If you follow me on Instagram (@marcforshort) or you’re one of my facebook friends, you may have noticed that I recently got to spend time in California. However, what I didn’t post about was my day-trip to Tijuana, Mexico 😁.

Yes…despite all the wall-building talk from the hoi polloi, the contemporary issues on immigration and fearful feedback from my friends (*cough* Kevin Khoo *cough*) I added a trip into Mexico on my agenda. Largely because I wanted to eat authentic Mexican cuisine and meet some amigas. But not only that, but I also wanted to see the country in-person and explore.

Now, the not-so-great part was that as soon as I crossed the border, my signal/cell-service immediately dropped. This meant I was basically phoneless and without any navigational system (don’t tell my mom) for the better part of the day. The upside to it all was because I didn’t have an internet connection I got to really engage with the locals and experience the culture of the city, instead of just hitting up all the tourist spots or spending time trying to share the experience in real time on social media. Yes, visiting Tijuana was a good choice and I’m glad I went.

With that being said, there were noticeable differences that I’d be actively avoiding if I didn’t mention. For example, the infrastructure there wasn’t as modern as what we are accustomed to in the U.S. and other western cultures. Also, the standard-of-living is lower, which means you’re not going to see too many multi-million dollar houses or Bugattis on the road. Nevertheless, what I did see was a country and group of people trying to build and adapt to western culture while still maintaining a sense of identity and cultural pride… and for that, I have much respect.

In all, my experience in Tijuana taught me about myself and gave me a real-world view on what’s going on in border towns and along the U.S./Mexico border. With that being said, I think my next visit to Mexico will more than likely be to Cancun or Cozumel!

Oh! And the Churros are good but the ones in Cuba were better (lo Siento mi Mexicano amigos)!


P.S.—Travel tips

If you choose to go to Mexico (via the border), here are a few things I’d recommend.

1. Take into consideration your time. While going into Mexico was rather quick, coming back took way longer (I was in stop and go traffic for 3+ hours!!!)

2. Be prepared to deal with pushy sales people at the border crossing. It’s cool for like 30 minutes but after 2 hours it can get annoying.

3. Watch how you spend money! For example, signs will list a soda for $48…but the price is actually 48 pesos.

4. Border patrol doesn’t play! Have your proper Identification (passport etc.) available and don’t try sneaking anything back in.

5. Ask around and get the opinion of locals before galavanting off anywhere.

6. Know a bit of Spanish, it’ll get you far (see the post on Havana for more on that).

7. If you choose to rent, PLEASE read over your terms and conditions and check with your rental company to ensure that you are covered to go into Mexico.

An Alternative: Go on a walking tour. Certain places in San Diego offer walking day-tours to and from Tijuana.

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