Where’s the Adventure?

October 20, 2022

A friend of mine from the México Today bloggers group I was a part of a decade ago made me think when I read his Facebook post below. (thanks, David!)

” The internet/social media has taken Discovery out of travel.  #dumbquestions

This is a bit of a hot button issue for me, as the questions asked on forums and Facebook location pages show a remarkable lack of adventure from those traveling or living away from their home country. Do you really want someone else’s preferences to drive your experience?

Most of my most memorable excursions are those that happened organically, .

Here are some things I have read on social media:

Where is the best laundry/doctor/hairdresser/barber/?

This is where my inner smart aleck wants to say “step out your door and walk through your neighborhood checking out all the shops as you go. When you pass by a woman sweeping the sidewalk stop and ask her if she knows where a lavanderia is. You might even make a friend and preparing yourself ahead of time with a bit of research into the Spanish words you might need will help your language skills, too!”

Where can I buy some US/Canadian style food item?

I realize it can be frustrating when you move somewhere and don’t have your familiar food items but isn’t exploring and trying new things part of the reason you came here? I love to buy weird fruits and vegetables to try anytime I can. I like to buy groceries in the little tiendas. Even the tiniest usually have an amazing inventory. Explore! You might have a fun adventure, actually I know you will. And here at Lake Chapala you most certainly know where the gringo food stores are for the times you absolutely must have Rice A Roni or canned pumpkin.

Who has the best hamburger?

This is the kind of question that is very subjective. Please just go out and try a variety of restaurants, there’s no need to have your hand held to get a hamburger!

What are all the bombs about?

This question happens over and over when there are celebrations here that include cohetes. Those are rockets that are enthusiastically a part of every event in Mexico. When you hear them, I recommend walking over to the church in your barrio to see what’s going on and I am pretty sure it will be a group of happy folks setting them off. Cohetes are also a part of most parties too so buy your dog a thunder shirt or try to convince him they are fun.

What is going on for the Day of the Dead or other holiday?

I don’t understand why people don’t pick up a newspaper or “like” the municipal government Facebook pages. Try to read it and if you get stumped, put the text in Google translate. Or our favorite is to just go over to the main plaza once it gets towards dusk. You’ll figure it out and get swept up in the fun.

I’m moving there in April. Should I bring my pots and pans, favorite chair and my antique loom? What cell phone company is good? How is the internet? What are the gym fees? Should I bring my car?

These are the ones that make me tear my hair out. I mean, really?

These comments are mostly seen in the Facebook pages for people who live in México but the same goes for people visiting as tourists. If there is one piece of advice I could give it would be to just get out and explore!

My favorite places to go when exploring a new town here in México are of course the main square – both day and night – and the mercados (for sure). Have your shoes shined in the square and buy a guanabana at the mercado to eat in your hotel room later on. Look for signs in the afternoon like people starting to set up tables and you might have just stumbled on an evening artesanias market. Who knows, musicians might set up later and there might even be dancing. Keep your eyes open and have the mindset of adventure and I know you’ll have one.

My adventures have led to some really good Spanish lessons for me, too! I will never forget the difference between mono and moño after my visit to a papeleria one day long ago!

The picture at the top is our little plaza during the Fiestas Patrias

Share and Enjoy !

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Those people and their inane questions make my eyes roll.
      “Can I get U.S. soap operas on Mexican TV?”
      “Are there hula dance lessons available in Morelia? How about Irish dancing?”
      “Do the expats swap furniture and household items in Morelia like they do in Guanajuato?”
      “Why aren’t there more art/crafts/music/hula/ classes in English in Morelia like they have in Ajijic?”
      “Why don’t Mexicans eat meals at regular American hours?”
      “Who do I call to make the church stop ringing its bells at all hours of the day?”

      1. Jennifer, It is an epidemic of people who want information spoon fed to them. Crazy!

    1. I agree for the most part however, I beg to differ on the pots and pans. I have been lake side for two months and cannot find pots and pans that are not either aluminum or coated with a non stick material. If you can bring yours from home I say go for it! Mexico certainly is an adventure and we are loving every minute of it!

        1. I guess I didn’t. Where was the humor?
          I thought your point was…you are moving to Mexico not somewhere in your home country. So get out there and enjoy it!

          1. Hi A, The point of that paragraph is how in the world would anyone know whether someone else should bring things with them? (or whatever) You may be a chef and love your pots and pans or you may only eat canned soup. How in the world could anyone advise you. You have to figure this stuff out for yourself. And as a comment to yours about no pans here, I bought my fabulous pans in Guadalajara, a short distance away. No need to lament that something isn’t available here.

            I hope I don’t sound like I’m lecturing, it is a daily frustration to me when I hear people complain about Walmart not having something. This Guadalajara metro area is fabulous for shopping if that’s your thing.

            Thanks for commenting!

            1. For those of us without a car it is hard to get around to alot if places. We did go to a mall as well as Costco in Guadalajara and found no decent pots and pans. I realize they are out there somewhere but finding them thru public trasportation is a slow process.!
              Living in Mexico is not one stop shopping for sure. However, that makes for alot if interesting adventures!

            1. You’re right about it being more challenging without a car but there are fewer obstacles lakeside than other places with so many people offering excursions to various malls for shopping. I have used them twice and really enjoyed the experience. I’ve also gone shopping in Guad with friends so a car really isn’t essential. Glad you love the adventures, too!

    1. North of the border, we get the same stupid questions repeatedly. Everybody with a finger has to ask the same inane questions daily. I guess in the “olden days” they would simply ask their friends and neighbors ad nauseum, where, how, when, and what. All social media has become cluttered with this endless drivel. Does anyone use google?

      1. Hi Srgomez, I just saw two posts on Facebook: “I need an equipal chair, where can I get one?” and “are there any Reiki practitioners in Ajijic?” The first I would answer with “Go to any used furniture store, they are everywhere!” (but of course I didn’t) and the second gave me three practitioners in our area just by a two second Google… and google even helpfully provided a map. Good grief. What is wrong with people?

        Thanks for commenting!

    1. We RV’d from Northern BC to Mazatlan for 12 years before buying a house there. We had never been to Mexico, had never Rv’d and travelled alone. We read books, had maps and muddled through a lot of it. We had our share of disasters. Asking people and sharing information was, and is, an important part of travelling. Blogs by friends with road updates are important. I am happy to give information about anything to anyone. With the house I am always checking for good craftsmen with other owners. We should all remember how difficult it all was at the beginning😊

      1. I think all these websites have made people really lazy. I am glad I didn’t have these crutches when I moved here. It was blogs and a few forums when we really got stuck. That said there are some FB pages here that are really useful. Ones for those constructing houses, pet oriented, health oriented, etc. The questions that really get me are the lazy ones where they could just go out their door an look but are too lazy to do so. I think it’s also why some restaurants get filled with gringos and other equally good ones don’t have any. I am trying to encourage people to be more adventurous and to think before they ask a dumb question. Thanks so much for commenting, Kathryn.

        1. What I find frustrating is the folks that won’t use the “search” function on the expat FB pages. Questions like “what neighbourhoods in Guadalajara are safe?” or “what’s your favourite neighbourhood in GDL?” are asked and (usually) answered almost every week. One of my fellow group members simply responds “There have been many discussions about this if you do a search.” And then the original poster is offended!
          FB was a help when we were planning our move: I found the contact information for “the” person at the Mexican consulate in Vancouver and moved our visa applications along quickly with her help. I’ve been alerted to parades blocking major traffic arteries, and to great Buen Fin sales. But I would never, EVER, ask a group of random strangers “where should I live?” That’s the height (or nadir) laziness, in my book!

          1. Hi Deborah, You’re right, maybe just the search function is the main thing they need to learn. Everything gets asked so many times! Hope all is well with you guys 🙂

    1. I think there are a lot of people coming here, that aren’t really travellers, or adventurers. They are coming to escape winter or have a “cheap” vacation, but have never learned how to travel or explore. I guess they should be given credit for venturing beyond their comfort zone, and they will learn with experience. Just hope they don’t miss out on all that you learn from trying, making mistakes and learning to laugh at yourself.

      1. Hi Kathi, You are so insightful, I think that is probably true. I too hope they adjust quickly and learn to venture out and experiment. xoxo Nancy

    1. It’s funny. When I see places or things recommended in all the Facebook groups. I have a tendency to steer clear of all it and go out and find my own favorite people, places, and things. Other than a few items my husband “must have” for health reasons, I’ve figured out how to adapt my life to what we have here. It’s a pretty small town, and we don’t have access to the variety of goods and services available elsewhere in Mexico. But I’ve learned I can make my own Mayo, kombucha, sour cream, etc. I don’t need a lot of clothes and shoes and purses.

      1. Hi Andrea, That is so funny! I seem to steer clear too! I think the longer we live among the Mexican people the more joy we find in life and the fewer goods we need to do it. Thanks so much for commenting.

    1. Thanks for this post! For people who are really planning to relocate to Mexico, please start reading the local newspaper (most are online!), and investigating the state and city government websites — not only will you be learning Spanish, but you’ll have an idea of where/how to look for things when you arrive. The feeling of accomplishment when you actually figure something out, on your own, is wonderful!

    1. I find it disappointing that people use Amazon so much. I know that some special things can’t be found here, but others take just a bit of local looking, plus there’s built-in adventure!

    1. Thank you David and Nancy. Always good to be reminded to use common sense.

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