11 weeks in Mexico. 3 states, 8 check-ins, 10 rooms.
Maya has traveled 1/3 of her life and experienced more than some people do in a lifetime.
She has been the very center of this whole trip. I thought I would have time for other things but just as my paternity leave nothing has gone as I planned it.
I should have seen things would not go according to plans early. With a long trip and Maya needing a lot of changes I tried to pack my things light. Cutting down on camera equipment I just brought my trusted all purpose Canon EF 24-105 L F/4.0 and a bright Prime 50mm for indoors and low light scenes.
On Schiphol, Amsterdam airport, my camera bag was dropped in the floor. I didn’t think much about it, I don’t pamper my equipment and I have dropped it, banged it in trees and walls and poured various liquids over it in search for the right angle and shot many times, usually just resulting in need for cleaning or a crashed filter which is cheap enough to replace.
The day after we arrived I went out to take some shots and could only shoot wide open all other settings gave an error…
We began and ended the trip in Metepec, Estado de Mexico with Miss Z’s mom. I have been here many times before but never in this season. With an altitude over 2600 meters, 2635 meters according to Wikipedia, it is cold. Daytime it’s quite comfortable, at least out in the sun – indoors it is still chilly, but evenings and nights are freezing cold.
I am used to cold weather, Sweden is colder this time of year, but with the general bad conditions of houses in Mexico it is just as cold inhouse as outside. In Sweden you can at least go inside take your winter coat off and be warm.
After a week of grumping, partly over the cold but mostly for my broken lens, I decided to do something. I was going to stay in Mexico for almost 3 month.
I found a great deal on the renowned 28-70 F/2.8, much better price than I can find anywhere in Europe. A good price, but certainly not peanuts, it dug quite a hole in my travel budget, but I was back in business – Or so I thought.
Preparing for this trip I was very clear with what I wanted to accomplish. I had two photo projects planned, depending on situations and conditions I would proceed with one of them.
Staying for an extended period I was also going to write my posts more frequent, taught by previous trips that memories and feelings fade with time and not everything are written in the end or not as vivid as I experienced it.
As it turns out this fatherhood-thing is a full time job leaving no, or very little time for my planned projects. I think this is the hardest change when becoming a dad. I am used to dispose of my time anyway I want, now there is this little person demanding my presence and constant monitoring.
Just writing this summary of the trip has taken me a week.
I have nothing more than average tourist photos brought home but this was a really nice trip – with some grueling. Of course traveling with family and showing Maya the world was great but I have also learned much more about the Mexican culture and the people. Especially how they treat and act around children.
Let’s say there has been clashes both cultural and in traits.
Holidays are given times to see cultures but this year they came and passed without notice. We spent Christmas with Miss Z’s family in Tabasco. Being in the tropics did not help the Christmas spirit but the whole affair was surprisingly blend. It was nice and tasty food, but I was expecting a big Mexican fiesta.
New Years Eve we were alone on a ranch surrounded by nothing but darkness, goats, hens and orange trees. I even forgot to buy champagne.
We spent most of our time in Merida, someone told me before we left I will love the white city. She was not wrong. My first impression was too much tourists, but they are concentrated to a relatively small area. Just a couple of blocks away from Centro plaza you are back in the real Mexico.
Merida is also one of the safest cities in Mexico, a friend of Miss Z told me she did not drive because you need a license in Merida, when I cautiously pointed out you need a driving license in all of Mexico she said yes, but in Merida the Police are actually doing their job.
The mix of tourism and every day Mexico with the relatively safe streets make Merida a great starting point for anyone who wants to leave the all-inclusive in Cancun or other resorts and get a taste of the real Mexico.
Over the coming weeks we will look closer on the trip and the places I visited. We will most likely talk about coffee too. But up next is my thoughts about Mexicans and and their children.