Prologue to a Mexican Road Trip.
Last September I thought I had found The One. He was sweet, he was creative, he listened to the Grateful Dead. He broke up with me on our six month anniversary, without an explanation. Instead, I came home to find that all the things that had once been at his place, were now scattered throughout my living room.
My dog, Nilo, took it pretty hard. And yeah, I guess I did too.
Traveling heals all wounds. Or at least most of them. So I listed my condo on AirBnB and left the rest up to fate. Soon enough I had an interested renter, and accepted her request to live in my place for 6 weeks this summer. Long story short, I am currently in the process of packing all my personal items into either storage or a suitcase, and preparing myself, my Subaru and Nilo, for a six week road trip through Mexico.
I'm a bit nervous. I think most people would be pretty concerned about driving across the border, being alone, the cartel, not speaking Spanish etc. I have chosen to occupy myself with other things- like what if Nilo gets eaten by a Mexican street dog? What if I have to reverse my Subaru down a windy, steep, one lane road? What if I get the Zika virus, have a hot fling, get pregnant, and my baby ends up with an abnormally large head?
I think they call this displacement, and I'm really good at it.
But honestly, I love Mexico. I had been to Cabo a handful of times, and detested it. However, three years ago I ended up travelling to Oaxaca and Mexico City and fell in love with it. I returned to Mexico City last fall for Day of the Dead, and loved it even more. I think Mexico is a bit of an addiction. It's close enough to the US that flying down south for a long week is just as easy as a trip to Florida. Yet, I've had less problems in mainland Mexico than of anywhere else I've traveled, including Florida. And I've wandered a cemetery at two a.m. in Mexico City....
Anywhere outside of a resort is deemed as "unsafe" by most Americans. I have found this to be total bullshit. I was drugged while sitting by a pool in Cabo San Lucas when I was 25. TWICE. I had a few drinks, then could suddenly not take a step without falling over. My family thought I had a severe drinking problem, until the same thing happened to my dad, at the same resort a few years later. I wanted to stick my tongue out at all of them and scream, "I TOLD YOU SO! I ONLY HAD TWO MARGARITAS! I'M NOT AN ALCOHOLIC!"
Because stuff happens like this in resorts towns more often than one might think, it's easy to assume that life outside the adobe walls of Sandals must be really terrifying. But lets be honest- over 64 people were shot in Chicago last weekend. And it wasn't some sort of shooting rampage- it was just an average weekend in Chicago.
You are likely to be a victim of violence in Mexico if you have drugs, want drugs, or know anyone involved with drugs. You are likely to be a victim of violence in Mexico if you are hanging out in Juarez or TJ. You're likely to be a victim of violence in the US if you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like school. Or work. Or a movie theater in the suburbs.
Enough about violence.
Nilo is passed out on the couch. It's 97 degrees in Denver. I need to continue sorting things into boxes, and more importantly get a bottle of wine. My next post will likely be from a place we should truly be afraid of- Texas.
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I'm Lauri. Teacher for nine months of the year, vagabond for the other three. I've traveled to France, Russia, West Africa, SE Asia and all over the US. This summer I'll be driving to Mexico with my little dog, Nilo.