Tuesday, March 3, 2015
My Delightful Day of Wandering the Historic District of Merida, Mexico Solo~
In mid February as a result of my husband’s passport glitch I had the opportunity to explore the historic district of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico on my own for a day. While I’ve been an intrepid international traveler since my first trip to Europe at the age of 16 and spent five years living in Asia as a young adult, it has been many years since I’ve had the delight of exploring and experiencing the pleasures of an unfamiliar city on my own. I felt complete joy and empowerment in discovering I haven’t lost my independent spirit and confidence in navigating a foreign city without my usual traveling companion.
For me there is something magical in wandering the streets of an exotic locale, absorbing the sights, sounds, and smells. Merida, particularly in the historic district, is quite safe for foreigners and I felt no discomfort or inhibitions strolling from my charming hotel at near the Plaza Grande to the Paseo de Montejo, a wide boulevard that shows the grandeur of Merida during its heyday when Yucatan produced 90% of the world’s rope from henequen, derived from the agave plant.
I stopped for a latte at a sidewalk café, read my book and watched people while basking in the warmth of the morning sun. While sauntering back to spend an afternoon reading by the pool with a view of the cathedral on the horizon, I stopped at a restaurant serving lunch al fresco on an expansive plaza and invited another woman dining alone to join me. She was a retired journalist from Cincinnati spending the winter at the beach in Progresso looking for an opportunity to improve her Spanish. We shared some wine, conversation, and gratitude that we had temporarily escaped the winter weather to the north. Such are the pleasures of travel!