First Time in Mexico
I wish I could have read Genevieve’s enthusiastic endorsement of Mexico before I visited the country for the first time last week, but alas, I only had my family’s swine-flu-and-violence hysteria to turn to. Luckily, I headed south of the border anyway–I’m old enough to know that anything that scares my parents is going to be great fun. Also, I had a work event to attend, and it happened to include five days of sun, sand, and frozen cocktails.
So what’s Cancun like right now? Only twice was I reminded of Mexico’s role in the swine flu pandemic: upon my arrival and upon my departure. My flights were only about 20% full, and Cancun International Airport zapped us with infrared thermometers and symptom surveys to ensure we were flu-free before entering or leaving the country. These checks only took a few seconds, though, and since the airport was virtually deserted, baggage pick-up and check-in took only seconds as well.
Other than those quick tests, the only temperatures I concerned myself with were those of the ocean, air, and pool. The resort I visited wasn’t full, but the vacationers there seemed absolutely at ease as they kicked back and worked on their tans. Any thoughts of the flu floated away while I cozied up to the swim-up bar, and while my view of Cancun was limited to this one area (the resort, not the swim-up bar), the white sand, clear water, mango groves, and friendly people were enough to make me want to return to the Yucatan to explore. And I’d go again tomorrow; Mexico is summer’s best deal, after all!
Photo courtesy of Catherine Sbarra
My name: Michelle Doucette
How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at IgoUgo.com.
Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.
Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.
Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.