life’s a trip

 “If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventures should be a priority.”
– Richard Branson

February was certainly an entertaining month full of (some possibly regrettable) spontaneous decisions. But, I don’t think it could have been a better month. Let me tell ya about ma vie quotidienne au Mexique.

First off. Four words: La Esquina del Chilaquil. Refer to picture below for reference. A Mexico City creation – Torta de Chilaquil: loaf of bread filled with tortillas covered in spicy sauce garnished with cheese and onions (I am sure there is a more appetizing way to describe this delicacy but it is as delicious as it looks and if you have had it before then you just know what I am talking about. Well worth the 45 minute wait. 10/10 would recommend as a must for anyone visiting Mexico City. Great way to start off a great month.

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On a random side note – I just want to pay homage to my favorite smoothie shop that was a block away from my Airbnb rental. I’d like to sadly mention that I no longer get to buy my fresh gauva/apple/chia seed/greek yogurt smoothie on a daily basis… a moment of silence. Any smoothie for 18 pesos aka less than a $1 – this is why I heart Mexico City. I shall return to this smoothie shop one day (one day soon probably because its really just 2 miles away). I found a smoothie place near my new apartment, however, it just doesn’t quite cut it. Sigh.

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Ps. Yay for not being homeless. Found an apartment to move into around mid February and this is the view from my balcony. Love it.

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And I get to live just blocks away from one of Mexico City’s most important monuments – El Angel de la Independencia. V pretty even on a gloomy day.

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If you know me, you know that my life is a series of unfortunate, yet entertaining, events. All was fine and dandy on the morning of Sunday, February 5th. I took this pretty picture of the lamps above my bed. #artsyAF – ty snapchat filters.

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Even took a random selfie because I felt the lighting was good.

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My friend, who lives in Polanco (about 3 miles away from me), invited me to join her and some friends for a barbecue to watch the Super Bowl. I agreed. Everything seemed to be set up for a smooth day, right? I was mistaken.

I usually just put an address into my Uber app, hope for the best, and set off into the unknown since I don’t know the names of streets here and can’t pretend I know my way around Mexico City yet. My mom called me as I was putting in the address of my friends house “in Polanco” so I quickly checked which license plate I had to look for and hurried downstairs. I talked with my mom for like half an hour and then I realized I had been in the car a little too long for comfort and something felt “off”.  As soon as I hung up with my mom I realized we were beginning a trek up a curvy mountainous road and we were no longer in Mexico City – #concerning to say the least.

I looked at my Uber app and, to my dismay, realized my destination was still like 15 miles away, we were in a different state, I was losing signal, and my phone was at 4%.

El oh el. 🙂 We were literally out in the middle of no where. What is my life? I seriously don’t know how I continually land in situations like this. On a side not, took this pretty scenic pic seconds before starting to low key panic.

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I did not really know where life was taking me. But, I took a deep breath, tried to not get car sick, and patiently waited until I had cell phone reception so that I could call my friend. Worse comes to worst.. at least I had my handy dandy pepper spray to protect my self. When I got in touch with my friend, she then decided to inform me that the barbecue was not at her apartment but was actually at the parent’s house 20 miles outside the city. Lolz at my life. At that point there was no going back so I just hoped for the best and luckily arrived safe and sound to the party. Defs an entertaining story to tell – accidentally unknowingly took an Uber to el Estado de Mexico, ended up being like 2.5 hours round trip, and about $400 pesos in Ubers that day.

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Going to a Super Bowl party in Mexico was an experience. Not sure how I feel about it. 1. The guys at the party were 10 times more passionate about American football than any American guy I know in the United States – almost to an aggressive level. 2. WORST part about watching the Super Bowl in Mexico is that they do not air Super Bowl Commercials. Literal tears when I realized this. 3. One of the guys at the party rolled around on the floor crying from happiness for about 5 minutes when the Pats won – dramatic to say the least.

Super Bowl Sunday was the first time I have really truly felt homesick since I arrived in Mexico. Maybe it was just an accumulation of being here for a month and a half and starting to feel culture shock when I couldn’t enjoy Super Bowl commercials. Maybe it was the stress of getting to the party and fearing for my life as I drove to the middle of no where. But tbh, maybe it was just the lack of chips and guac at a Super Bowl party. Who knows. I don’t want to talk about it. But, the verdict is that I never want to watch the Super Bowl in Mexico again. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic. But, not really if I’m being honest.

Anyways, moving on.

All throughout January, my family had been texting me and trying to convince me that I had to join them in February for my dad’s birthday in Maui. But, having just started a new job, the distance from Mexico to Maui, and other factors made me decide that I just couldn’t do the trip.

About a week and half into February, my mom told me about a family tragedy that made me put life into a little more perspective. I was already feeling homesick, I had never missed my dad’s birthday, and this incident made me realize that life is short and that we need to spend it with the people we love. I realized that taking two days off from work wasn’t going to get me fired (hopefully), I needed to be with my family, and Maui was just calling my name.

So I booked a flight on a Monday and on Thursday morning that week I was en route to Maui. Best part about this trip – it was a complete surprise for my parents. Almost gave them a heart attack when I showed up in our condo in Maui but it was 100% worth it and I will never forget the look on their faces. Uncle Alan – somehow we pulled it off! Yay us!

Watching the sunrise as I was leaving Mexico City was really special.

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The view from an airplane will never cease to amaze me. 55 degrees at SFO had me dying of hypothermia – this is a personal reminder that next time I must bring a coat to survive a layover at this airport – just felt you needed to know this. Retweet to save a life.

Dad’s birthday dinner at a friend’s Vietnamese restaurant was really good. Person sitting behind us has a net worth of $800 million USD. #casual.

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Mommy and Daddy Mendoza. Ps. One of them is not drinking H20.

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Look at that smile. Happy Birthday sir. ❤

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I love visiting Maui. This trip was almost like being home even if I was only in Maui for four days. Spent time with my favorite people in the world – mom, dad, and baby brother and some very dear family friends. Got to go to my favorite restaurant – Fabiani’s. Walked around Wailea and pretended I was interested in purchasing a $25,000 USD sculpture of turtles (shout out to panfi). Ate freshly made macadamia nut cinnamon rolls that my dad picked up from the bakery at 6:30am. Drank one of my favorite red wines: Old Soul from Lodi Lane in California. Watched Saturday morning Ridiculousness with my baby brother. And overall just enjoyed the island life as a quick escape from my crazy life in a crazy city.

Maui was wonderful as always and nothing in the world beats spending time with my family. ❤

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Fun fact. Met someone on the airplane whose life is v similar to mine: She was coming back from Maui. I was coming back from Maui. Her boyfriend lives in Honolulu. My brother lives in Honolulu. She studied abroad in Lille. I studied abroad in Lille. She has lived in Seattle. I am from Seattle. She lives in Mexico City now. I live in Mexico City now. She works in the startup world. I work in the startup world. So random but I love life’s coincidences and meeting people when I travel.

The week I returned from Maui, one of my coworkers walked up to me one day during work and basically forced me to go to the Justin Bieber concert with her that night. Spontaneous adventure numero dos in February but definitely not complaining. I was disappointed that Biebs sang an acoustic version of “Cold Water” but I guess we can’t have everything we want in life.

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Celebrated a friend’s birthday and got to check out a few more cool bars and restaurants in Mexico City. Yay for new friends.

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Aventura number trois. My friend texted me on a Thursday that she had a free EDC pass for me for that weekend. You can’t really say no to an offer like this tbh.

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EDC was everything I expected it to be – a complete blast. My fave performers were Major Lazer, Alesso, Chainsmokers, and Marshmello. Got one hour of sleep before going to work on Monday morning. Definitely have some regrets there, but I survived and lived to tell the tale. Despite almost dying from the throbbing headache I had all day, I would do it again.

So, there ya have it – my month in pictures & entertaining stories. What is life but one grand adventure? 🙂

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