As my semester studying at Tec de Monterrey has drawn to a close, I have now begun my 8 weeks of travel before heading home to New Zealand for my final semester at UoA. I have decided to share with you just a few of the travel opportunities I have had.
I think most people have the expectation that a semester abroad will involve travel, and I found that the lighter workload at Tec gave me the ability to explore a variety of new places. Because I knew I had time to travel at the end of my exchange, I didn’t feel too pressured to adventure very far afield during the semester. Guadalajara is such a central location which makes it easy to do weekend trips, but Mexico is a very big country. In New Zealand, I would never imagine travelling 5 hours for two nights away, but in Mexico, this is an easy weekend trip.
Getting around: I mostly used buses to get around from Guadalajara. Unlike New Zealand roads, I found Mexican roads to be very straight and direct which made travel by bus super easy. So when people exclaimed how windy a trip was, I never took it as literal truth as I found the same journey a breeze. Primera Plus is a very safe and comfortable bus company, with some buses even flaunting screens on each seat, USB ports and reclining chairs. ADO is the Primera Plus equivalent that operates in Southern Mexico and they were also great. Depending on where you are heading, there are also various cheap airlines which often have good sales. Since leaving Guadalajara, I have been travelling alone. I have always felt safe and travelling alone has allowed me to meet many awesome people at hostels to explore new places with!
My first trip away was with an Australian friend to a colonial city called Guanajuato. Guanajuato is a great weekend get-away spot. We spent three nights there, with most of the time spent drinking coffee on the hostel rooftop, wandering the beautiful Callejon’s (narrow pedestrian streets), admiring the views and eating delicious food.
Another trip was out to the Pacific Coast where my friends and I stayed at a small beach-side town called Sayulita. I loved the beautiful white sand, hot weather and swimming in the ocean. The town had a cool hippie vibe about it, but it is a popular destination for American tourists which made some parts a little less typical ‘Mexico’.
I went on one organized tour, with other people from Tec and other universities in Guadalajara, to Huasteca in the state of San Luis Potosi. Although we had to take an overnight but there and back as it is on the other side of the country to Guadalajara, we spent the weekend exploring waterfalls and kayaking up turquoise coloured rivers. It was such a great trip as I’d missed nature!
I really loved Mexico City and San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas! I could write forever about the wonderful sites I have seen, delicious food I’ve eaten and lovely people I’ve met, but here are some photos for you to enjoy, and hopefully one day you will travel to Mexico to experience it all for yourself.
As I write this, I am currently sitting at a Lake edge hostel in Guatemala. After crossing over from Chiapas in Mexico, I arrived at Lago Atitlan.
I will spend almost four weeks volunteering at an awesome hostel here, before heading back through Belize to make my way to Cancun for my flight home. I have really enjoyed my travels so far and feel so blessed that I have been able to see so much of Mexico. I’ve loved making the most of my weekends exploring Guadalajara and beyond, rather than sitting at a desk studying like I do in Auckland!
I really believe Mexico has something for everyone, from hostel dorms to luxury all-inclusive hotels, street food to fancy restaurants, and cities to beaches and the jungle. I wouldn’t say it is a very popular destination for New Zealanders, but I hope my raving reviews about Mexico will encourage others to experience all that Mexico has to offer!