It’s been exactly a month since I first arrived in Mexico and I can’t help but think it has gone by way too fast. In the short span of 4 weeks, I have settled into my new home in Puebla, Mexico, adjusted to having roommates for the first time, met amazing new friends, tried new food and traveled to various cities around Mexico, on top of keeping up with my classes!
I couldn’t be happier with choosing Mexico as my destination for the semester. As a Mexican-American, I didn’t experience much culture shock. As I’m fluent in Spanish, there was no language barrier but I have come across many differences including accents, and slang that I’m not familiar with. Taking classes in Spanish has proven to be a bit more difficult than I had anticipated but its something that I’m glad I’m working on.
My favorite part of being here has definitely been the food. I’ve discovered plenty of amazing Mexican food that I hadn’t heard of and I already know it’s something I will truly miss, once the semester is over.
One of my first trips was to Tepoztlan, which is a town that’s famous for having a pyramid on a clifftop above the town. The goal was to hike up to reach the pyramid. It was a short but strenuous hike but it was worth it. Sitting at the very top was the pyramid, where many sat down to rest and regain energy for the way back, while also taking in the amazing views of the town below.
I also got to experience a traditional carnival that happens once a year in Cuernavaca. The whole town takes part in this event and gets together to dress up as “Chinelos,” which is the blend of Indigenous and Catholic traditions for Independence Day celebrations.
Locals started gathering as early as 10am until dark, to celebrate and dance. The city blocks where full of locals in colorful costumes, and there was music, and street vendors everywhere. Something I learned is how many states throughout Mexico have their own festivals and how each state has their own colors when it comes to their costumes.
Puerto Vallarta y Sayulita!
Sayulita was very small but full of color and the best way to describe it is a “hippie surf town.” Here I got to surf, eat lots of seafood including shrimp tacos and aguachiles, and enjoy the warm weather lounging at the beach.
In Puerto Vallarta, I was surrounded by amazing views. The scenery was incredible – picture bright green palm trees everywhere. The beaches were lined by tropical jungles and the water was clear and warm. Being there made me think of home and how much I’ve taken having the beach close by for granted. Although I’m having the time of my life in Puebla and I’m definitely not ready to go back home, I do miss the beach at times, so it was a nice weekend getaway.
My time here has been amazing so far and although it has only been a month, I know that the semester will fly by. I already have more trips planned and I can’t wait to update on my upcoming adventures here in Mexico!