“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
Memories are made, and I can choose how to create them
When I was in Mexico, I made memories with friends, using a coloring book and pencils I brought, which now remind me of that memory whenever I use them.
Another time, when I was in Austin, Texas last year, I saw that there was a 12-pack of grapefruit sparkling water on sale. I bought it and drank it throughout the week. When I returned home, I would see grapefruit sparkling water, and immediately be reminded of my time in Texas.
Just in the same concept, the memories I make are based on the actions I take. Consistency is how tasks go from being unfamiliar and uncomfortable to natural and habitual.
My final two days in Mexico were challenging. I was conflicted in my emotions, not wanting to head back to work, or dealing with all the challenges I saw in my future. But I also felt like I just needed my bed, my food, and my home. I felt like Mexico was so inspiring that I wanted to spend a month making photos, but also felt like I would need to plan much, much more if I ever returned here.
Feeling pretty crappy after a late night of bar-hopping with the Location Indie crew, lack of water and a few too many drinks had me waking up nauseous. The only thing that helps me feel better is eggs and bacon. Luckily, I found an IHOP just an Uber ride away. I decided that I needed to head there, to help with my lack of actual food, after days of eating packaged foods. And once I arrived, I just ordered a basic breakfast and used a few words I knew, “Gracias” and “Si” and thank goodness there were photos of the breakfasts so I could just point to what I wanted.
So sometimes it’s knowing myself, and not giving myself a hard time. I felt bad at first, thinking I should be trying all the traditional food and I had been doing that all week. I’d felt proud of myself for expanding my tastebuds to try the foods that aren’t familiar to me, but when I’m not feeling good, it’s best to stick with what works.
Ancient ruins, Art, and learning from history
The driver who picked me up from the IHOP didn’t speak any English. But it was ok, he had the directions from Uber app, so all is well, I just figured no need to chat, I just enjoyed the views out my window of the city traffic and words in a language I didn’t know.
When arriving at El Cerrito, again, everything is in Spanish, I couldn’t read it. So I just observed what I could. Later I learned that this site was used by many cultures over time, Chupícuaro, Teotihuacán, Toltecas, Chichimecas, Purépechas, and Otomíes.
According to the website, El Cerrito has its most important period as a regional center linked to the Toltec expansion. After this stage, the site maintained its importance as a place of worship among local ethnic groups. Franciscan sources indicate that around 1632 the natives continued offering to the prehispanic deities in the altars of the site. Chronology: 300 a. C. to XVII century. I love the lines from the grounds up to the base, and the steps up to the top, it’s amazing and interesting to think of how this was built, so long ago.
Art and bright colors are all around in Queteréro. This former convent turned art gallery was a dream, with the broad arches and bright colors, and lighting that warmed my heart. It was a great place to visit with my friend Melisa. We spent the afternoon walking through and talking about the artwork in addition to the building. I found myself wishing I had more time to learn and discover, I felt that I’d just scratched the surface on this town. I’d learned so much and was feeling overwhelmed with everything. The best part of this day was realizing that I could take my time. Slow down, and just be present.
The Journey home, leaving Q
On my final few hours I had left, I awoke early, hit the ground with my Merrell shoes, and headed onto the cobblestone streets with a camera, and rolling travel bag in hand. My mission was to capture as many historic and cultural structures, artwork, and places in the remaining two hours. And that I did, traveling from my Airbnb north up to the Cultural Center over to the Alameda Hidalgo Park, and to the Aquaducts before grabbing a coffee and heading off the airport. I cover a lot of ground in just a few short hours. I made a point to get the Queteréo sign as I wanted to use that for my photo story.
This is the final article in this series, and it’s taken me quite a while to finish it. But I wanted to give as much detail and allow time for reflection. Not to mention I have a job and a busy schedule, it took time to make it meaningful to myself, and hopefully to the reader. Thank you if you’ve read this series. Make sure and check out the gallery published on Travel Pulse.
Truths & Travel Mexico Series:
My next adventure will be whitewater rafting and learning about becoming a rafting guide, which I’m currently training to do. Stay tuned and please subscribe if you enjoy my writing.
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