Going from -50 degrees to +40 degrees in the span of six months is definitely what I would call “climate change.” From the tiny middle-of-nowhere island in the Arctic, to one of the largest cities in Mexico, I can tell you right now that heat is not my style. My body is feeling the strain just a tad; going from Igloolik to Monterrey is definitely an adventure.
You might be wondering, what was I doing in the middle of northern nowhere? Furthermore, why on earth would I travel to scorching hot Monterrey in the middle of summer? Well let me tell you, I am one crazy badass; mostly crazy.
I am originally from Toronto, so let’s call it the middle of both extremes. I moved up north (and I mean Arctic Circle North) to Igloolik Island, Nunavut, to teach in an Inuit community that is very understaffed. It has always been my dream to work with Indigenous people and living in the north is an added bonus for this crazy snowflake freak. Moving up there last year was the greatest thing I had ever done, and it is an experience I treasure immensely and hope to continue pursuing for many years to come.
Now, to explain what I was doing in hot hell Monterrey in the middle of summer. While I was in the frozen North of Canada, I had started a long-distance relationship with a beauty from Mexico. About four months later, I had the privilege to fly south to see her and her world.
Monterrey is known to be an industrial city that is pretty much considered to be the capital of Northern Mexico. It is a city with prosperous zones, as well as economically struggling zones; but no matter where you are, you will always see the magnificent mountains surrounding the city. Two of the places I really enjoyed visiting (between my girlfriend’s university schedule) are the "Fundidora Park" and the "Santa Lucia Riverwalk." The Santa Lucia Riverwalk is a beautiful and known tourist spot that takes you for about a 3km walk by a manmade river. You can also get a boat tour on the river, or just take a stroll with your significant other and be all cute holding hands and taking silly pictures together. I also have to add that I loved that they strung lights on the trees to add to the beautiful and peaceful atmosphere.
When we saw the new Lion King movie in theatres, I knew exactly what was happening (but that’s mostly because I’ve seen the original movie in English so many times. El Rey Léon was definitely a hilarious experience because I enjoyed it way too much in Spanish. I would sing all the songs in English while my girlfriend sang in Spanish. I’d say we were probably the weirdos in the movie theatre; especially when the song "Hakuna Matata" started. But let's be honest, what young adult hasn't watching the new Lion King movie and felt like a child again?
This trip was definitely different from the typical "Mexico Vacation," but then again, my reason for travelling was different. I felt very welcomed wherever I went and appreciated the everyday life. While I was in Monterrey I also watched a new Netflix series called Taco Chronicles that is based on the different types of tacos and their histories in Mexico. This mouth-watering show gave me a lot of historical background on the cooking process and what influences the flavours of some of the staple tacos. I highly recommend this show to everyone—maybe it will inspire you to travel to Mexico and experience these delicioso flavours for yourself one day.
Last but not least, never forget that salsa is everything.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!