My first solo trip out of the US was To Mexico City in 2018 at the age of 29. After spending years without a vacation and only one long weekend spent as a goodbye trip with a friend before I moved to Arizona, I was finally making time for travel in my life.
Before living in Arizona, I spent all my money, time, and energy focusing on my career as a Costume Designer. I was ok leaving my dream of traveling the world as just a dream. I loved my career, but after years of working in multiple toxic workplaces and never getting further in my career than where I was when I started, I was left feeling empty. I had given up a lot with nothing to show and no joy to be found. It was then when a promise started forming in the back of my mind, a promise that I would put my childhood dream of traveling to the forefront of my life as a nonnegotiable for my future. This promise was one I made after my trip to Mexico, and it is one that continuously drives all my decisions in my life. If I were to fail at everything else, I would be ok with it as long as I could say I’ve seen the world and connected with others.
What was so special about this trip that made me make good on this promise, quit my job, and move halfway around the world to Korea? What about this trip was so life-changing that it awoke my spirit?
The answer is everything and nothing. The truth about traveling solo is that it’s lonely, challenging, and at moments even scary. For me, all those hard moments are worth every moment of joy and exploration. It’s worth it to learn more about history and culture and connect with people whose; values, interests, and ways of life differ from yours.
The lyrics from Imogene Heap’s song back when she went by Frou Frou come to mind.
“So, let go
Oh well, what are you waiting for?
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
So, let go.”
There is beauty to be found in the hardest parts of life, and sometimes I wonder if the messy part of life makes other moments more joyful. For me, during this trip, it definitely did.
I flew into Mexico City (CDMX) in the late afternoon after a long flight delay and had no idea what was ahead of me when I stepped off the plane. I naively thought immigration would be quick and easy. To be fair, it was easy but quick, absolutely not. My first time experiencing immigration at an aport made me feel like I was experiencing was catted did when being herded into their pens. The excitement for what’s to come with the frustration of going nowhere fast. There must have been hundreds of people packed into the immigration area fighting just to get into the line for immigration.
When I finally got through, I was starving so I hailed an Uber outside the airport since It was dark. I wasn’t comfortable navigating public transportation at all. I have only been on public transport a dozen times before, once in LA and a few times in NYC. I chose the easy option and arrived at my hostel within the hour.
I had checked in and was ready for some tacos. I had to take care of my last order of business before I could relax. While purchasing my sim card from the front desk of my hostel, I saw another person checking in. So I took a deep breath and asked if she was hungry. Luckily she was, and after she got settled, we, along with another person who had just checked in to our hostel, headed out for some much-needed tacos.
My first night was laid back and a success. I met another solo female traveler (K) who would become my travel buddy for most of the trip and relaxed with a few drinks for the rest of the evening.
More to come about my 9ish days in Mexico City!
Day 2 Día de los Muertos
Day 3 Wins and Fails
Day 4 Frida’s House
Day 5 Part 1 The Day I Found My WHY
Day 5 Part 2 Soumaya
Mexico City Day ? The Risk of Being a Woman
Day 6 Teotihuacán and Basilica de Guadalupe
Day 7 El Zócalo
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** For privacy reasons I have change the names of people who I have met just refuring to them using letters. Please read my disclaimer for more info