Six years ago I flew to Malaysia on a one-way ticket and embarked upon a quest to find a place to call “home” – and I think I’ve found it at last.
After comparing many countries to the UK, I feel kind of silly/embarrassed that I left with so much animosity towards the place. It’s not perfect by any means, but it still has a lot to be proud of, people have more rights there than most countries on earth and do me a favour…find a Venezuelan or a Saudi and explain to them how “f***ed up” your government is.
But be careful…they’ll probably die laughing.
I know that travel bloggers writing about how they’ve become a functioning adult in society and are finally happy to live in one place for more than 6 months a year can become tedious very fast. So I’m going to try and make this more about why Mexico City is brilliant and why it seduced me into eventually committing to nail down roots there, as opposed to wanting a gold star for being a fake grown-up.
Why I Love Mexico City
I ended up in the very creatively named capital of Mexico – Mexico City by complete accident. I was living in Colombia and their visa situation is a little trickier than Mexico’s. I wanted to live in a Spanish-speaking country until I could get a new visa and then return to Colombia. That didn’t happen (long story, won’t bore you with the details) but it all worked out for the best because I instantly preferred Mexico over Colombia.
Here are my reasons why I’m so Mexismitten. Some of them may be important to you, a few of them only applies to my personal preferences:
I always had a feeling that this would be a big (or even the main) factor when choosing a home. I used to suffer seasonal affective depression in the harsh northeast England winters and I notice that I’m overall considerably more positive when I get my natural form of vitamin D.
The capital of Mexico still experiences seasons, but even our winters are warm throughout the day – summer fashion by day, winter trend by night. Jackpot.
Mexicans are bloody lovely. There are some annoyances of course such as the lack of personal space and interrupting a conversation is not even considered a rude thing over here – I accept that it’s a cultural difference and if I am going to live here it’s simply something that I need to adapt to.
There is a general consensus that people from capital cities are coldhearted and impolite. I would say that this is a fair stereotype, but Mexico City seems to be the exception to this rule. I’ve found the locals nothing but welcoming and warm.
Also, I love the unspoken Latin social contract when you greet people with a good morning, good afternoon and wish them an enjoyable meal. Ladies are graceful and men are gents in Mexico City and I’m a fan of good old-fashioned manners, it hurts no one.
Mexico is Massive
Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world. Considering I’ve been working a lot, I have only managed to see the tip of the iceberg and I like what I see already. Living in Mexico will offer plenty of day/weekend/week trips for when I’ve been working too much and need to get offline and out into nature…so I can log back online to tell everyone how amazing the nature is. 😛
Mexico packs quit a hefty punch of things a wanderer can see and do; pyramids, cenotes, beaches, Aztec culture, Mayan culture, Toltec culture – Mexico has more than enough, I could probably travel here for my full 6-month tourist visa and still miss out on a lot.
Mexico’s food is famous all around the world and luckily for me Mexico City is vegan-friendly. The main base of the food is usually beans and avocado, I just find a way to veganise famous Mexican meals (my favourite being Mole Poblano) if I cook myself and I have a handful of vegan restaurant favourites that do just that.
I’m unpopular in most western vegan circles when I ruin their party and tell them the word “vegan” isn’t well-known and there are still quite a lot of countries that don’t know what it is. Hell, some vegetarian menus have chicken on them!
I don’t get why it would upset someone that their movement is new – they all have to start somewhere. Fortunately for myself, Mexico City is a progressive place and I don’t go hungry here.
They Speak A Language That I Actually Want To Learn
I’ve been learning Spanish since the day I arrived in Colombia. It’s a constant work in progress, but I know enough to get around South/Central America and I’ll look forward to learning more and speaking this beautiful language on a daily basis when I return.
Colombian and Venezuelan are the sexiest of Spanish in my opinion, Mexico City’s is a little fast but clear enough for me to understand.
I Have A Good Group Of Friends Here
There are fewer things in life that are more important to me than friendship. I’ve seen good ones come and go over the years and it never gets easier when I feel a strong bond has lost its grip. I have both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking friends here and we regularly meet up to go bowling, eat out, cinema and I need that in my life so much – it’s absolutely vital for my happiness.
Honourable whiney reasons not to love Mexico City: Busy traffic, terrible restaurant/cafe service, polluted air, AWFUL postal service.
So there we have it – if the sun is in the sky, I have a full belly and I’m around good people – I’m happy to call that place home. Of course there are a lot of places in the world that have these things, but this just feels right.
I’m leaving Mexico at the end of the month and getting back on the road for about a year and then I’ll be coming back here to lay down some roots, buy a place (in cash), start a podcast and get stuck into starting my own charity.
Fun times! If you are reading this and are in search for your own place to call home – good luck, you will find it and you may just find it when you’re not even looking. 🙂
If you want an alternative view about Mexico City from someone who lives here, loves it, but unlike the majority of travel bloggers – doesn’t mind sacrificing fake positivity for a couple of uncomfortable truths; check out Gonzo Stu’s post about Mexico City and the police.