As I headed off to a recent trip to San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, I received many well wishes from friends with the comment, 'Enjoy a margarita on the beach for me' or 'be safe'. Every time it was said, I felt as though I had to explain that Mexico is more that white sand beaches and margaritas and safer than most major American cities that the general population visit.
San Miguel is in central Mexico. It is 6,000 feet above sea level in the beautiful mountains. The temperature drops to 40F in the evening. We wear jackets and scarves. Some even wear winter coats. San Miguel is an art and cultural hub with many international educational workshops and conferences. I would walk down the streets alone in the evening and never question my safety.
It got me to thinking how often our well meaning comments are somewhat ignorant. Born and raised in Canada and living on the border city of Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. , we often hear people ask us about our skiing or cold weather. Meanwhile the city I am from is the same latitude as the northern tip of California. If I were to cross the border into Detroit, for an evening in the downtown core (as I did in San Miguel) I feel not nearly as safe. Until we actually visit the countries and cities, we then can base our opinions from what we hear in the media.
In my opinion, traveling is the best education, hands down. It changes perceptions. It is tactile. It also bring us all closer
together as one.
It is man who created borders. When an astronaut looks from space he/she does not see borders.
I encourage everyone to travel more (including myself!).
The video below is a art opening in one of my favourite Mexican cities, Merida, Yucatan. Is this what you think of when you
think of Mexico? I know I probably have preconceived ideas of many other places across this wonderful globe....and I look forward
to the world changing it!
To more wonderful travels,
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