Takeaways from our Mexico trip — Johnny Monsarrat Mexico Trip

With the solo part of my trip complete, and vacation nearly over, I flew from Chiapas to Oaxaca, and met up with Amy to prepare for our journey home.

From Oaxaca, we flew to Mexico City, and stayed overnight at the airport hotel. It was nice to be in such luxury after some of the things we’d seen. The next morning, we had an early breakfast. The hotel served pancakes, which I love, and it was so nice to see some Northern food that I caught myself saying "Hot Diggity Dog!", after which I thought Gee, I must stick out like a sore thumb here. Those wacky Americans!

Overall, I think we got along well with the Mexicans. We certainly learned a lot about their culture, and I took a lot of notes about my experiences and the things I learned that I hope to be able to include in my book.

Below is the complete itinerary of the trip.

Thu Dec 9th travelling from Boston through Mexico City to Merida

Fri Dec 10th MERIDA. By ourselves, walking around the city.

Sat Dec 11th MERIDA. With a guide, Chichen-Itza ruins & a native village

Sun Dec 12th MERIDA. With a guide, a marketplace, and the Uxmal ruins.

Mon Dec 13th MERIDA. With a guide, biotech places & Dzibilchaltun ruins

Tue Dec 14th travelling from Merida to Oaxaca

Wed Dec 15th OAXACA. With a guide, Mitla ruins and Oaxaca City.

Thu Dec 16th OAXACA. Puttered around, ended up travelling to CHIAPAS

Fri Dec 17th CHIAPAS. San Cristobal, Indian villages & interviewed a guide

Sat Dec 18th CHIAPAS. San Cristobal, interviewed three tour guides

Sun Dec 19th travelling from San Cristobal to Tuxtla to Oaxaca to Mexico City

Mon Dec 20th travelling from Mexico City through Dallas to Houston

Traveling to Mexico gave me a reality check on the ways that humans can live, think, and interact. It broke a lot of stereotypes I'd had, and I learned a lot of cultural things that underlie Mexico's strengths and weaknesses.

I've written up the lessons I'd learned, and I share some on the following pages, because I'm trying to be a writer, and a writer should be a student of culture and life. Someday I may be able to give a book I'm writing some power by including such an insight.

I must put a caveat here. I only went to Mexico for a couple of weeks, and my trip took place at the end of 1999. Some of my perceptions could easily be wrong, and a lot of things have changed since then. These are only my impressions, although I do think they fit. I would happy to hear from you; email me at jonmon@mit.edu. Please read on to the following pages to see some of my thoughts and observations.

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