objects of teenage affection as much as they were when I was growing up in New Zealand (along with Doc Marten boots and Radiohead) .
There is something about a gaggle of VW Beetles in the streets that makes me feel alright!
2. Machismo and Manners
Chivalry is not dead in Mexico, men still hold doors open and help you in and out of a taxi. There are some negatives to machismo – this isn’t one of them.
I also love the way diners say ‘Buen Provecho‘ (‘Enjoy your meal’) to all the other customers when they leave a cafe or restaurant. We were completely taken aback when it happened the first time, coming from countries where only weirdos interact with others in a restaurant we had no idea how to respond. Now we say ‘Gracias‘ and smile, loving how well-mannered Mexicans are.
I had the best coffee of my life in Mexico City in 2013. When we returned this year with only one day in the city we made sure we ordered two coffees in a row. If you want to try what is most likely the best coffee in the world head to Gradios Deli Cafe on Luis Moya in the Centro. The coffee will blow your mind! And their head Barista recently competed in the World Barista Championship in Italy so I’m definitely on to something.
I’ve also had excellent coffee at the Mexican coffee chain Cafe Punta del Cielo in Merida, Mexico City and Guadalajara and Cafe Grano in Ajijic, Jalisco. Mexican people know good coffee, it shows in their product.
4. Value for money
Mexico is cheap compared to Europe and Australia or New Zealand but a lot more expensive than South East Asia or Central America. We travel slow and try to rent houses for at least a month, but even when we splurge we still find it great bang for your buck.
5. They love my kid!
Of course I love places more if they make Dylan feel welcome but this is taking it to the extreme. Our regular taxista (taxi driver) in Lake Chapala always made sure to talk to Dylan and make him feel welcome. One day he gave him toy cars which were so appreciated as we travel light so Dylan doesn’t get many new toys.
Wait staff take Dylan off our hands so we can eat together (such a treat) and people on the bus are always so kind with giving us seats. We have been approached by teenagers wanting a photo with Dylan and have had numerous interactions with Mexican families as our children play together.
Just writing this has made me pine for Mexico, I’m hoping we have a similar experience here in Spain. If not, we’ll be heading back to the land of tacos next year. Which wouldn’t be so bad!