Cuba – Hurry Up and Wait

 

Welcome to Cuba. Home of famous cigars, the best rum in the world, and the land of old cars. Welcome to the place that isn’t in a hurry to do anything – meeting times are more of a suggestion and nothing is done in a logical way. But for some reason – I love this place.

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New Friends and Churros

 

My last few days in Mexico City have been full of sightseeing and walking – lots and lots of walking.

I have been spending my days with a new friend named Cinthia. She contacted me before my trip through Couchsurfing. Cinthia has some experience traveling alone, so she reached out to offer her help. 

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Singing Karaoke and High Energy Dancing

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I had mentioned to Cinthia that I wanted to go to a Mexican karaoke bar. I love karaoke back home and wanted to see what it was like here. Her friend Wen picked us up and took us to a swanky karaoke bar full of 20-something-year-olds all dressed to impress. I felt like a Grandma with how much clothing I was wearing and I wasn’t wearing that much.

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Breakfast with Strangers and La Casa Azul

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I woke up starving – probably from all the walking we had done the day prior. I set out to find a delicious meal of street food for breakfast. My morning routine has been to get street food for breakfast from a different location each time and then wander around until I get lost. Thank god for Google maps.

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How to Ride the Bus and Not Throw Up in Salsa Class

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After getting over 12 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take Mexico City on by storm. I set out to find street vendor tacos for breakfast. Gerardo had recommended his favorite local taco place called Tacos Hola. Only a two minute walk from where I am staying – Tacos Hola is a busy taco place and a favorite among locals. A little confused with the ordering system, I ordered pork tacos with guacamole and queso. It seems they only give you one taco at a time then when you finish you go back up to the counter and order another. I’ll know for next time. The best part is it’s only $1 a taco!

Next door was a hip coffee joint where the employees looked like they came straight from Seattle. I grabbed my favorite coffee, which embarrassingly enough is a decaf almond milk latte, and set to stroll around the neighborhood.

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Mexico City – Expect the Unexpected

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I absolutely love Mexico City. It is the perfect mix of old world Mexican charm with all the sophistication of a big city. Mexico City is HUGE – it’s home to over twenty million people including the greater metropolitan area. The neighborhood I am staying in, La Condesa, is known as a trendy neighborhood – expensive to live in but sought after by all the 20-something-hipsters. When I mention to a local where I am staying, it seems to be met with contempt on account of the bevy of hipsters…I’m thinking – “and…your point is?” I ABSOLUTELY love it! La Condesa is full of parks, cafes, restaurants, bars and beautiful old Spanish Colonial architecture. It is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city – day or night. My first day here I spent about an hour getting lost wandering the streets just taking it all in. Read More

Planning for the Unplanned

The plan for the unplanned trip was to buy a one way ticket to Mexico City – wing it, go wherever the wind takes me, find myself. I checked out travel guides from the library on every country in South America and began researching. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, but I knew almost nothing about South America. I assumed it was similar to Central America in the sense that it was tropical and cheap. I’m glad I had enough sense to do a little research before. Read More

Where It All Began

 

I fell in love with travel at the age of 22. I impulsively purchased a ticket to Guatemala and signed up to volunteer at an orphanage. I went knowing nothing about the culture, what to expect, or who was picking me up from the airport. I left it all up to chance and the trip ended up being one the best months of my life. I realized two things about myself while in Guatemala – I love travel and I love Latin American culture.

When I returned home, I made a vow to myself that one day I would backpack from Belize to Brazil. Fast forward six countries over seven years, and my love for travel and Latin culture has not changed. However, I still have not accomplished the goal I set for myself those many years ago. The “right companion” or the “right time” always made for suitable excuses. Read More