They told me it was dangerous. Lots of bad people there, they said. I was told to take care.
And so before I arrived I felt apprehensive, and often, before I left each day to head out on to the open road, quite fearful. I came to realise though that a lot of the fear I was holding was just other people’s fear. Perhaps that was one of the reasons why I was at my happiest in Mexico. I expected the worst, yet received the best.
It was the people. Their openness. Their care. Their hospitality. Their love.
Not just once or twice, here and there, as has happened quite a bit on my journey in other parts of Latin America, but regularly, invited into homes, sharing food, deep in conversation, creating happiness.
Perhaps I could put it down to finally having language skills that were good enough to have people want to invite me into their homes. Or maybe it has something to do with the confidence I now carry that has come with many months of cycling experience. But, no, I think not. Whenever I happened to stop in a place, and before I’d even opened my mouth people would come to me – unconditionally, yet deeply curious.
Maybe my happiness came from the diversity in the landscapes I encountered there – the cool green mountains, the hot dry coastline, the flat sparse desert, the flowing rivers. I was often at peace with myself through the nature. But that was only because it felt much easier and safer to put a tent up and rest easily for the night than in other places I’ve been.
Whatever way I look at my time in Mexico and the happiness I experienced; it always seems to come back to the people.
And so I stayed there much longer than I had anticipated. I had originally intended to go through Mexico as quickly as possible, partly because of the implanted fear. Instead I opened up further to the flow of life and deepened into happiness.
I am sad to leave. Of course. From here on in Mexico has a special place in my heart, and I carry in my heart as I travel onward all the people I met there. . .