And time is running out! These last few days, surrounded by packages and packers that seemed to require my attention every other second, I escaped many times to my garden to take a breath. It seemed so unreal that almost five years have passed and that it is once again time to pack and move.
I still remember the day we came to see this house. I had seen about 20 houses before. Five months pregnant, I was getting tired and thinking I may never find what I was looking for. I told the real estate agent this would be the last one I wanted to see and then I would make a decision. At the same time the owner had told her real estate agent she did not wish to meet anybody without having a serious offer. Destiny played a trick on both of us. Her real estate agent was late and so we ended up knocking on her door and she offered to show us the house. There was an instant click between us. And the house was such a pleasant surprise! Exactly the size we were looking for, with a special charm and a beautiful garden. The moment we set foot on it, my husband and I just looked at each other and agreed this was the one.
Getting to know the owners, Carmen and Luigi and getting so close as to consider them family was an added bonus. I’m so grateful they were put in our path, and the path of our daughter who was born a few months later. Not having my family or my husband’s in time for the birth, it meant the world to us to have Carmen and Luigi there since the moment I entered the hospital to give birth. They were the first people beside us, to set their eyes on Stephanie the day she was born. They loved her from the start and they have been there for her ever since. For my daughter these are also her grandparents whom she loves dearly and whom she will miss terribly. These last few days sleeping already in their house, she has asked me several times to sleep with Carmen, her Mexican grandmother. She needs it now and I’m glad she can have that.
They were with us in our happy and sad moments and have given us so much support. They have also introduced us to their extended family whom we have learned to love as our own.
Only for this I would have loved Mexico but Mexico is so much more. I usually try not to have too many expectations when I go and live in a different country. It is better that way, I am open to explore and get to know that country without too many constraints. I still remember how some people commiserated with us for having chosen such a dangerous country where the “Narcos” would surely be shooting in the streets at each other with the possibility of us being caught in the middle. Except for the dangerous areas in the north of Mexico which we avoided, in particular cities like Juarez, the reality we found was quite different.
We found an amazing country with a rich culture, traditions and a cuisine unlike any other. Each region offers so much cultural diversity, incredibly beautiful landscapes and unforgettable gastronomic tours of the senses.
From the impressive remains of the past like Teotihuacan
or Chichen Itza
To discovering so many other sites, some not as famous but just as fascinating. The archaeological past in Mexico is very much present throughout the country. There is so much to see, whether you are following in the footsteps of the Mayans, the Aztecs or any other of the minor groups, there is so much to learn. The archaeological site of Guachimontones is one such example known for the unique circular pyramids dated from 200 to 400 CE.
To the beautiful cities, many still fine examples of the colonial past like Morelia
And others that impress you not only by their beauty or the colours of their buildings but also by their architectural planning like San Cristobal de las Casas
There is so much to explore in each city, from the architecture, to the traditions, to the annual festivities. Here are some of the celebrations, dances and music you can encounter in many cities of this beautiful country.
Religion, in particular the Catholic faith is something that has a great weight in Mexico and has an important presence in most cities and pueblos. There are beautiful churches in Mexico in different styles and from different centuries. Some of the work and religious figures take your breath away. When you visit a church or you watch a procession, especially during Easter, you realize how strong faith can be.
And there are also places where the Pre-Hispanic beliefs and rituals are mixed in an apparent harmony with the Catholic faith like in San Juan Chamula. There you will feel you entered a time machine and came out in another era where strange ceremonies of the past are performed inside a church. It is not allowed to take any pictures of these rituals, only outside.
What to say about Mexican food? For starters it is much more than tacos, quesadillas and has nothing to do with the Tex Mex served on the other side of the border. Each region has its regional cuisine which is rich and full of flavour. The variety of dishes, the ingredients used, the traditions associated make it one of the best cuisines in the world in my opinion. Even the street food and the one you can find in the local markets is very special. These are just some of the dishes we had the pleasure of tasting in our travels.
And where do you find the best ingredients? The wonderful, colorful markets are without a doubt the best place. The markets in Mexico are such a pleasure to visit and explore! It was there I learned about the different chiles, I discovered the wonderful vanilla pods, the chocolate mixes and the basic ingredients to cook authentic Mexican recipes. It was also there I found the most interesting handicrafts and pottery and even tasted my first insects. I wrote extensively about that and about my favourite markets in Mexico in this blog. I hope you can find the time to explore it.
What I wrote about Mexico, its history, my travels through the different states, the wonderful food I had and cooked for this blog, the museums I visited, the people I met on the way, even the traditional medicine I was taught, it all came from my heart. I fell in love with this country like I never did with another. My blog contains other stories and other travels but Mexico was always the main character in it. The blog will go on with other travels now more focused in Europe since we are about to move to Vienna but Mexico will certainly keep popping out from time to time to remind me of the good times I had here. I hope you can still be with me. I promise that once I get settled in Austria, I will definitely post more often. I have projects in my head, places I want to explore and food I definitely want to cook.
During this time here in Mexico I never received money for writing any of the posts and I never accepted to make publicity for anybody. My blog always reflected my life experiences, my views and my opinions. I truly want to thank those of you who have subscribed to my blog and have kept your faith in me. It means a lot!
I leave you with the sea, I will miss it so much. The times spent with the family in Acapulco are precious, as are happy those when we visited Tulum, Huatulco, Los Cabos, Veracruz and Playa del Carmen. The beaches and the sea here in Mexico are magical. They relax you and inspire you. My daughter and I will miss our walks along the beach and so will my husband.
To all my family and friends here in Mexico, you know who you are and I love you all! This post was for you! Thank you for everything! We will take you all in our hearts! Thank you for showing me how great this country is. You should be very proud! Viva Mexico!