In the winter of 2008, I was lucky enough to have a good friend invite me to travel south with her to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This was, surprisingly, my first trip outside of Canada or The United States in 16 years - or, at that point half my life.

The trip was part of her company's yearly employee bonus. Each year they travel to some tropical destination to enjoy a week away. They are allowed to bring guests, and hence it was a perfect opportunity for me to kickstart my foreign travels.

My thoughts on Mexico

The food is fantastic.

If I had no other memory from the trip, the one that supercedes all is the memory of having taco's from the street vendors. It's honestly not that big a deal, but they are simple and cheap and incredibly tasty. I'm sure, as with most tasty things, that they are not good for you, but I figure they can't be worse than your typical hot dog.

While down in Mexico, I also discovered that I'm not a 'resort' person. Don't get me wrong. I like sitting on a beach and relaxing as much as the next person, but doing it for hours on end is frustrating for me. I need a sense of adventure, and that is hard to capture when sitting sipping mai tai's and watching the local beach vendors peddle their wares.

We did take off one day and do a zip line tour through the canopy. While no doubt a touristy thing, I'm completely okay with being a tourist from time to time. Tourists do fun things, see fun things, and experience fun things. That's what makes them sellable for the tour companies. If they sucked, the tourists wouldn't do them.

It was nice though to get away one day and walk off the main streets in Puerto Vallarta. Sadly, beyond a few small streets here and there, I think a lot of the houses that we saw are actually foreign owned... lagely by Canadians I was told. It seems it has become, unsurprisingly, a popular destination for vacation homes both for foreigners and for Mexicans.

While there we went to see a bull fight. Many have asked me when I got back, why I would go and see it. I have to say, I don't think I would go again. Watching someone torture an animal to death isn't great entertainment. It is however a cultural experience found in only a few places in the world. The pomp and pangentry of it, the music and the danger are all fascinating to a history buff like me. And just in case you don't think there is any real danger, at one of the fights (we saw four fights at the one event) we saw the bull toss the bullfighter into the air. The bull lost in the end, but it was somewhat disturbingly pleasing to see the bull get a parting blow in.

The photos

So while Mexico was interesting, and I learned to avoid resorts (especially around mealtime!) the weather was bright and sunny every day which makes it easy to take nice photos.

The soul can not think without a picture. - Aristotle, Ancient Greek philosopher, BC 384-322

Hope you enjoy the photos!


I am not a professional photographer, and as such have no expectation that my work will be valued by anyone other than me. If you do value it enough to take a copy, send me a note and tell me. Unless you are using it to fund your illicit arms dealing program, or use as the poster-child for a venereal disease, I'm likely to be happy to let you have it for free. More over, I'm thrilled to have someone compliment my work. A little praise goes a long way.

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