So, the great Euro Trip 2017 has begun!
It’s been almost a year and a half since I returned from my last trip and it feels kind of weird being out here exploring the world again.
I think it’ll probably take a few days to get used to the fact that this is my life now for the next few months.
So, yeah, Euro Trip 2017 is underway and in a totally illogical way it begins in Mexico which couldn’t be further away from Europe if it tried.
After a crazy long weekend getting ready for my trip I finally boarded my Air Canada flight to Mexico City at 5pm last night from Vancouver.
The flight was 5 hours and there’s a 2 hour time zone difference between the cities which made my touchdown time of midnight in Mexico City.
We actually landed 25 minutes early but then had to wait 20 minutes on the tarmac because another airplane was still parked at our gate.
After 20 minutes we finally taxied into our gate and everyone stood up to grab their stuff and disembark.
Well… not so fast…
Turns out they taxied us in just a teensy bit too far so everyone had to sit back down so we could be pulled in reverse a few meters.
And then, after all that, I was in Mexico!
After grabbing my bag (which, naturally was one of the last ones to be brought out) I headed over to immigration where a burly Mexican checked my forms and passport while singsongingly singing “We don’t need no Trump” to the tune of “We don’t need no education” by Pink Floyd.
I laughed with him and actually pulled out Guido, my little blue travel buddy, while telling him how I had an orange one as well but didn’t take it because orange wasn’t that popular of a color anymore because of Trump.
He then proceeded to reach below him and pull out his knapsack, open it up and pull out a little black teddy bear.
It was one of the weirdest, funniest experiences I’ve had. Here I was bonding with this burly Mexican immigration official over Trump and little travelling buddies.
Once out of immigration I headed straight to an ATM to take out some pesos and then next door to the taxi stalls to prepay for taxi service into town.
The taxi service out of the Mexico airport has a preset price list for the different regions of Mexico City and mine was 225 pesos ($15). I handed the man a 500 peso bill and quickly grabbed my receipt and change.
It was only once I was in the taxi that I realized that the guy in the booth short changed me 100 pesos ($6). Go figure, ripped off the first few minutes on my trip – nice!
The taxi ride into the city was pretty non eventful but, then again, it was one in the morning on a Tuesday night.
I arrived at my hostel at 1:30am and a security guard sitting downstairs let me in.
It was here where my first feeling of helplessness due to not knowing Spanish took place.
The guard only spoke Spanish and when he said “Cuál es tu nombre?” all I heard was nombre and I thought he was asking for the number of the unit in the building I was visiting.
Now, I did study a teensy bit of Spanish before I came here and I do actually know he was asking “What is my name?” but in the spur of the moment all I heard was “What is the number?”
So, after pulling out my phone with the address listed, he shook his head and again repeated the question.
And then I got it, my name…
After getting that out of the way, we headed upstairs to the hostel on the fourth floor.
Let me tell you, walking up four flights of stairs when you’re sore and tired is not what you want to be doing at 1:30 in the morning.
After a quick checkin, I was shown to my little private room in a little cabin like building just outside of the main building.
Normally I don’t book private rooms because they’re way more expensive but also not very condusive to meeting fellow travelers but I decided to this time simply because I was arriving very late at night and didn’t want to wake others up by checking into a dorm room.
It was nice to finally arrive at the hostel and plop my head down on a pillow. I soon discovered that this little room was not insulated at all for the cold Mexico night.
After falling asleep I woke up shivering and quickly changed into my sweatpants and hoodie but even with that, it was yet another night without a great sleep.
But, hey, I’m in Mexico and at the beginning of another epic journey so I’m not gonna sweat the small stuff…
Wow, this is a long blog and I haven’t even actually reached the actual day one so I’m going to split it off here.
You can read what I actually did on day one here.