I’ve been in Mexico for more than 8 months, and I leave in the morning. It’s sad. The people are great, the food is fantastic, the history is fascinating, and the sights are amazing. I love Mexico.

It’s been a great adventure. I came here not knowing much Spanish (I took only a year or two of Spanish back in middle school and have studied nearly half a dozen other languages since then) and not really having any plan. I figured I’d be in Mexico City for a few months before spending a couple months in the Yucatan. After that, I’d continue south and go to the rest of the countries in Central America. I ended up spending two months in Mexico City, one month in San Miguel de Allende, one month in Cancun, one month in Playa del Carmen, and three months in Cozumel.

Each one of the places I’ve been has been great. Mexico City is a big, bustling, fascinating, and, surprisingly, often beautiful city. I was there for two months but there’s still a lot I didn’t get to do. I’ll definitely be going back. The pyramids at Teotihuacan are probably the coolest old things I’ve ever seen.

Teotihuacan near Mexico City

Teotihuacan near Mexico City

San Miguel de Allende is the single most beautiful town I’ve ever seen. I absolutely loved it. I still think about it regularly and am just amazed at how beautiful it was. Being there felt like being a couple centuries back in time.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende

Cancun was where I was introduced to beautiful beaches and warm waters. Before that, the best beaches I’d been to were in California. California’s beaches are fine, but the water is cold and dark. The beaches in Cancun are snow white, and the water is a light turquoise. Cancun is also where I first saw iguanas, which I still get a huge kick out of, even though I’ve now seen them daily for months.

One of Cancun's beaches

One of Cancun’s beaches

The beaches and water of Playa del Carmen were even more amazing, and I lived literally a thousand feet from the beach. Every day I went swimming in the Caribbean, and it was magical.

The beach near my apartment in Playa del Carmen

The beach near my apartment in Playa del Carmen

I initially went to Cozumel for only 5 days in between my stays in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It was cloudy and windy for most of the time I was there, but I did go snorkeling on the last day. I was amazed at how clear the water was. I saw dozens of different kinds of fish and followed an octopus around for an hour or so. That sealed it, and I ended up staying on the island for three more months.

Cozumel

Cozumel

I left the States 8 months ago because I was bored. I was uninspired. I wanted a change. Mexico ended up being everything I hoped it would be and so much more. I’ve seen and done amazing things. I’ve made great friends. I’ve had an incredible time. I can even sort of speak Spanish now (I can understand it pretty well, at least). This is a country that has left a deep, lasting impression on me, and I will definitely be back. I’ve only scratched the surface. As I leave, I’m saying not adiós, but hasta luego. We’ll be seeing each other again.