I know what you might think: this chick is biased; she's half Mexican. But hear me out. Yes, I may be biased. But it's true: Mexico is a truly extraordinary country.
Many people nowadays are often scared away because of the constant violence that is publicized on television. But we all know that the media loves to publicize the negative and downright ignore the good most of the time. How many times have we turned on the television just to see pure negativity? I have stopped watching the news altogether because of this all-too-common occurrence. All the negative publicity has shed a negative light on the great country that is Mexico. I have family that lives in Mexico and have spent a lot of time in the country, so I am here to share all the reasons someone should visit Mexico!
First things first, Mexico has some of the prettiest views in the world. From beaches to pyramids to ancient ruins to mountainsides, there is something for everyone! Not much for large cities? That's OK! There are tiny beach towns within driving distance from many major airports. Want to go on a hike? There are plenty of beautiful places to do that, too! Need a beach getaway? Well, you know there are plenty of those of course. Moral of the story, there is something for everyone, and wherever you go, you are in for a beautiful view!
Another thing that I particularly love about Mexico is the people. Straight up. Yes, I mean everyone, including, but not limited to, the people at the local coffee shop, grocery store, taxi drivers, local police officers, hotel employees and housekeepers. Literally, anyone you meet will have a smile on their face as they tell you, "Hello!" That's another difference from the States. When people walk by each other on the street in the States, both tend to keep their heads down and walk quickly to avoid any human contact if at all possible. It's totally different in Mexico. When you walk by anyone, it is the custom to say hello and ask how he/she is. I love this! It makes me feel connected to everyone I see and feel at home in a country I only get to spend time in once a year if I am lucky.
Not to mention that the service is 10 times better than what is custom in the States. When someone asks an employee in the States to do a complicated task in a hotel, for example, the customer is usually met with an eye roll or an annoyed face as the employee goes to see what he/she can do. In Mexico, every request is met with a, "Yes, of course, sir/madam! Let me see what I can do for you," all with a smile. The taxi drivers make great conversation no matter how long the drive, giving restaurant suggestions or asking questions to genuinely get to know you. The housekeepers really do love you and your family and want to make you feel at home when you come visit. My grandparents' housekeeper got to know my family so well that she always made a separate meal for my brother and I because she knew we were such picky eaters! She always looks out for us and feels like family. Local police officers really care for the well-being of everyone they are protecting and meet every person with a kind conversation (and sometimes a good laugh) when approached. I feel at home wherever I am, all the time!
No other country I have visited (with the exception of maybe Spain) has met me with such great service! I wish everyone I know could experience the service of this country!
The unity, as a country, is also one to applaud. I had the awesome opportunity to be in Mexico during the FIFA World Cup for two years now. For those of you not cultured in the soccer world, the World Cup is a giant soccer tournament held every four years in which the 24 best soccer teams meet to compete and determine the nation with the best team. Watch John Green's YouTube video here to learn more!
Anyways, I have been in Mexico twice now for this World Cup, and to say that it has been awesome is an understatement. I thought that Cleveland came together during the NBA finals when the Cavs made it the past few years. But they are nothing in comparison to Mexico. People in Mexico will literally paint their faces the colors of the Mexican flag to watch the game. Everyone in every city all over the country is decked in Mexico soccer jerseys. Literally everyone. I will never forget going to church one Sunday in Mexico on game day. Everyone, except for the priest, was dressed in some kind of Mexico jersey. I remember thinking how cool it was for everyone to be so united for their own country. And I remember thinking how I wished the United States could be so united for someone or something amidst all the violence in our country right now. But that's a topic for another article on a rainy day.
Another thing that I really loved seeing during the World Cup was how everyone sang the Mexican National Anthem during the games. In the States, people often protest by not singing, stay silent because they just don't want to sing/are embarrassed or simply hum it or whisper it. I know I know, some people sing it loud and proud, but they are often in the minority. In Mexico, everyone is belting it from the bottom of their hearts and with all the air possible in their lungs. They are so proud of the country, every single little part of it. It's so beautiful, and again, I wish the States could unite in such a way. We could learn a lot from Mexico, honestly. But back to my point. I hope everyone has a chance to experience this kind of love people have for their country.
All in all, Mexico really is a beautiful country that has so much to offer. I know that many people knock it for the violence that is seemingly so prevalent. But I beg you to ditch the news stories and visit the country for yourself. You will never want to go back home again. I promise. Something about the people, the ocean air and the overall atmosphere of the country is captivating. So please, if you are given the opportunity to go visit, drop everything and chase it. You will not be upset you did, I promise. So viva Mexico, and let's bring this country a World Cup win (sorry, it had to be said)!