12 Reasons Why Americans Should Backpack Through Mexico
1. Because you’ll meet Mexicans of all backgrounds–not just the waiters, taxi drivers and those who work at your hotel. When you meet the locals who aren’t being paid to be nice to you; you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their pure kindness and hospitality.
2. Because you’ll eat the street food–instead of Italian, Mediterranean or the Americanized version so commonly found in Vallarta and Cancun. When you taste your first street taco filled with tender cochinita, tinga or lechon–it will blow your mind.
3. Because there’s nothing more liberating than dropping your hairdryer, makeup, fancy clothes, uncomfortable shoes and stripping yourself of unnecessary crap and really exploring a new place.
4. Because you’ll meet travelers from around the globe with impressive stories; entertaining and wacky expats; and impossibly friendly locals eager to show you their city and the spots they love. You’ll be amazed how much fun you can have sharing a meal with strangers.
5. Because a beach is better when you feel like you’ve discovered it: after you’ve hiked to it, surfed on it, took a ferry, or sailed to it.
6. Because you’ll be rewarded with private beaches, tranquil sunsets, refreshing swimming holes, vibrant city markets, colorful cultural events, stunning ancient ruins, rousing cantinas, impressive live music–hidden adventures–where you may be the only one or one of few foreign tourists.
7. Because there’s so much more to Mexico than beaches, margaritas, mariachis. There’s more than a drug war, poor immigrants and the negative news spread by the American media–and you’ll never know unless you leave your country or leave the resort.
8. Because you’ll learn that Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo are suddenly a lot less interesting, exciting or beautiful when you’ve seen San Cristobal de las Casas, Oaxaca and it’s Pacific Coast, Puebla, Guanajuato or Guadalajara.
9. Because for the price of one week in an all-inclusive you can put your money toward deserving, locally owned restaurants & food stands, guesthouses & hostels, market stalls and small tour companies–and still have money to spare.
10. Because you’ll discover that Mexico City is a vibrant Metropolitan place with beautiful breezy parks, swanky neighborhoods, impressive architecture, a lively nightlife, more museums than anyone could visit, beautiful people, heaps of tasty food and a metro system that could take you nearly anywhere in the massive city for just 20 cents.
11. Because as our nearest neighbor to the south Mexico packs a lot of cultural punch for the price of an inexpensive plane ticket, and a very manageable half day of travel.
12. Because the tan fades; but the memories don’t