Change Yourself…Change The World.

June 15, 2010, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Mexico

Dear friends,

Today has been a day of reflection, and so it is here that I look back on all of the countries I’ve traveled and been to. And one of the claims I have made from the get go is that India is the first country I have ever traveled to. However, this is a lie. Or is it?

A topic I have rarely talked about, or counted as one of my travels, is a completely random two-hour stint in Mexico. (Update: my friend aptly pointed out that I have ALSO been to Mexico on a band cruise in high school, in Cozumel. This was for two hours as well. Story is now invalidated. But we will continue anyway). This is right before I had joined Carpe Diem and started my grand journeys all around the world, which included so many life-altering events and experiences that spawned the creation of this blog.

So here’s the deal. While I was living in California and attending CalArts, I was living in an apartment and sharing a room with my friend Liz. One of my good friends Danny came to visit from Northern California (where he had been stationed for the summer), and we found ourselves hanging out with a random other CalArtian (this is the term we use for CalArts students) who I had never previously met (and never spoke to again after that night), who we all called Bonna.

So as usual, we were all bored and deciding on what we would do for the night, and Bonna randomly proposed that we should go to MEXICO! As it was a three hour drive from Los Angeles. We all laughed about it and entertained the notion. But this girl was serious. “Let’s go to FREAKING MEXICO!” she kept saying, over and over again. She kept pushing the subject until Danny started entertaining this possibility, more out of amusement then seriousness. Then Liz chimed in. “Yeah, we’re all going to Mexico!” They decided. This was 11 PM at night, by the way.

“Are you coming with us, Brittany?”
“No,” I replied. “You’re all out of your minds. You’re not really going to Mexico.”
At this point Bonna was literally dragging Danny and Liz out of the door with such a force that they decided a spontaneous visit to Mexico was going to become a reality. “You BETTER come with us Brittany,” Liz cried, trying to drag me along with them.
“We are not going to Mexico. It is 11 PM at night. What the hell are we going to do in Mexico?”
“Adventures!” Danny and Bonna chimed in. “Adventures in Mexico!”
“We are going to get there at 2 AM. This is crazy.”
“Crazy AWESOME.” I think at this point Danny and Liz were both trying to drag me out the door.
“I don’t have a passport!” I objected. “How am I going to get in?”
“You don’t NEED to have a passport to get in,” Bonna countered (in retrospect, I have no idea how she knew this). “You can walk right in. And you can just show your license when you come back.”
After a lot of protesting (I admit I was not as spontaneous back in those days), I finally succumbed to their cajoling and decided that a sudden trip to Mexico was on the agenda, whether I liked it or not.

And so after a three-hour drive, which included a lot of indie music (the only kind that CalArtians like), we arrived at the border at 2 AM, at a completely sketchy area. It was deserted. We passed through one of those full-body turn-table gates similar to ones you go through in the New York subway, and well la. We were in Mexico. No security, no passport checking, NO ONE there.
So we decided to go to a bar. We all walked over a bridge, which led to a taxi stand, and took taxis to a bar street a few minutes away, where we all had drinks (and celebrated being able to drink at 18 in such an establishment– honestly, I think this was the REAL reason Bonna wanted to come to Mexico), watched a bunch of strange country-like folk dance on the dance floor for about an hour, and then walked back in the completely deserted and sketchy streets back to the good old USA, where I was promptly harassed by a US police officer for not having a passport.

Then we drove 3 hours back to Los Angeles.

Proof we were in Mexico. Danny, me, Liz, and Bonna.

So my question to YOU, dear readers, is this: should I count Mexico as a ‘country’ I’ve traveled to? It’s not stamped in my passport (but neither is France…), I was literally only there for two hours, I can’t even remember the name of the town we were in, and I don’t have any proof that I’ve been there (other than the story and this picture, which looks like it could be at any old bar). Where is the line of what country you’ve ‘traveled’ to, and what country you haven’t?

Moreover, have I been to Russia or Germany because I had layovers in their airports? I even had a layover in Puerto Rico when I was 13- does that count? Have I been to a country based on whether the actual stamp is in your passport? Whether I have pictures to prove it? Whether I’ve touched down and literally been on the LAND (whether in the waiting terminal at the airport or not)? Whether I’ve had ‘cultural interactions’ with the people?

I’m not sure whether I should count Mexico as a country that I have ‘traveled’ to. But there you have it. My two-hour, spontaneous trip to Mexico. And if something good came out of it, at least I was able to get my two friends Danny and Liz together, who have been going strong for 2 years now 🙂

Hasta la vista,


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

this was sweet

Comment by letty

And then the next day I was born. I mean, er, arrived in California.

Also, I was like “Wait we all went to Cozumel, Mexico, on that Band Cruise!” but then I remembered you weren’t there. And I cried. I’m crying right now.

Comment by Alexa

Crap! I WAS on that trip to Cozumel (maybe you guys went again the next year?). This invalidates my entire story.

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

[…] am from North America. I have lived in the United States, and I once traveled to Mexico for two […]

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