Bon Voyage, Travel Tips, A Lesson in Geography – Why? #Mexico, #Blogging Break

Welcome to my Bon Voyage post, I’m still here but frantically getting things ready for my winter break. My Canadian friends are all already there in Puerto Vallarta, and I’m looking forward to kicking up my social life notches, and drinking Margaritas.

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I’ve had a few people ask if I’m concerned about some of the recent goings on in Mexico. No. The friction going on there is not in the State of Jalisco where PV is in. It’s funny how some people get a picture in their heads when they hear things on the news before doing their geographical homework. That doesn’t mean that anywhere I travel to, that I’m not being diligent. Yes, Mexico has Cartel, but typically, the big honcho Cartel aren’t looking to disrupt tourism, and their headquarters are in known States that are mostly rated dangerous and at your risk places to visit. It’s the newer, ‘wannabe’ gangs that infiltrate certain places and instigate turf wars that are causing these crime incidences, particularly on the Caribbean side, ie: Cancun and Playa. These gangs emmigrated from further south in Central America. And this isn’t to say I’m okay with Cartel, but some of these Cartel want to keep tourist areas safe because they build and invest there for money laundering purposes. As bizarro as it sounds, it makes me feel safe too, in a strange kind of way.

Mexico is a huge country with over 126 million people. That’s three times the population of Canada, and just over one third the population of the U.S. It’s always important to do our homework on where we are traveling, to keep abreast of travel warnings etc., because people ‘hear’ things, but don’t always put them in perspective. And with this said, we still have to remember we’re tourists and must always keep aware of our surroundings.

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Where I’ve been and Why Mexico?

I’ve been to Mexico many times since I was in my early twenties. Back in the 80s, Acapulco was the hot tourist spot of Mexico. And it was great fun and safe. I went there many times in that decade with girlfriends, once with a boyfriend, and later, with my husband. By the early 2000s, we noticed things weren’t feeling the same there and began hearing whispers of a few killings and kidnappings on the news, and we began exploring other parts of Mexico.

We went to Ixtapa, which we loved, Manzanillo, and finally found our new happy spot in Puerto Vallarta. We had our winter vacations there for about five years in a row before we got antsy and wanted to try new places. We started vacationing in various islands in the Caribbean – my favorites being, St. Martin, St. Thomas, and Curacao. And then we became cruisers, which we loved taking every February. We’d spend a week in Fort Lauderdale and go on a two-week Caribbean cruise, and meet up with same friends every year. When my husband’s health issues became apparent, we stopped cruising after 2014. I worried about something happening to him while on ship, and couldn’t live with that. So we talked about where we should start going on land instead. We loved Las Vegas and had gone there many times, as our autumn getaway. But we needed a new winter getaway spot. We loved the desert climate. And we had once taken a helicopter tour from Vegas, over the Grand Canyon, and we decided on that day, that we were going to start spending a chunk of winter in Arizona. We did that for three years and as US politics were heating up, and our Canadian dollar getting crappier, we decided to go back to Puerto Vallarta, because we always enjoyed it there, and it’s guaranteed sunshine. And we rightly assumed after not being there for some fifteen years, how much it was growing. And when I went to book at our favorite hotel for two weeks, air/hotel, all inclusive, the price was almost $9000.00 CAD for two weeks!

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That was the beginning of learning about renting a condo instead. My brother had been renting a condo in a beautiful complex right on the beach for less than $3000 US, for a month in PV. I got the details, and we went there and stayed in a different complex, just down the beach from him and had wonderful trips. So economically speaking, I can vacay for two months for what it cost me two weeks in the hotel package deal. Flight is covered with my points card and cost of living there is way cheaper than here in Toronto, so I spend less there than I do staying at home. That is the story of how I ended up in Puerto Vallarta. Right now I have wonderful friends who are already there, and I can’t wait to see what sunshine looks and feels like again. And it’s still a place I can feel my husband there with me. We loved it there.

There are crime hotspots everywhere in the world. Heck there are parts of my own city I wouldn’t venture through to alone. Yes, there are plenty of dangerous places in Mexico. The trick is to learn the safest places and States. Cartel central is in the State of Sinaloa. You may have recently heard of the capture of El Chapo’s son in Mazatlan. Mazatlan is in Sinaloa. There’s one State I have no interest in visiting. If you ever watch Cartel movies/series, you will hear of some of the Cartel infamous places – in the State of Sinaloa, Juarez, in the State of Chihuahua, and some other border towns.

Puerto Vallarta is still touted as one of the safest places to visit in Mexico and to my investigative knowledge, no tourists have been harmed or mamed there. And I much prefer Pacific Mexico to Caribbean Mexico. On the west coast I am 99.9 % guaranteed hot beautiful weather with almost a zero chance of rain. Plus, I find, even though the city has grown so much, adding Costco, Walmart and some fantastic shops, some North American things that North Americans love, that PV still has that Mexican charm and hasn’t gone as Americanized as some other Mexican destinations on the eastern, Caribbean/Yucatan Penninsula side. The added bonus is that I do not need US dollars to stay there. Only the rentals charge in US funds. But our Canadian dollar goes a good way there.

No matter where we travel, we must always be diligent. Saying one wouldn’t go to Mexico because of crime in one State is like saying there’s a shootout in Quebec so don’t go anywhere in Canada, or a shooting in Chicago, so you wouldn’t go to California. Oranges and apples comparison. Also, we have to pay attention to our surroundings wherever we go. Most tourist populated places are known for pickpockets. Awareness of our surroundings is always a good thing. I’m like that in my own city. And petty crime is everywhere now.

So, with that all said, my bags are almost packed, health insurance – check, fifth Covid bivalent booster shot – check, travel anxiety riding high – check, and soon I’ll be walking in flip flops for the bulk of this Canadian winter.

Although I won’t be reading blogs regularly as I normally do, don’t be surprised to find me landing on some of your posts as I randomly get a chance to pop by. I do follow Sally Cronin’s posts while away as I drink my morning coffee, because even though I can’t spend valuable vacation time on all the blogs I follow, I at least feel like I’m staying up-to-date through reading her posts, as Sally is a great sharer to and of our writing community, and it’s my second ‘blog home’. I will also post intermittently on Facebook.

Flying off to Mexico

So, happy winter blogging to you all, and I will no doubt, have much to share with you all upon my return.

Β©DGKaye2023

133 thoughts on “Bon Voyage, Travel Tips, A Lesson in Geography – Why? #Mexico, #Blogging Break

  1. Puerto Vallarta sounds lovely and, as you said, people need to do their homework and always be aware of their surroundings. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world now, where crime doesn’t occur.

    Great advice about renting a condo instead of booking a hotel! Have a wonderful time and give a thought to us poor wretches, enduring the crappy weather up here. πŸ˜‰

    Hasta la vista! 🍹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, thanks bunches Deb. Yes, there aren’t too many safe places left in this world so either we hide away or brave the travel. Thanks for the great send off. I think I’ll be getting out just before all the ‘minus’ temps show their colors lol. πŸ™‚ xx

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    1. Thanks so much Olga. I am always investigating Olga. It’s always advised to check out where we’re traveling to. And rest assured – there will be plenty of pics, and stories, no doubts. Hugs ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Debby – have the most wonderful time … relax, rejuvenate and yes get the winter blues out the way … all the best – have a Margarita on me! Cheers Hilary

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  3. I worried when friends went to Brazil during the Olympics–thought they should skip it based on news stories I’d read, but everything worked out fine. I worried when my brother took his family to Chicago Illinois with its skyrocketing crime rates and loose enforcement of the laws and they had no problems. I’m sure that’s how it will work for you, too. I am excited for you to have this relaxing getaway just when you need it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Jacqui. That’s just it – we worry about people everywhere because the world has become so uncertain. But in order to enjoy other places in the world, we have to overcome our fears. But it’s always important to be diligent wherever we go. ❀

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  4. Have an amazing trip, vacation, and social time in PV, Debby!

    You are right, we have to be vigilant everywhere we go and take the necessary precautions. And shit can and does happen everywhere.

    Traveling throughout Colombia for a few months while watching yet another Pablo Escobar Netflix series is interesting, to say the least. πŸ™‚

    Have fun, my friend!

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  5. Debby, you will have a grand time. Nothing is better than catching up with friends and visiting a favorite place with wonderful memories.❀️ I love how you describe and negate worrying about crime. My heart is full already thinking about you there. I’m as excited as you are! Safe travels.

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  6. I’m glad you’re getting away and seeing old friends while no doubt making some new ones. People always fall prey to stereotypes, which probably has a lot to do with some people’s misguided perception of Mexico.

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  7. Yay! You’re off to the land of sunshine and margaritas and ocean breezes. Have a lovely stay in safe and friendly PV, Debby. I’ll be thinking of you. And don’t visit blogs unless you’re bored out of your mind (which you won’t be). Just enjoy. It’s going to be a wonderful break. Hugs ❀ ❀

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    1. Thanks so much Diana. Oh I’ll be quite busy for sure. But a few nights a week when I’m home is when I do a few spotchecks. One never knows where I’ll land. Hugs my friend. ❀ xx

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  8. My favorite part of this post is the sentence, “And it’s still a place I can feel my husband there with me.”

    Bon voyage, and safe travels! Have a margarita for me. xo

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    1. Aw, Amy, thanks so much. It was our special place, that’s why I’m not ready to go anywhere else – yet. And consider it done. I’ll cheers a marg for you! Hugs xox

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  9. You richly deserve this break. I’m glad you are not letting possible dangers spoil your vacation. There is danger everywhere, and you will be vigilant.

    Enjoy your friends, the life-giving SUN, and a break from the routine, DebbyQ! πŸ˜€

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  10. Have a fabulous vacation, Debby. I enjoyed reading your facts about Mexico, its population (it’s really huge) and the different parts. Have loads of fun with your friends and enjoy the sun, toes in sand and those wonderful margaritas.
    While you pack you might want to listen to this upbeat music:

    xxx<3

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  11. Wishing you a most wonderful time in PV!! I really enjoyed reading all about your choice for your vacations and where you’ve been vacationing over the years. I didn’t realize that you live in Toronto, CA and now I know that, too! Yes, be safe! A friend of mine just recently moved to Ajijic, Mx. It’s the first time I’ve heard of it (from her). There are many good spots where people definitely like to be that are economical, safe, and have a nice, small cultural feel. I wish you the very best on your time away πŸ™‚

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    1. Hi Ka. Thanks so much for visiting and leaving me with your good cheer. I know Mexico is a popular country for many expats, especially Americans and Canadians. Who knows where the universe will lead me. I hope I get some good clues on this trip. I’ll have lots to share, that’s for sure! Hugs ❀

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  12. A terrific promotion for PV Debby and a balanced look at the rest of Mexico.. I agree today we all live in countries with no go areas, particularly at night and by all accounts as you say, they don’t want trouble where it interferes with their cash flow. We will miss seeing you as much but you deserve a fabulous break and if you can fit us in occasionally between margs lol… we will love to see you…Have a fabulous time and Bon Voyage… β™₯β™₯

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    1. Thanks so much Sal. You know I won’t disappear completely. I’ll be cruising by some blogs sporadically on my ‘nights at home’ or after the sun. Gotta keep on top of things, lol. And of course I’ll be checking in with you. Muchos gracias. Hugs my Lovely ❀ xxx

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  13. I’m so glad you know where the safer tourist spots are, Debby! Puerto Vallarta is shouting your name as I type this, no doubt. Most of my Mexico experiences were in the border towns of Tijuana and down in Ensenada, close to the San Diego border. Where I spent most of my time was in La Ventana (Baja Sur) and La Paz, on the Sea of Cortez, where it is windy in the winter and a wind sports paradise from November-March. Luckily most of my trips are with my hubby who speaks fluent Spanish. My daughter was in PV recently and they had no issues of course since the tourist industry is alive and well! Great ideas on staying in condos. I wish you a lovely trip and we’ll all be here waiting for you when you share your experiences!

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    1. Thanks so much Terri. No surprise you prefer the Sea of Cortez, areas with all the water sports you enjoy. Thanks for the good wishes. I hope I don’t get snowed in before I get out! πŸ™‚ xx

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  14. You may have already left, but I’ll wish you Bon Voyage anyway. Have a great time, unwind, let the warmth from the sun and laughter with your friends ease your soul and just do what you want to! Make it the holiday of a lifetime, keep notes and share the sights, sounds and stories on your return. Am I envious? You bet! 🀣 ❀

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  15. Our UB, we wish you the most fabulous break. Enjoy, my lovely and sip away! Softest hugs and we are proud of you. Much love, always. Xxxxx πŸ’“πŸŒΉπŸ’“πŸ˜˜βœˆπŸŒžπŸ˜˜

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      1. Everything crossed for you and oodles of support for dealing with Canadian Airlines. Xxxx πŸ’“βœˆπŸ˜˜πŸ’“πŸ¦„

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  16. Wishing you a wonderful break away on the beach, Debby! Please bring home a bit of the sunshine ~ We have snow forecast here on Vancouver Island on Saturday πŸ˜²πŸ˜‰πŸ–οΈπŸ©΄

    Liked by 1 person

  17. HI Debby, South Africa and the rest of southern Africa has some dangerous parts too, as does Europe and the USA. If you are sensible, you will be fine. I look forward to reading about your adventures on your return.

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  18. I agree, Mexico isn’t as scary as people think. We’ve driven over 6,500 miles through the country and we’re still here. Have a great trip.

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  19. Thank you for the great news and the profound information, Debby! Whenever I will leave this region here (a mixture of the border region between Paraguay and Uruguay ;-)), I will have a stopover in Mexico. Here we are hardened by daily life. Lol Best wishes, Michael

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  20. So agree with you when you said that people ‘hear’ things but don’t always put them in perspective, very quick to jump to conclusions. As you said, there are parts of your town where you woulsn’t go alone, and it’s the same in places all over the world. I guess when it comes to travel, do a lot of research, plan and prepare and use a lot of common sense. Good that you Puerto Vallarta calls to you and you always have a good time there. Hope this vacation is a good one. Enjoy yourself and the warmth, Debby πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

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    1. Hi Mabel. Thanks for stopping by. The world is not as it once was so it’s up to us to do our homework when traveling anywhere these days. Thanks for the warm wishes. Hugs to you ❀ πŸ˜‰

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  21. Debby, hope you’re having a wonderful sunny break! I enjoyed learning about Puerto Vallarta and can see why you love the area. Now, if only it were closer I’d pop by for a look! Enjoy the rest of your break, my friend! xx

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    1. HI Sue. Thanks so much. Lol, me quiet – not in this place. Thanks for the well wishes Sue. I’m having a blast, and many stories to share. Ole! Hugs and love, xxxx ❀

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  22. Sounds like a great break. As long as you are careful, I think that most places, like Mexico, can be safe. Lots of destinations get a bum rap. That said, there are some places I just won’t go often due to the political situation.

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