What I Learned from Travelling In Mexico Without Knowing Spanish

Posted on July 3, 2007 - Filed Under Personal |

In order to get here, Guatemala, I had to go through Mexico. It was my first time traveling without my family and I didn´t speak Spanish. Everyone told me that I would have no problems, that everyone in Mexico speaks English. This was my first lesson . . . not one person I met spoke English!

There were plenty more lessons on my way down here. I´ll share a few with you.

Sometimes you have to accept help from other people.
I´m not usually very good at this, but in Mexico, I learned to be a bit more humble! There was one time when I was on the bus, very tired, a little bit sick and extremely hungry because I didn´t know how to order food at the little cornfield shacks we stopped at.

A very nice woman across the aisle washed a handful of fresh plums and passed them to me in a napkin. I´m sure I would just be a sun-bleached skeleton on the side of a Mexican road if she hadn´t taken pity on a crazy white girl!

Keep your eye on the goal, you might make a few detours, but you will eventually get there!
I didn´t have a guidebook for Mexico, only one for Central America (which doesn´t cover Mexico, strangely enough). All I knew is that I needed to be in Tapachula in order to get to Guatemala, the first country in my guidebook.

I managed to get there eventually, but it took me a while. I ended up going down the Baja and when I reached the end and realized that I couldn´t get there from here, I had to take a ship across the bay, which was actually an old barge full of drunk latino men. Let´s just say it was an “interesting” experience!

Trying new things isn´t bad. I used to like comfortable things. That changed fast. Going to a foreign country is the best way to get out of your comfort zone! Before Mexico, I rarely tried anything new.

However, thanks to new experiences, I discovered some wonderful new foods that I love to this day. I also learned new words and how to dance salsa (albeit very badly!). Some of the best experiences of my life came from stepping out of my home country and heading into the wild blue yonder.

Sometimes plans change . . . and that´s ok. I was heading to Brazil for fun and sun. I now live in Guatemala with my Guatemalan husband and two beautiful little boys. What more can I say? :D

This post is being entered in the Group Writing Project #3: What I Learned From… Travel | Middle Zone Musings.

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Comments

9 Responses to “What I Learned from Travelling In Mexico Without Knowing Spanish”

  1. Toni on July 4th, 2007 9:09 am

    oh wow, love this post especially the last one :) yup plans do really change. in 2000 i made a sort of western europe trip involving paris, germany, netherlands, italy.. somebody asked me which of the countries i visited would i imagine myself living? i said all except for one - germany, guess where i live since may 2001?

  2. Genesis on July 4th, 2007 9:23 am

    Yup, things change, don´t they? I´m glad they do though, or I wouldn?t have my wonderful family here.

  3. Robert Hruzek on July 5th, 2007 6:53 am

    Wow, you didn’t just step out of your comfort zone - you took a supersonic, stratospheric leap! I like your lessons learned - good rules of the road for almost anywhere.

    Thanks for choosing to participate in the writing project this month! Hope to see you next month!

    Cheers!

  4. All Entries: What I Learned From the Travel | Middle Zone Musings on July 9th, 2007 6:24 am

    [...] themolk & Michelle?s Blog ? traveling in Mexico, by Joanna Young at Confident Writing ? Traveling In Mexico Without Knowing Spanish, by expatmom at ExPatMom ? my trip to Thailand, by mark at My Opinions Are Important ? [...]

  5. GROW YOUR WRITING BUSINESS - For Freelance Writers Who Mean Business » Blog Archive » What I Learned From Travel - Group Writing Project Roundup on July 9th, 2007 7:02 am

    [...] themolk & Michelle?s Blog ? traveling in Mexico, by Joanna Young at Confident Writing ? Traveling In Mexico Without Knowing Spanish, by expatmom at ExPatMom ? my trip to Thailand, by mark at My Opinions Are Important ? [...]

  6. WritingThoughts » Blog Archive » Group Writing Project Results Are In! on July 9th, 2007 7:18 am

    [...] What Learned From Travelling In Mexico Without Knowing Spanish, by expatmom at ExPatMom [...]

  7. Editor's Blog : More on Travel and Insurance on July 11th, 2007 5:35 am

    [...] themolk & Michelle?s Blog ? traveling in Mexico, by Joanna Young at Confident Writing ? Traveling In Mexico Without Knowing Spanish, by expatmom at ExPatMom ? my trip to Thailand, by mark at My Opinions Are Important ? [...]

  8. Allena on January 12th, 2008 10:18 am

    Mexicans are a friendly, lovely, helpful people :)

    Bet your spanish is vastly improved!

  9. Charles Westrup on July 6th, 2008 9:02 am

    Michelle-
    Hopefully, my previous email has gone through. But my computer turned off so I will repeat the writing.

    I am to be in San Juan from July 19 to August 2 studying at the Appe School. What should a first time visitor to Guatemala know? …be prepared for? Are there any items that are not available there that should be brought from the US?

    Your blogs show a lot of warmth and love. You are to be commended.

    Best wishes!
    Charles

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