Sometimes when I’m dreaming when I become wealthy in money and life experience I’ll one day settle (or at least have a vacation!) in one of the many beautiful mansions in Mexico, with a cocktail in one hand and a paint brush on the other while painting the beauty of what is in front of me – nature at its finest.
Of course, I’m far from that reality but a girl can dream alright!
Mexico has been on my bucket list since I met my best friend in Cooking school, Karla. She’s from Tijuana and she has told me all her rave about her home country and I can’t blame her for that! She’s shown me pictures and told me tales about her life living back in Mexico and I am often in awe listening to her, while imagining how my experience will be when I visit.
About four years ago she moved back with her family to Baja-California and I’ve been wanting to visit her ever since. However, with the situation I have at work, I can only have few weeks holiday in a year and traveling to the other side of the world from Finland is not only expensive but the flights are also literally a major pain in the bum (aka it takes almost two days to get there).
Since I focus mainly on European destinations in this blog, I thought to push my trip to Mexico later on when I break free from working full-time and could work remotely since Mexico is the perfect place to stay because hello wifi, beaches, and endless tostadas. I’ll live happily there, I can feel it!
Anyways, I thought of writing this post in honor of my dear friend who I miss so damn much. I want to tell you guys the experiences I want to do if I visit Mexico for the first time!
Experiences and places in Mexico I would love to do and visit
Experiences and places in Mexico I would love to do and visit
Photo credit to City Foodsters | Flickr CC 2.0
1. Visit Mexico City just to eat at Pujol, a restaurant run by chef Enrique Olvera
I know that street food in Mexico is the bomb but I used to cook in fine dining restaurants and I respect innovative chefs whom I consider rock stars. If some have Lynyrd Skynyrd as their idols, I have Ferran Adria (amongst others).
I found out about Pujol while watching Chef’s Table couple of years ago and not only it inspired me to be a better chef and seek out only the best ingredients to use in my cooking, what stunned me the most about this restaurant and Enrique Olvera is how his passion for Mexican cuisine shouts flavor that I can hear it all the way to Finland.
He travels to different places in Mexico to find the best corn to use in his tortilla, find the best beans to use in his mole and supports local farmers. Not only that, he also works closely with the producers to ensure the quality of the products that comes in his kitchen. I admire this! In the past, I’ve only worked with one great chef who has the same attitude in food and they are rare.
He’s redefining the Mexican cuisine and I would love to witness his talent and taste his food one day.
2. I’m not always about fine dining, I’ll most likely eat street food in Mexico every single day!
I’ve expressed my intention of visiting Pujol but I won’t leave Mexico until I stuffed my face with A LOT of Mexican street food. Heck, I’ll come to Mexico even just for that alone.
I’ve never had real Mexican food in my life and my friend Karla had expressed her distaste with what Mexican restaurants claims “authentic” here in Finland and I quote,
“This is Tex-Mex, not Mexican! Actually, this is not even Tex-Mex. I’m not sure what it is!”
She has cooked some Mexican food for me several times and every time, I’m blown away. She told me that it is not even close to what she can get from the food stall just outside her University but it is far better than what I’ll ever get in Finland.
I’m not entirely sure what sorts of Mexican street food I’d specifically want to have, all I know is that I’ll eat whatever they put on my plate as long as it came from animals with not more than four legs.
Photo by Frank Coronado
3. Witness Día de Muertos in Oaxaca
I’m sure there are tons of other things to do in Oaxaca and one of it is to see my friend Frank, a very talented Photographer, we met in Kerala and he is one of the 29 beautiful strangers I traveled with for two weeks! He is local in Oaxaca and he has told many great things about his hometown. Looking at the photos, he is so lucky to be living there.
One thing I remember him mentioning is this festival in Oaxaca called Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead. It is celebrated around the same time as Holloween every year. However, Día de Muertos is completely different and it is about celebrating the dead and respecting the loved ones that passed away.
You’ll likely recognize this festival easily through the face paintings as it has been widely popular go-to Holloween costume by many. The colorful skull face paintings are the trademark of Día de Muertos.
I would love to witness this festival not only because it has a strong cultural meaning that interest me a lot but also if you check out Frank’s photographs of this event, you’ll be astounded at how beautiful it can be. People gather to celebrate their loved ones in a manner that they accept death is part of us all.
4. Visit Chichen Itza
To start, I’ve always been baffled with everything that involves Maya Civilization and their mystery. My personal interest in history and architecture is limited thus I always try to learn more but it is not enough to gather information from the internet about the Maya’s, I have to witness some of their great works at one point.
My friend Karla has been to Chichen Itza and I remember her showing me a video of Kukulkan Pyramid when the sun (or light) hit this architectural marvel at the right moment and the shadow of a serpent appears. It is considered one of the greatest architectural marvels of the world!
The mathematical and astronomical calculations the Maya’s did to build the pyramid, and the whole of Chichen Itza is astonishing. At present day, it is now part of the new Seven New Wonders of the World and protected under UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Just to visit any Maya Civilization areas and learn more about them and their works is a dream of mine!
Photo by Christian Bernal | Flickr CC 2.0
5. Visit Islas Marietas
This is a new discovery for me and I’ve seen tons of articles written by online travel publishing websites and as well travel bloggers who rave about Islas Marietas.
A group of inhabited islands close to Nayarit, Mexico is where you’ll find a “hidden beach” which is famously dubbed as one of the pristine beaches one must visit in a lifetime. The beach has a dome-like structure that has a large hole in the middle that, what most thought, was the cause of bombing experiments performed by the military. Nevertheless, the beach is now a famous tourist attraction because of its uniqueness, and of course, crystal clear waters.
I would love to visit it not only because of the hidden beach but also to see the group of islands that makes Marietas which is famously known for its stunning flora and fauna.
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