Late last year, I traveled to Mexico and was inspired by all the beauty of my home country. I traveled with my sister in hopes of catching a small break from the monotonous life in the United States. We decided to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes and our hometown in Zacatecas. Beyond escaping our day-to-day routines, we were seeking adventures that would bring us closer to our heritage and connect us with our roots.
We started our trip with the beautiful city of Guadalajara where we explored the rich history through various museums and visited the local town of Tlaquepaque, known for its art community and artisan boutiques. From there, we briefly visited Mexico City during an eight-hour layover and ate our heart’s desires to fuel-up for the day’s adventures. We got to see Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s home in Coyoacan and purchased alebrijes from street artisans before heading to the nearby mercado. We were exhausted from a day of walking and ruthless Uber drivers and ultimately feasted on pozole before jumping back on a plane to travel to Guanajuato.
Once there we explored all the colonial streets as well as participated in a callejonada before a delicious dinner of enchiladas mineras, popular to the city of Guanajuato. We got to explore San Miguel de Allende, where we met a kind man who revealed to us our Aztec birth symbols during an emotional spiritual ceremony. Our trip came to an end with a toast to life with a shot of Casa Dragones Tequila Joven, a delicate tequila native to San Miguel and one we most definitely recommend!
From being serenaded to toasting with Guanajuato’s finest tequila, our trip came to an end and we went off to Aguascalientes, Mexico’s smallest state. Indeed, we found a small state but we also discovered its large cultural presence. Aguascalientes is home to the Catrina, the traditional day of the day skeletal image of a woman as well as a robust artisan community. Right around the corner of our amazing hotel, Hotel La Casa del Jardin we had vegan food and mezcal mixed drinks the size of our heads! My sister was finally able to meet her Godmother and we closed out our trip feeling thankful for the opportunity to have bicultural experiences with family in the United States as well as Mexico.
Our final destination was home. Home, home. It was the place where my sister was born and had not visited in over six years and it was the town where both of my parents were born and lived into their young adult years. It was the last home we had before everything changed and we moved to the United States. As you might imagine, it’s always emotional going back. It’s more than a trip and more like an endless amount of questioning on what could have been and how different our lives would be.
Nevertheless, visiting our home of Nochistlan, Zacatecas is a treasurer and while the political atmosphere has created uncertainty, the city’s humility is unchanged. We visited family and friends and despite the 21 years that have passed since we left, it still feels like this town is ready to take us back. Perhaps it’s the pressures of the United States but being in Mexico puts many things into perspective. It’s a genuine realization that nothing else in the world matters except what is right in front of you at the moment. It’s an experience where you realize that your happiness is dependent on your ability to live in the now.
The trip was everything we needed and it included healing and growth. I want to know more about my heritage and my cultural background and I’m ready to continue the adventure to travel to every other state in Mexico. The experience of being bicultural is beautiful and it’s the beauty of my native country that keeps me wanting to return.