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  • Writer's pictureMichael A. Occhionero

This is The Mexico the Sunwing Influencers Didn't Get to Experience

The Mexico I've experienced is not the same Mexico as the Sunwing Influencers. Although we both travelled to the same area (I am visiting the Yucatan peninsula, having started in Cancun before travelling south down to Playa del Carmen, and eventually to Tulum), and although we were there around the same time (my trip began on December 27th and will continue until at least January 17th), the Mexico I sought out was vastly different from the one visited by the influencers.

Firstly, I did not come to Mexico to party. I came with my laptop, to escape the stifling political atmosphere of Montreal in lieu of a creative oasis where I could do what I want, and write in peace. I'm happy to confirm that my creative agenda has, and is being realized to the fullest. Who would've thought that sunshine and freedom could be so inspiring! The people I've encountered along the way have been mostly locals; genuine, humble people just going about their business as though it was any other day. This is because in the real Mexico, it is any other day. The locals here do not live to party. Though, that's not to say there isn't the occasional indulgence! It is to say, though, that the real Mexico is not located on an all inclusive resort. In my experience, it has been located on street corners, where taco vendors cook up homemade classics with care and the wonderful smells waft up for the passersby. It has been a passing glance through a wire fence, where a family sits together sharing a meal. It has been on the public, not private beaches, where local kids kick around a ball (sometimes annoyingly close to my head as I lay down and try to read), and where shitty pop music isn't blaring in the background.

The real Mexico is not a private jet experience. In my experience. No, it's a little rougher than that. The rules here are, let's say, a little lax (but don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not complaining!). If you know where to look, the real Mexico can be a private moment with some absolutely stunning vistas, and if you're dedicated enough, a slow, gradual improvement of your (or at least my) broken, gringo Spanish.

Or, if all you care about is that perfect Instagram pose, well, I guess you can get that too.

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