I was fiending for my next trip, literally, the moment I stepped on the plane to depart sunny Zihuatanejo. I knew I’d get my fix in a few days, however. I was only going back home for about a week and, afterwards, I’d be meeting up with my friend, Jacque, in Cartageña, Colombia…. But…things happen and plans change. Thanks to the ‘Rona, Colombia closed its border and so did most other places I’d planned to visit. Once the time is ripe, I’m hopping on a plane and yeeeeeerrrrr… I’m outta here!
The top 5 places I have to visit:
Cartageña, Colombia – Naturally, this would be my first pick since it is where I was initially supposed to be hanging out. I’m looking forward to the vibrant colors, relaxing on the beach, eating some hearty seafood and vegetarian meals, dancing, meeting wonderful local folks, and making new discoveries. I’ve heard so many great things about Cartageña and am ready to experience it for myself, and maybe Jacque and I can still meet up there.
Montego Bay, Jamaica – I’ve been to Montego once before, but it was for a wedding, I was with a group, and I didn’t have the freedom to roam about on my own to explore the area. I enjoyed the laid back, carefree atmosphere and fresh, straight from the tree fruits. Most of the folks I came in contact with were friendly and welcoming. I loved the food! I wasn’t pescatarian back then. This go ’round, I’ll be passing on the fantabulous goat stew, jerk chicken, and other meat filled dishes I fell in love with. The conch salad, ackee and saltfish, ital dishes, boiled breadfruit and other similar deliciousness are fair game. I’m sure I’ll find some vegetarian and vegan versions of the meat dishes.
Peru- Lima and Machu Picchu– While CouchSurfing in Mexico City, I met Yulesi. She’s a young Peruvian solo adventurer. She was finishing up her 6 month solo journey around the Americas, and I was just starting mine. We couchsurfed with the same host and hung out for most of the one day she had left in Mexico. We got along so well, almost like we’d known one another for years. She invited me to visit her hometown of Lima and to take a trip to the famous Machu Picchu. How could I pass that up?
Mexico City– What?! Again?? Yeah, I really have to go back. I met some great people while there and promised to return later this year to try my new friend, Theresa’s, La Xaymaca Jamaican restaurant. Plus, I can’t wait to hang out with Theresa and Roxanne, again. They’re amazing people.
Lagos, Nigeria – It’s time I made my way over to the Mother Land. In case you haven’t figured it out, already, I really love food, y’all. I can’t wait to dig into some pescatarian-friendly Nigerian dishes and explore the area. There are a couple of people I’m looking forward to catching up with, too.
I can’t wait to get my travel back on in the next few weeks or so…hopefully.
Have you visited any of these places? How was your experience? What are your post-Corona travel plans? I’m all ears…er…eyes.
I’ve changed my flight date out of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo so many times. Hopefully, I can stick to the one I just booked. It’s just so hard to leave. My mind keeps telling me it’s time to leave, but my heart is telling me to stay and see what will blossom from this new love affair. However, I have so much that has to be done back home in the states. Besides, I wasn’t even supposed to be in Mexico for this long! I should have been somewhere in South America by now!
I couldn’t help it!
Uggh! LOVE. I fell hard. I’m still falling in love every day. Saying goodbye is going to be so hard. If I didn’t have to take care of things back home, I’d be tempted to stay a little longer. The current global health situation has made it even easier to change my flight with the recent no-fee flight changes and cancellation offers. Let me stop thinking about that. I’m going to try hard to stick to my decision, this time.
What did I ever see in you?
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is such a lovely place. I love the beautiful beaches with the mountains in the background. The locals are so welcoming and friendly. The community is environmentally conscious, so it’s quite clean. It’s busy here, but not overly noisy. The weather is amazing. The food is always fresh, especially the seafood. It’s easy to find a spot, just about anywhere, to simply relax. I’m taking some online courses, so the ambiance is perfect for reading and studying.
This place has shown me how important it is to just slow down and drink in the moment. So, with much reluctance, I will be going home in a few days.
Oh, Ixtapa-Zihua, you’ve been so good to me. I will come back to you, soon….
In Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, and within the Costa Chica region, there’s a thriving community of Afro-Mexican people. We don’t hear much about them in the media, but they’re here. These people are descendants of those poor souls that immigrated to Mexico so many years ago in search of freedom.
A couple of days ago, I decided to venture out and check out the tourist area in town. I just wanted to see what stores and restaurants were in the plaza. Everything was too touristy for me, including the prices, so I didn’t shell out any coins, except to purchase a delicious coconut and coconut water from a street vendor. The street vendor, like the majority of locals here, is Afro-Mexican. As a side note—he offers a fantastic rate of only $30 pesos (about $1.62 USD at the time of this writing). If you see him around in Ixtapa, flag him down and get your coconut and coconut water!
Each day here, as I walk around town, there’s always that feeling that I’m among family members. It’s especially easy since I often meet locals who resemble my close relatives. I learned that many slaves from North Carolina found refuge in the Mexican state of Guerrero. When I’m out and about, I’m always in the mindset that the locals I meet, like the lady with the two small children standing in the sweltering sun trying to sell peanuts to passersby, just might be my not too distant cousin.
From food and dance, to hair textures and some ideologies, it’s really interesting being able to experience Africa in Mexico.
If you’re interested in learning more about African roots in Guerrero, I suggest that you pay Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo a visit