That was me at 4am this morning.
I was hungover and working on only about an hour of sleep.
I hilariously booked my flight to Mexico City, the kick-off to 3 months of travel in Central America, to leave at 6am……the morning after my mom threw me an epic Bon Voyage party with dozens of my friends and family and bottles of Shiner. Shortly after this photo was taken, I stood in a mega-long TSA security line, then sprinted to the gate and ended up being only one minute away from missing the flight entirely.
Talk about a rough start. I was lucky I didn’t puke up that Shiner.
I’d spent the night before tossing and turning, worrying about the journey I knew I had to make from Toluca airport to central Mexico City, one that involved a bus, a walk and then a subway ride, then more walking. I’d been warned by dozens of friends and family the night before, who (meaning well) had warned me that Mexico City can be dangerous for a woman alone. My stomach was churning. I thought about all of those who’d wished me luck the night before and told me to be careful, and I actually, for a second, started to wonder if what I was doing was the right thing.
Should I really be leaving my incredible family and friends behind? Was I really prepared to go to Mexico on my own? Did I really want to go to Mexico on my own? Do I have what it takes to be a full-time traveler, despite that being my dream since I was a kid? Should I just see if the airline will refund my money or change the flight to go back to LA where I can pick up where I left off in my TV career?
Despite all of those thoughts, this is me right now:
I am nothing short of miraculously happy.
I’m happy because the moment I stepped off the plane in Toluca and looked up to see the mountains in the distance, I started laughing. Just gleefully laughing. At myself. For being such an idiot.
As soon as I breathed in the Mexico air, I felt that tinge of excitement in my belly. I’m assuming if you’re here and reading this, you know the tinge I’m talking about. It’s the feeling of being in a brand new place, a strange but wonderful location, with so many new sights and sounds and smells and tastes and challenges to discover.
It’s the feeling of adventure, stampeding toward you at full speed.
That’s what I felt as I de-planed and lined up for immigration. Shortly afterwards I was on the shuttle bus towards Mexico, where I made a friend in a man named David, from Florida, who owns an English school in Mexico City. David showed me the way to the metro from the bus station and even rode with me to make sure I got the ride stop for my hotel. I checked in, tossed my backpack on the bed and opened up my windows to this:
I stood there gawking out my window at the incredible view of the Plaza de la Constitucion, bordered by the National Palace and a massive cathedral and decked out with the biggest Mexican flag I’ve ever seen. And I remembered how much I’ve dreamed of moments like this. I remembered the reason I am totally ok with offensively early flights, TSA security lines, and lugging a heavy backpack while trying to navigate a public transportation system in a new city.
It’s because it allows me moments like this!
The joyful energy flowing through me right now is incredible, but I’m still barely holding my eyes open. It’s time for bed – a world of adventures awaits me tomorrow!
Have you ever been to Mexico City? Any tips or advice for what to see? What to eat?