What I Learned From Mexico

The Goods and Bads Abroad

Marcus Roberts, Head Writer

There is a lot you probably should know if you are considering a trip to Mexico, and I hope to give you a little idea of the norms and customs if you’ve never been. I’ve only visited certain parts of the country, so the tips I give you will range from being very useful to very minor afterthoughts, depending on where you go.  

1. The Ocean Doesn’t Smell Great 

Is it the seaweed, the salt, or a mixture? I really don’t know what makes the sea smell bad down there, but it takes some getting used to. I imagined the water in the Yucatán Peninsula to be crystal clear, too, but only at the most well-kept beaches does it look as advertised. Just don’t be disappointed when you find small amounts of trash and ugly seaweed build-up when you exit the resorts. 

2. Sunscreen is Crucial 

It seems obvious until you are having fun and forget. Strong sunscreen will make your time much, much better. Re-apply according to how much time you spend in the sun… once is not enough. I know it’s hard taking on responsibilities in such a paradise, but you will be thanking yourself the following morning because of how miserable everyone else seems. 

3. Embrace the Food 

Especially near popular tourist destinations, workers will try very hard to make the most delicious meals you’ve probably ever had. In the resorts, if you arrive at the restaurant and you notice a buffet, those are probably just the appetizers. Yea, its cool. And if you don’t like seafood, no problem. Snacks touched with the best blends of sweets, spices, and sours in the Mexican culture will be one of the hardest things you will have to give up when you leave. 

4. Nothing is Free 

Everything that you buy in resorts gets charged to your room… Well, I shouldn’t say everything, but there will probably be a couple times where you thought that extra sauce was complementary. Just like in the U.S., large companies will do whatever it takes to get that extra cash. I’m not saying you will have to pay 700 extra dollars at the end of your trip; more like 700 pesos (37.76 USD) if you’re not careful. 

5. Go with the Flow 

Mexico is one of the most laid-back places I’ve ever been. If you don’t know how to speak Spanish, let your curiosity do the talking. Many people say that when traveling to a country you are not familiar with, you should never leave tourist-popular destinations or resorts because it is very dangerous. I believe this is true, but not in all cases. I understand that many Mexicans dislike rich tourists coming and living a better life than them in their own country; that is natural. However, if you take the time to learn a little about their language and culture, you can connect with them and leave with a sense of fulfillment. 

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