I’ll be back for sure

By John Mitchell

The current swine flu outbreak and the subsequent shunning of Mexico has got me thinking about how much this remarkable country means to me. I first visited Mexico over 25 years ago, and it was the proverbial “love at first sight.” The exotic (to me, anyway) sights, smells, and sounds of what was then a much less-developed Puerto Vallarta made a lasting impression on me and opened a door that has never closed.

On more return trips to Mexico that I can remember, I rode the autobuses from sprawling Mexico City north to the handsome cities of the colonial heartland, east to the sultry state of Veracruz, south to the cultural Mecca that is Oaxaca and beyond to the jungles of Chiapas, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the haunting world of the ancient Maya. Along the way, I took thousands of photographs and made notes that would later morph into travel articles. I lingered to study Spanish in beguiling San Miguel de Allende and devoured every book about Mexico that I could find, while standing in awe of iconic Mexican writers and artists such as Octavio Paz, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

But in the end, it is the ordinary Mexican people that I met during my travels who inspired me the most. Their disarming hospitality, subtle sense of humor, and coolness in the face of countless natural and man-made adversities ensure that I, like so many other Mexico addicts, will keep coming back for more.

2 thoughts on “I’ll be back for sure”

  1. Rock on, John. You’ll be welcomed back with open arms and a plate of tacos al pastor.

    This was blown wayyy out of proportion. I don’t seem to see any headlines screaming “FLU NOT AS BAD AS WE SAID IT WAS” or “NO CAUSE FOR ALARM – EXPERTS SAY IT’S SAFE TO TRAVEL TO MEXICO” Those stories are sandwiched now between Craigslist sex offender and allergy tips.

    Pretty scary the way they promote panic but find it so hard to backtrack and say, oh, we messed up.

    I am mortified at how this country has been effectively shut down thanks to headlines. From street vendors to high-end hoteliers, everyone’s doubling over from the punch.

    {{sigh}} I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  2. I agree, Lola. The flu scare does appear to have been blown out of proportion. But what can we mere mortals do, eh? Hopefully things will return to pre-hysteria normality in a few weeks and Mexico will be back on the travel map where it belongs.

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