Spanish Language Blog

¡Viva México! Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hola amigos! Mi nombre es Sasha. Soy Americano. Hablo un poco Español.

Riviera Maya - a great place for a holiday!

Alright, I’ll admit it, my Spanish is quite awful. Unfortunately, the one year of Spanish that I studied way back in middle school is a distant memory. For some reason, I decided to study Latin in high school – a great choice if you’re into visiting the Vatican or talking with dead people, but not of much use otherwise. After university, I moved to Beijing, China, where I currently reside. If you’re interested in learning some Chinese, or are just curious about Chinese culture, check out the Transparent Chinese blog, where you can usually find me.

While I won’t be able to help you much in your quest to master the Spanish language, I’m here to share my travel stories, photos, and videos from a recent trip I took to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Admittedly, I didn’t use much Spanish beyond, “Una mas cervesa, por favor,” but I did visit some amazing places, learned quite a bit about Mexican culture, and met tons of incredibly friendly and welcoming people.

Beautiful beach in Cancun.

Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza.

“You’re going where?!” – this was the standard reaction we got from our parents and colleagues before embarking on our trip to Mexico. “But what about the drug cartels, the violence, and the scary bad guys?! I read about it on the Internet and saw it on Fox News!” These days, most Americans seem terrified at the very thought of going anywhere near Mexico. While it is true that the country has its fair share of problems, Mexico is rather large, and the Riviera Maya remains one of the safest vacation destinations out there. If you heard that there was tons of crime and violence in New York City, would that stop you from taking a vacation to Alabama? Probably not. At no point in our two-week stay did we feel the least bit threatened, and we encountered more people looking to help us than people looking to rip us off (can’t say the same of China, unfortunately). During our trip, we traveled completely independent of any travel agency or tour group, staying in cheap hostels and relying on public transportation to get around.

Chilled out beachside road in Playa del Carmen.

We enjoyed the stunning beaches of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the awe-inspiring ruins at Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, and Tulum, the warm and pleasant colonial city of Valladolid, the pristine waters of a few cenotes, and, of course, some of the most delicious food that planet Earth has to offer. To be completely honest, the main reason we chose to fly to the other side of the world for our vacation was a music festival, Mayan Holidaze, taking place on the beach in Puerto Morelos. However, with the year 2012 upon us, I thought it would be appropriate for us to spend some time exploring the real Mayan world, which is why we spent an extra week in the country. Keep an eye on the Transparent Spanish blog in the months to come for some of my travel stories and videos. You won’t learn much Spanish from them, but I hope that you will at the very least be entertained, and might consider a trip to Mexico yourself. Hey, it’s a great way to practice your Spanish!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


  1. Miseli:

    Hola!! yo soy mexicano y me alegra saber que gente linda como tu visita nuestro país… serás siempre bienvenida a México, y la delincuencia la hay en todo en mundo, México es tranquilo y acogedor con los visitantes, además de que practicas es español y conoces aserca de nuestra cultura, tambien te invito a las ruinas del centro del país como palenque, xochicalco en el estado de Morelos, Ciudad de cuernavaca, Teotihucan en el valle de México (serca a la ciudad de México), y muchas ciudades coloniales más como taxco, iguala, puebla entre otras muchas… se´ras siempre bienvenida, saludos.