Top 10 Things I Love About Mexico

Art and culture are on display everywhere in Mexico.

Art and culture are on display everywhere in Mexico.

Our stay in Mexico is approaching the end, and it is appropriate to reflect on our experiences. We still have another month and a half before our final departure. However, I will be on assignment in the U.S. for four weeks. So before our stay draws to a close I want to share my Top 10 list for Mexico:

Ancient civilizations left their mark.

Ancient civilizations left their mark.

1. Restaurant Food – There are fabulous restaurants in Mexico. Our host, Jim Horn, has introduced us to the finest eateries in Cuernavaca.
2. Fresh Fruit – The variety and abundance of fresh fruit is the best in the Western Hemisphere. Everything grows here.
3. Hospitality – The people are friendly and helpful. They want visitors to feel welcome, and we do!
4. Health Care – On the few occasions when we needed care, we found world class health care at reasonable prices on our “pay-as-you-go” plan.
5. Climate – While it was snowing in places in the U.S., I was getting a tan. Enough said.
6. Cheese – Before arriving in Mexico, I was craving good cheese. We found great cheeses in Mexico!
7. History – The remains of civilization in Mexico rivals the relics of the Old World dating back thousands of years.
8. Butterflies and Hummingbirds – We have never seen so many of these beautiful creatures in one place.
9. Diversity of Culture – Movies, art, theater, music, indigenous culture, it is all here.
10. Infrastructure for Tourism – There is an excellent transportation system and the roads are well maintained.

Honorable Mention

Artisans and food vendors abound.

Artisans and food vendors abound.

Safety – The bad rap Mexico gets in the American media is simply unfair. We have felt as secure in Mexico as anyplace we have been in the U.S. or any other country we have visited.
Tranquility – Our recent visit to the town square on a Sunday was typical. Families were out with their children. Young people strolled while holding hands. Elderly folks sat with friends in sidewalk cafes sipping coffee.
Shopping – We frequently stroll among shops and stalls to see what is for sale. Most recently we bought a brightly painted ceramic crucifix for 40 pesos ($3.40) and a nicely crafted carry-on backpack for 180 pesos ($16.50).

Did we miss anything?

Birds and butterflies visit me often in my "office."

Birds and butterflies visit me often in my “office.”

Mexico is a big country, and we missed seeing a lot of it. Neither of us are what you would call “beach people,” so we did not visit the coast. Nor did we make it to Puebla, Yucatan or the lush southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. There is simply too much of Mexico to take in over a short span of time. Some might say, “But you had six months! That is plenty of time to see so much of Mexico.” That may seem true. However, we are not on vacation. Vacation living is often expensive and exhausting.

Mexico is a big and scenic country.

Mexico is a big and scenic country.

We adopted our Six Monther lifestyle to take life at a normal pace. We attended some expat meetings. We saw a couple of first-run movies. We found local shops for food and services. We adopted exercise routines. We even published a book. In order to take in more of the things worth seeing, we will need to return someday and perhaps we will. However, there is much of the world yet to see.

Our home for the second half of 2013 will be Scotland. Have you visited Scotland? What do you think is a must-see destination?

living in Mexico

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31 comments on “Top 10 Things I Love About Mexico

  1. mkesling63 says:

    Counties get their reps from tourist and border towns.

  2. reocochran says:

    Wonderful summary of your best and favorites! The mural comes up on the reader and that is one of my favorite to see from your stay there! Much happiness in each adventure!

  3. jhornmex says:

    I love your office Mike!

  4. I agree with everything you wrote in your post. Mexico is a large and very diverse country, and every area has its own special flavor. There are many parts of Mexico that we have not visited, but of the places we know, the thing they all share is a vibrancy in life. We have been living (you’re right, it’s not vacation) in Oaxaca for 5 months, and all the things you mentioned, such as art, great food, beautiful scenery, history, and friendly welcoming people are part of daily life.

    We are returning to Alaska in 2 weeks, but will definitely come back to this “opposite world” next fall. Where we live, the term “snowbird” has a somewhat derogatory hint to it, so I prefer to think of myself as a humpback whale…summer in Alaska, winter in Mexico!

    I have enjoyed all your posts, and look forward to learning about life in Scotland.

    • Oaxaca and Chiapas are high on the list of places I would still like to visit. Everyone I have spoken with raves about how beautiful those areas are. If nothing else, I hope people learn from those of us who have traveled to Mexico that most destinations are nothing like the negative news stories emanating from the American media.
      Migratory humpbacks – I love it! 🙂

  5. You’ve really piqued my interest in exploring some of Mexico. Admittedly, there are areas that I would not go to… I do think that the “bad rap” it’s gotten in the American media, is well earned for certain areas. It just isn’t as prudent to be certain areas of Mexico now. But, as you share, it’s a big country and we don’t see that in the news. I adore hummers; the idea of seeing so many is fantastic! I love what you’ve shared Mike, and it makes it much more interesting for those of us who haven’t been there… yet. 🙂

    • There is no doubt the Mexico – U.S.border areas are tragically affected by drug traffic and the related violence. There is so much money involved that it is way too easy to buy the influence and protection of government officials. That sort of corruption is hardly in evidence outside of the drug traffic routes. As you indicated, there is so much more to Mexico that is amazing to see and experience.
      Thank you as always for adding your perspective. – Mike

  6. Hey Mike! Living in southern California, I’ve been to Mexico several times, but only just over the border. Someday I’d like to go further into Mexico and experience some of the wonderful things you mentioned here – except the cheese, of course;). Going from Mexico to Scotland is going to be a dramatic change! Your 6-monther lifestyle sure makes life interesting!

    • Even though the weather will be cooler, I think Florence is looking forward to living in Scotland, in part because she won’t be as dependent on me to translate while we are in an English-speaking country. For my part, I will enjoy a return to the northern latitudes in hopes of getting in some skiing for the first time in several years!
      The cheese cravings came as a surprise to me. If you have any vegan options that would address that particular craving, by all means let me know. As always, Celeste, thank you for your comments.

  7. Jaime says:

    Seven of the 50 most violent cities in the world are NOT located in the northern border of Mexico, they are in the interior. Believe me. I spent two years there and will never go back because of the things that happened to me and my neighbours. My heart goes out to the many good Mexicans who have to live in what is a physically beautiful place on the verge of becoming a narco state.

  8. Angeline M says:

    Thanks for emphasizing the positives! Mexico is a beautiful country.

    • For too long the U.S. attitude toward Mexico has been to place its boot on the throat of Mexico and keep it there. We must eventually have a relationship that we can be proud of. Our futures are inexorably linked.

  9. reocochran says:

    I think looking back that the food, the butterflies and the hummingbirds would have been nice for me to experience more of and the time well spent, too! My trip through Mexico was one week versus such a nice, leisurely absorption of the culture you had! Take care!

  10. Yesenia says:

    Would absolutely love to take a trip to Mexico one day. I can’t imagine how great it would be to experience the food and scenery first hand.

  11. sianandara says:

    Im headed to Mexico soon and your blog has been really helpful. So you say the violence/ crime is overstated? How exactly did you get around, hoping to do it on a budget, Im from Scotland so can offer you advice in exchange!!

    • Your question is a good one and appropriate. Living in Cuernavaca (about an hour south of Mexico City) we have never experienced or witnessed any crime or violence. That is not to say that all parts of Mexico are as peaceful. The people I have spoken to say Oaxaca and Chiapas in the South are also quite tranquil. I will follow up in greater detail via your contact information to trade more detailed information about Mexico and Scotland. – Mike

  12. I discovered “Applecore” through Dawn at “Tales From the Motherland”. (http://talesfromthemotherland.me/) and boy howdy, am I glad I did. What a fantastic journey you must be on! And sharing it with the world is a gift to those of us fortunate enough to have landed here. Vaya con Dios, Miguel!

  13. Xraypics says:

    There’s nothing like living in a place to get to know it – fly-in-fly-out visits miss so much. Great blog, thanks. Tony

  14. My husband and I will be retiring to San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, where my parents live along with our oldest son and daughter-in-law. We love it there! I have been to Scotland and I would highly recommend you to see a few of the islands in the Western Hebrides. Our retirement goal is to live 3/4 of the year in Cabo and 1/4 in Scotland or Ireland! 🙂

    • It sounds to me like you have wonderful retirement plans with your family! Thank you for your recommendation. We will definitely take in the islands. Scotland should provide me with plenty to write about! – Mike

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