One of the constant pieces of many a baby boomer’s life is travel. That’s part of the definition of an active boomer. And that’s part of the life of Seattle writer Ron Gompertz. Travel teaches him, and enriches him, as it does any of us. That’s what he writes about today for BoomerCafé.
Mexico. Of all the places I’ve ever been, no country has a bigger heart than Mexico.
At the moment we are in Malinalco, near Mexico City, staying at the country home of some newfound friends who will someday visit us in Seattle.
Since everybody generalizes, I will too: There is no country more hospitable then Mexico.
I was awakened pre-dawn this morning to the sound of the rooster crowing, a dozen hens clucking the availability of fresh eggs, and our friends’ many dogs barking greetings to the neighborhood.
Rural Mexico wakes up early. Urban Mexico stays up late. This hard-working country swells with life, energy, and emotion. It’s an old land with a young soul.
When traveling here, we enjoy the relaxed resort towns, explore the pueblos magicos — magical old colonial towns — and continue to be awestruck by the amazing pyramids and ancient ruins. We don’t shy away from the big cities where Mexico’s amazing art and history are concentrated in world-class museums.
History is everywhere. The Spanish conquest is as visible as the persistent Indian culture, languages, and traditions. The Aztec and Mayan empires were as learned, brutal, and complex as Ancient Rome. Modern Mexico, as exhibited by its bustling big cities, is as vibrant as anywhere in the world.
Mexico can give us all a lesson in having fun. Her many festivals, holy days, and life’s rites of passage are always accompanied by an explosion of color, commotion, and sound.
I grew up in Southern California, so Mexico and her people have always played a role in my life. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited this country, each time discovering new places and having new experiences. Mexico has something to offer every traveler, at every budget and comfort level.
I think it’s a shame how we North Americans are taught to fear and even despise our southern neighbor, upon whom we depend for some of our daily bread and much of our insatiable appetite for illegal drugs.
There is no steeper gradient between rich and poor than our southern border.
What a loss to have not instituted some kind of Marshall Plan for Mexico and Central America, though it’s never too late.
Traveling through this magnificent country always alerts me to the challenges and the opportunities we have to improve our corner of the world.
Buy Ron’s book, “Life’s Big Zoo.”