She was one of the best travel planners I’ve ever met. Unpretentious, nonchalant, and discerning, Aunt Margarita knew how to become more cultured by traveling. She visited most of the Mexican states in the 1970s, along with her husband, uncle Pedro; sometimes she brought me along. She would spend her money wisely, and we felt traveling in abundance. Here is basically how she did it:
- Pick a city, a region, or a state, and get to know that area very well in one particular trip, instead of going to different cities or countries. You’ll save money that way.
- Do not make a hotel reservation, just ask a taxi driver for drive you to a local one he likes.
- Arrive during the morning or daylight, it makes your life easier, and it is safer.
- Eat local. At a market, at a small, mom-and-paps eatery, or at the corner, you may find delicious food.
- In every city, make sure to visit a church, go to a museum, walk in a neighborhood, go to an archeological or historical landmark, buy art from the artisans, painters, and others who create local art and culture.
- Take it easy; take it slow. Enjoy every site without a schedule, without being in a hurry. Enjoy the sites and leave others alone so that they can do the same.
- Travel light, but check the weather so that you come prepared for rain, shine, or heat.
- Travel with decorum. Drinking or partying while traveling is dumb, unsafe, and impolite to the people who live in the town you are visiting. Enough said, Tia Margarita. ;-)!
Many of the things she did still apply. I wonder, however, what she’d think of Uber, Lyft, Google, Airbnb, Homeaway, Yelp, and many other apps, now that we live in the era of all things internet.
Content by Lupita Peimbert. @Lupitanews #LupitaPeimbert