Since our last update, we kind of left you on a cliff-hanger not disclosing our future plans. The reason for it was that we simply didn’t know if our plan was gonna work out. Initially, we wanted to visit South East Asia and spend a few months there. Yet, the borders remained closed, thus our original idea failed. Nonetheless, our backup plan worked out and we made to Mexico! Therefore, in this article, I’ll talk more about travelling in Mexico and what our first impressions are.
To start with, we have been planning to take sort of a ”gap year” for a very long time now. Yet, due to obvious circumstances, our itinerary was compromised and we were convinced that Asia is not going to welcome us this year. So, we started looking into which countries are open to international visitors, are warm and not too expensive. Once the Mexico option came into the picture, we started researching it and it kind of met all of our criteria. Thus, just a couple of months later we made it to Mexico and are currently settling in this amazing country.
Travelling to Mexico
The trip here from Europe is rather long, however, airlines are currently offering pretty good deals. In addition, there are direct flights from Frankfurt, Paris or London to Cancún (a touristic city in the Yucatan peninsula). Due to current border restrictions, we opted for the most convenient option of flying non-stop from Frankfurt to Cancun. After 12 hours in the air, we made to Mexico. What is interesting, there are currently no entry restrictions to Mexico. That means all travellers arriving by air are allowed to enter the country and are given a 180(!) days visa for free. Let that sink in for a moment. 180 days VISA for free. The only thing you need to do before going through customs is to fill in a form with your personal information. In some occasions, you might also be asked to fill in a ”health declaration”, however for us, this was not the case. Clearly, Mexico takes a different approach in comparison to other countries and it’s for each individual to decide if they want to make use of it or not.
First impressions of Mexico
Even though it’s our first time in Mexico, we have heard so many things about it. Both the good and the bad. While some claim that it’s very dangerous and, arguably, you shouldn’t be travelling here. Others praise the friendliness of locals, the beauty of nature and, of course, the amazing food. After being here for 9 days now, I agree with the latter. The locals are nothing but friendly and cheerful. They always smile, give you their own umbrella when it’s raining outside or want to get to know you whenever they have the chance. On top of that, the food is amazing. I’m sure you’re all aware of her majesty – Mexican cuisine. So yes, the food is as good as they say. The tacos, burritos, quesadillas and other local delicacies do live up to the expectations. Lastly, it’s hot out here. And having lived in Sweden for the last 4 years, we did miss some warmth. So, now it’s time to catch up. Important to note, that the wet season is just ending now. Therefore, rain showers or even storms are still quite common these days, so you can’t really plan your days too much in advance and have to build your activities around the weather.
Safety in Mexico
Nowadays, safety is twofold, as there is the corona safety and general safety. Starting with the first, Mexicans do have clear regulations and most of the people stick to them. That includes wearing a mask (almost) everywhere, getting your temperature checked before entering any establishment and of course using the hand sanitizer. In addition, the hotels and hostels can only fill up 30% of their capacity (depending on the situation in a region). All these measures make travelling here pretty safe, from the corona point of view.
As for general safety, so far, I also have only a positive impression. In the state of Quintana Roo (where we currently are), there is a ton of police patrolling around. In the evening, you’ll see a police car in every major street. Whereas, in the transport hubs such as bus stations or ferry terminals, even the national army is watching your back. It was a rather strange experience to have heavily armed army guys watch you board a boat or a dog sniff your stuff for drugs in a bus. But hey, all that is done for our own safety. Of course, you need to be careful at night (just like in any other country) and don’t go to back alleys by yourself. But, generally, I can conclude that Mexico left an impression of a safe country.
We made it to Mexico in 2020 and it seems like a great country to travel to right now. There are no entry restrictions, you don’t need a negative COVID test and there are no requirements for self-isolation upon arrival. On top of that, the wet season is about to end, bringing in warm and hot weather. What is more, the locals are super friendly and helpful, and the cuisine is just perfect. Even though we have been here just for a few days and haven’t even seen that much yet, Mexico leaves a positive first impression.
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