Travel Blog

  • My Dearest Cocula

    11/17/2017 3:22:21 PM Link |  | Add comment

    With so many convenient OXXO stores (very similar to our 7-Eleven) located on the way to Cocula, Jalisco Mexico, from Guadalajara’s airport, nothing better than taking a sip of a warm cup of coffee on this cloudy morning. After a little over an hour, two large arches welcome me with the inscription "Bienvenidos a Cocula, Cuna Mundial del Mariachi” “The cradle of Mariachi” given that mariachi music originated there in the 19th century. Stopping at La Plaza (the town’s main square, the gathering place for the locals. The heart of Cocula) La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel (cathedra) sits right across the street and I make my way over to pay my respects. A personal tradition dating back to my childhood.

    Why do you travel? Is a question you’d often hear me ask travelers.

    Often times, Mexico is typically portrayed as Beach destinations with beautiful Resorts and let’s face it, maybe the crime.


    The Mexico I know,

    Is waking up at sunrise and smelling the local freshly baked bread that the panaderos (bakers) are getting ready to deliver around town.

    The Mexico I know,

    Is walking to the mercado, passed the women and men who are starting their day greeting me with a friendly Buenos Dias.

    The Mexico I know,

    Is sitting at the Mercado, tasting the rich chocolatey mole sauce poured over my chicken accompanied by handmade tortillas.

    I was born in Mexico and at a very young age, I moved to California with my parents. Every couple of years, my parents would take my 3 siblings and I back to my hometown of Cocula.

    At 17 years old while in Cocula, I discovered I wanted to work in travel.

    While grocery shopping at the Mercado with my Mom feeling the grocery bags a bit heavy, I decided to sit at la plaza and wait for mom to finish her shopping. Across the way, within hearing distance, I saw 4 men in their 80's just chatting away. They were charming and very animated and deep in conversation reminiscing of the good ol' days. After about 2 minutes, they realized I was staring at them (I guess I made it that obvious) and brought me into their conversation. Being a small town, they kindly asked me who my parents were and they were very quick to tell me that they knew my family. They spoke to me about what they enjoyed doing in town and the best places to grab a bite. They had answers for pretty much anything local that I was curious about (and let me tell you, I was curious!) I wanted to know it all!! To this day, that's one of the sweetest memories I have of the Mexico I know. 

    Just sitting there, listening to stories like that and engaging in conversations with them, I knew then that's when I wanted to become a travel consultant. I wanted to connect other people to these type of experiences.

    No matter where I go, domestic or international I always make an effort to introduce myself, to connect with people, to listen to suggestions that no guide book will provide. Now I'm not saying to ditch the must-see attractions, what I'm saying is sometimes you have to choose what speaks to you. 

    Just like you I also choose what's important to me and what speaks to my soul.

    Because Travel moves us, not just physically but in our hearts and in our souls

    Thank You My Dearest Cocula.

  • Books, books and more books!

    3/23/2017 11:31:03 AM Link |  | Add comment

    To my Mother, with Love.. on a recent visit to Trinity College, The Book of Kells and The Long Room in Ireland. The highlight of my trip..
    When I was younger, watching my Mother read a book was very interesting. At times she would say random stuff like, "Did you know that in the Mayan ball game, the loser's punishment would at times be death?" Yup that was my mom and still is, reads random quotes from books or simply will state a fact out loud. To this day history books are sure her favorite.
    There I was taking a step to the side as I watched other people enter the long room. Have you ever had so many emotions running through your body? I realized I was having a surreal kind of experience. Then it hit me, I was really there! Finally, after taking a few steps forward I decided to close my eyes for a minute or so. I swear I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. The visitors voices seemed to pause for a moment as I opened my eyes. The row of busts was the first thing I noticed, then my eyes made their way to the barrel ceiling. The way the sun's rays showcased the many shades of dark wood throughout, was so picture perfect. Just like a postcard but I was really there!
    Look at all those books! Such a lucky girl, I thought. The Long Room and it's beauty. I just couldn't help it anymore and tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears of joy.  Because that is exactly what traveling sometimes does to people. To our hearts, our souls and to our minds. I  just couldn't wait to share the beauty of these places with my Mother via email to which she replied, "I am so happy that you got to experience it all with your very own eyes, darling."
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