As 2022’s days are numbered, I’d like this post to show all the incredible things I did during this year. I had quite a bit of adventure and lived in a different country on a different continent. It was also during this year I decided to make this new website for my blog. I also wrote on the Stirling University newspaper about solo travel.
Living in Mexico City and my Semester at La Salle
On the 17th of January at the very start of this year I flew into Mexico City to do a semester at the University of La Salle. I was the only student from my university to do this exchange and the days before that flight I had so many thoughts in my head about the radical changes that would come. Little had I known that it would be such an incredible experience in which I made so many friends from both Mexico and around the world. Almost everything about this experience was perfect.
When it comes to living in Mexico City, there really never is a dull moment, it’s a city full of life and has a lot to offer. The incredible bars in La Condesa, the electric matches at the Azteca, the museums like the Soumaya and of course the incredible food like pastores and molletes. However, the best of all was how welcome I was made to feel during my time in Mexico, I am absolutely disgusted by how much both Hollywood and the media makes this wonderful country out to be a bad place.
Travelling Around Mexico
My first taste of travelling in Mexico came with a weekend visit to the city of Puebla which I really enjoyed. Then during a 2 week break I went with my friends to a few places, I found Cancún to be a bit too touristy. However, I enjoyed the incredible atmosphere of Tulum despite it being quite expensive. Of course I have to mention the experience of visiting Chichen Itza which was better than I expected it to be. Swimming in the cenotes which was also one of my favourite experiences.
After that, we went to Puerto Escondido, which is simply incredible and the beaches over there are legit. What made my experience was that my friends rented a car and it made it easier to see the beaches around.
Two weeks later, I took the bus down with some friends to have a weekend in Acapulco. I can’t say I’d return here as it feels like a Mexican Benidorm. Despite that, I enjoyed my time with my friends and being near the beach.
The weekend my semester ended, I went to Michoacan with my friends for the weekend and we took a look at the beautiful city of Morelia. Unfortunately for me, my trip was an unenjoyable experience due to a terrible case of Montezuma’s revenge.
When I came back from Colombia, I flew over to the city of Guadalajara which is definitely underrated and a place I want to return to. Visiting the pueblo magico of Tequila and touring the Jose Cuervo factory was quite something as well.
My last place before heading back to Mexico City for my flight home was Guanajuato, this small city in the middle of Mexico is extremely picturesque and is probably one of my favourite places. What I’d say about Mexico is that this country is simply amazing and I’m definitely planning to return in the near future.
Flying Down to Guatemala
I decided to go on a backpacking trip around Latin America and my first stop was Guatemala. I have to say that the capital where I landed felt incredibly sketchy and I felt relieved when I took the Uber over to Antigua. Then I took a flight over to the northern part of the country just to have a day to see the Tikal ruins which was the best archeological site I have ever been to. I have to say that 6 days in this country felt rushed and because of that I missed out on a lot of cool places.
Solo in El Salvador
El Salvador is the most off the beaten path country I have ever been to, It’s quite possibly the place where I saw the least amount of tourists and that’s what made my experience so incredible. This place has a bad reputation as being dangerous for gang crime, however the current president has gone above and beyond in taking down the power that the gangs once had. Moreover, this country is full of welcoming people, beautiful landscapes and some interesting history too.
Slightly Disappointed by Costa Rica
I had to wake up at 1AM to get an Uber to the San Salvador airport for my flight to Costa Rica. You’d think the torturous travelling would be over by the time I landed in Costa Rica, however I had take 2 buses which involved a lot of waiting and I didn’t get to La Fortuna until the evening. Something which severely affected my enjoyment of Costa Rica was the poor quality of public transport.
It took me a full 10 hours and 2 buses to get from La Fortuna to Tamarindo, I don’t think this is good enough considering that Costa Rica is a fairly small country and it’s the most visited country in Central America. Furthermore, it had prices similar to that of London and something that could not be helped was the fact it was the rainy season so everyday was more or less cloudy. Despite that, I found the people of Costa Rica to be very friendly, I thought Manuel Antonio was cool and I got to catch up with an old friend in San Jose.
A Short Adventure in Colombia
After Costa Rica, I spent 10 days in Colombia, which is a very small amount of time for such a grand country. I thought Cartagena had some amazing vibes, however I didn’t enjoy the overwhelming amount of menacing men on the street desperate to squeeze a few pesos out of tourists. That being said, I was blown away by Medellín, it’s an incredible city full of awesome people and I wish I had more time there.
After a frustrating 12 hour bus journey I ended up in a city called Armenia, honestly speaking it’s a dull place and has nothing in it, but I really did enjoy the amazing Valle de Cocora near Salento.
Then there was another torturous bus journey to Bogotá which is another incredible city I wish I could have spent more time in. In short, I really wish I had more time to explore this incredible country.
After 6 months of being in Latin America, it was finally time to come home, it really did feel good to finally get some rest. Travelling in that part of the world is exhausting and frustrating as much as it is exciting and enjoyable. It really made me appreciate the change of pace that and tranquility living in Stirling has. That month of travelling had overwhelmed me and I didn’t feel like going on another trip before the semester started. I hope that 2023 is much better than previous times and is a year of more adventures.