Recommended accommodation that you stayed at?
Cathy: I stayed at Hostel D.F. which was close to subway/bus stop Hidalgo. It was a very social environment and I made a lot of friends. It was very affordable and included a home-cooked breakfast every morning!
What is the thing(s) to would recommend pack in your bag!
Cathy: Sunscreen (see question #6) and sunglasses!
Marie: A sun hat and a canvas bag. The canvas bag can be used when shopping at the grocery store and double up as a beach bag when you don’t want to take any valuables to the beach. You can also use it as a spare bag to bring back all the colourful handicrafts you’re likely to buy during your trip!
Is there somewhere you wish you had a chance to visit or would return to
Cathy: I would love to spend more time in Mexico, somewhere other than Mexico City. Lots of the people I met were on longer trips, and seeing their photos later, I want to visit those places. A couple that come to mind are Puebla and Oaxaca.
Marie: I’ve been to Oaxaca twice, and could definitely visit again and stay for weeks! Places I would like to see on my next trip include San Cristobal de las Casas and the ruins of Palenque.
How did you find the interaction with men, from a woman’s point of view?
Cathy: I never felt uncomfortable around men in Mexico. It probably does help that I speak Spanish, though.
Marie: Men in Mexico are pretty respectful of foreign women. They’re friendly, smiling, and helpful. When I was younger, a local man stopped me on the street once, started chatting, then asked if I wanted to have coffee with him. I declined and he went away quietly. If you’re wearing short skirts or tiny tops, you may get stared at. These guys are Latinos after all!
I realise that the media plays a bad picture of Mexico. Did you find this to be something that scared you, were you warned away? How accurate did you find the media scenes?
Cathy: Although I am a woman who travels alone, I never felt afraid of Mexico. I’ve traveled enough by now to feel comfortable in my judgment and abilities when it comes to traveling, and I’ve learned that the pictures painted by the media are never the same as reality. I actually wrote a post for my blog immediately after returning from Mexico about this very topic: Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
Marie: My first trip to Mexico was in 2001, then 2006, 2007, 2008. The scary media stories didn’t start until around 2009. When I went back for my longest trip (9 weeks) in 2015, I didn’t find things to be any different. But many of my friends seem worried when I mention going to Mexico, because of the bad publicity.
Just check out your government’s travel advisories and choose your destinations based on that. Most of Mexico is safe and fun for tourists if you follow common sense precautions and avoid getting involved with drugs (which is where most of the violence occurs).