In november 2009 I packed up my entire life and went to start my journey in El Salvador. Months earlier I had signed up to go with a danish organisation which where suppose to organise everything, including a month of education in culture as well as the spanish language. Therefore we were six danish people living together in a house, refered to as ”the global platform”.[dropcap4 ]I[/dropcap4] remember the feeling of sitting in the backseat of the car from the airport to the town where we where going to live. It was very speciel. Watching this fantastic nature and thinking that this forever would be a part of me. After the first month I travelled alone starting out in Guatemala and therefrom slowly moving upwards through Mexico. The fact that I was travelling on my own was something that I had already had decided in Denmark. To me that was the only way I could do exactly what I wanted to and I will never regret that. [image title=”Anna & Aqua Azul in Mexico” size=”large” icon=”zoom” align=”center” lightbox=”true” group=”1″ autoHeight=”true” quality=”100″]http://www.back-packer.org/wp-content/uploads/2_Aqua-Azul-Mexico.jpg[/image] [divider_top]
Xalapa and a new family
After travelling for two months I finally reached Xalapa, the capital of the mexican state Vera Cruz, which made a special impression on me. [image size=”medium” align=”right” icon=”zoom” lightbox=”true” group=”1″ autoHeight=”true” quality=”100″]http://www.back-packer.org/wp-content/uploads/8_On-my-way-to-mexico.jpg[/image]A mexican guy I knew from back home had introduced me to his family including a bunch of friends.
Everyone was being incredibly nice and taking me to all kinds of places such as restaurents, salsa clubs, museeums etc. I had a great time.
Therefore, when it later turned out that the organisation which was suppose to find me a hostfamily and a teaching job in Morelia haden't really done any of that, I deciced to end my work with the organisation and went back to Xalapa. Here I was offered the possibilty to life with Diego and his family, people I had meet earlier.
It all turned out really well. After a few weeks I started working as an english teacher in a little town in the moutains, while continuesly living with the family in the city. It actually felt like my family. They took me with them to everything. Family dinners, hiking in the mountains, dinners every sunday and because I was living in the house it started to feel like I was just a newfound daugther.
These people made my journey and thaught me everything I ended up knowing about the mexican culture which is quite a lot.
Because I really wanted to learn about the mexican culture I made sure to be surrounded by mexicans most of the time. When I was travelling around in the weekends I stayed at hostels but somehow it felt really strange to be a foreigner when I was living a mexican life during weekdays. Being in those two situations I also realised how important it is not only to speak with english-speaking people while you're travelling eventhough it is much easier. I'm certain that you will only take on the culture if you're willing to live in it and not only look at it from the outside.[image title=”El Salvador” size=”large” autoHeight=”true” align=”center” icon=”zoom” lightbox=”true” group=”1″ quality=”100″]http://www.back-packer.org/wp-content/uploads/4_El-Salvador-2.jpg[/image] [blockquote align=”left”]Food is in fact the mexican culture as I see it[/blockquote]Talking about culture… Food is in fact the mexican culture as I see it. Music sure, dancing sure, but somehow it all turns out to include eating of some kind. The mexican food is something to be proud of and they sure are. They have about a millions ways to mix the basic elements being tortillas, meat, cheese, beans and chili, and for some reason it always tastes just incredible. Therfore I would recommend to anyone to try whatever they are serving because that is a huge part of being in Mexico. [image title=”Hiking in Morelia, Mexico” size=”large” autoHeight=”true” align=”center” icon=”zoom” lightbox=”true” group=”1″ quality=”100″]http://www.back-packer.org/wp-content/uploads/7_Hicking-in-Morelia-Mexico.jpg[/image]
Another thing I must certainly will recommend is meeting up with for instance couchsurfers. While travelling I had the pleasure of being introduced to a lot of cool people that insisted on taking me places and telling me stories.
[image title=”Palenque, Mexico” size=”medium” align=”right” icon=”zoom” lightbox=”true” group=”1″ autoHeight=”true” quality=”100″]http://www.back-packer.org/wp-content/uploads/9_Palenque-Mexico.jpg[/image]Especially this one time, when I was in Morelia. I contacted this guy, unfortunaltely I can't remember his name. He took me out for sightseeing and a drink. A couple of days later he and his friend invited me to go hiking in the woods for two days, something that I would never have been able to do alone. It was indeed an experience that I will remember. Plus they took me to eat tacos with tung, a thing I wouldn't have done in a million years if it haden't been for those two.
Being in Denmark
In the summer last year I finally returned to Denmark. I must admit it was quite a chok to be back. I had to restart my life and learn how to be danish again – a thing that didn't at all feel natural. Returning actually ended up being the most difficult part of the journey.
My recommendations for Denmark should therefore not include any places in particular but instead getting in contact with some danish people. For instance the couchsurfing experience gives you so much more than just sightseeing on your own. Sure I think that is exciting as well but if you want to learn about the culture you have talk with the people around you. I'm sure that almost anyone would love to cook something danish and show you around as well as putting you in contact with even more people. That is what I think is the most important thing to do.
My name is Anna Pi, I'm 22 years and I grew up in a little town called Jelling in Denmark. Currently I'm living in Århus where I study prehistoric arqueology.
In november 2009 I packed up my entire life and went to start my journey in El Salvador, Mexico.