A New World: Part 2

Direct from his flight heading South, Ben recounts the nerves and excitement of beginning a brand new stage in Mexico & Central America

As dawn broke, it did so ushering in a new era that would without doubt change my life forever and with little to no idea of what to expect, the opportunities ahead of me felt as endless as they were terrifying.

That said, it was, whatever the case, to be a day I'd never forget...

... From the departure lounge in LAX, my early morning start had me feeling to say the very least a little overwhelmed.

For behind me, I was leaving what had undoubtedly been the greatest seven months of my life which I was admittedly a little sad to part with. However, more pertinently it was not what lay behind me; it was what now awaited.

Yes, this was the day that I would, in my eyes, truly begin travelling.
A new era
It may sound perhaps a little strange but this past seven months for me has always in my eyes been a "warm-up" for the real thing. You see, whilst I always set out to have an incredible experience here in North America, this time for me was equally (if not more so) about settling in to this new nomadic way of life - because as I said previously, adjusting to life from a backpack is not something that happens overnight.

In addition, with everything here in North America being so broadly similar to that back at home, we must be honest and take on board that the journey so far has been an easy one.

And perhaps then, this is this reason I felt more nervous sat in LAX than when I did leaving London some seven months ago. For where back then I knew waiting across the Pond was a broadly similar environment, when I thought to what lay ahead that day... well, put simply, it couldn't have been further from the truth.

Yes, my destination, Mexico City, was surely to be a land unlike anything I have ever walked and it was perhaps this oncoming sense of the unknown that gave this morning its particular edge. This however was not something I was oblivious to, for writing on Facebook just moments before my flight was called, I added:
These next few hours are pretty momentous and believe forever more my life will be referred to as the time that came before this flight and the time that followed thereafter. It is I am that sure - going to be life changing
En route South, the colour of the landscape transformed from
a luscious green to an array of arid yellows and oranges
Two hours later and after the most expensive cup of coffee I have ever bought, I find myself sat on what was still only my second ever flight. And after watching Los Angeles quickly fade in to the distance it was not long before the lush temperate greens of California were slowly replaced by the arid yellows and oranges of the Mexican dessert.

Soon after, the announcement was made that we were beginning our descent and with it I found my heart beginning to race in ways I don't think I have ever before felt. Yes, the news of our soon to be arrival was greeted with nerves unlike any other and I quickly began wondering if this was all to be one big giant mistake.

You see, for 7 months I have been warned and cautioned about Mexico, with most of the Canadians and Americans I have met claiming this land to be rife with danger and perhaps an unwise choice for me to head to. Yes, along with all the obvious dangers like the drugs, the violence, the kidnappings, the gangs and the corruption, there’s also the language I don’t speak, the culture I don’t understand and the food I don’t recognise. 
Along with all the obvious dangers like the drugs, the violence, the kidnappings, the gangs and the corruption, there’s also the language I don’t speak, the culture I don’t understand and the food I don’t recognise
Avoiding then the now sudden urge to have a heart attack, I after a few deep breaths whipped up a positive attitude by reminding myself that when nothing is clear everything is possible. And as such, with not a clue on what to expect, my first glimpse of Mexico City from up high was greeted with an overwhelming sense of now promise and excitement.

The final descent to Mexico City was unlike anything I have ever before seen
Then as we began our final descent, the sight from my window was like nothing I have ever before seen. I have forever wanted to visit one of these so called "megacities" and with a staggering 21.2 million people all working and living here, Mexico City, is unbelievably huge. I mean seriously, it's really, really, really big.

So big in fact, we were flying for some fifteen minutes over and above the city before we touched down, during which the whole time I was glued to the window with the same level of excitement as a child waking on Christmas morning.

And whilst I had kind of expected it, I still found myself completely overwhelmed at how not-like-England everything seemed to be.

Yes, unlike Canada and the States which had this almost constant familiarity, this really didn't. From the layout of the streets, the design of the buildings, the colors of the World, this was, whatever the case, going to be an almighty experience and one that I could now not wait to begin.

Welcome Ben to Mexico City. Welcome to Stage 2.