My Travel Bucket List: The reasons I’ve always wanted to go to Mexico

Mexico is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, particularly for travelers from the United States and Canada. It has year round fantastic weather combined with a rich culture and history that dates back centuries. And it has some of the best food in the world.

I’ve never had the opportunity to go Mexico, and that actually bums me out a bit. It’s a place I’ve built up in my mind for a long time as a place I’ve always wanted to go. There are no shortage of good reasons for anyone to want to go there.

A fascination with Mexican food

Loving Mexican food is almost a cliché at this point. It one of the most ubiquitous styles of cuisine in North America, outside of possibly Italian and Chinese. I say that while keeping in mind that these cuisines have been largely Anglicized for consumption in this part of the world.

Mexico

HERMOSILLO, MEXICO – JULY 16: A street vendor of sweets sells his products on July 16, 2020 in Hermosillo, Mexico. While most of the Mexican States remain in orange color level, some activities considered non essential are now allowed by the government and the ‘new normal’ is gradually assimilated by society. (Photo by Luis Gutierrez/ Norte Photo/Getty Images)

But that doesn’t change the fact that I love legit Mexican food, and I don’t mean Taco Bell. I am an absolute sucker for tostadas, enchiladas, pozole and tamales. If I could spend the rest of my life just eating these dishes, I would.

I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan which isn’t exactly known for being the heart and soul for the Latinx community in Canada. But we are extremely lucky to have a great selection of Latinx restaurants that have roots in a variety of Central and South American countries.

At the same time, I understand that this is not the same thing as actually eating a street taco or elote in Mexico. A big reason I want to go to Mexico is simply to eat. To be frank, that was at least 70% of the reason I went to New Orleans, too.

The history of Mexico

Even before I married an archaeologist, I was fascinated with history. My earliest sweet spots are ancient Greece, Italy and Egypt. Assassin’s Creed: Origins is right in my wheelhouse. But over the years, my interest in the history of Mexico has only grown greater.

Pre-Columbian Mexico is considered to be one of the six cradles of civilization, making it integral to world history. Both the Maya and the Aztecs had large presences in the region, which still can be felt throughout Mexico today.

Even more relatively recent goings on like being conquered by the Spanish and the country’s long and troubled relationship with the United States is still highly engaging. Not enough people really stop and think about the depth of history in this one country.

As such, there are numerous museums in Mexico that I want to visit, not to mention several archaeological and historical sites. I recognize that some aspects of the journey will get a little touristy, but I’m not afraid to lean into that if it gets me where I want to go.

Nature in Mexico

One of the things that absolutely intrigues me about this country is how vastly different each region of it can be. And what’s brilliant about this is how each of these regions offers such a vast array of experiences to enjoy.

Mexico

Detail of figures on the Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan, near Mexico City, Mexico, c. 1980. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Getty Images)

It has coastlines on the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of California, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Within those waters are thousands of islands, some of which offer their own unique experiences. Snorkeling, which is something I love to do, is reputedly amazing here.

But there’s more to it than the oceans and seas, including the Sierra Mountains and the Sonoran Desert. This is one top four biodiverse countries in the world, not to mention it’s also classified as a megadiverse country. The flora and fauna there cannot be undersold.

I’m a guy who travels to eat, to learn about history and to see cool animals in the wild without bothering them. I’m not deluded as to the realities of traveling Mexico, but I’m also not going to let that dissuade me. Mexico is a journey I will make someday.