Fear shouldn’t stop a vacation

Shaina James

Over winter break I visited the beautiful country of Mexico. After going to the Dominican Republic for past vacations, I wanted to travel to a different tropical location.

After doing hours and hours of research on what location would be cheapest, since I am a college student after all, and Riviera Maya, Mexico seemed to offer the most for your buck. My boyfriend and I were really excited and could not wait for the adventure that was only weeks away.

However, our excitement soon turned into worry, which was followed by hesitation. When we shared with our friends, co-workers and family that we would soon be vacationing in Mexico, they quickly addressed their concerns.

I heard many different stories about tourists being killed, kidnapped, robbed, drugged and really anything related to tourists being in danger. My uncle even told me not to eat the ice because some places put drugs in it that will make you pass out.

We did research online and there were mixed opinions about traveling to Mexico. Most of the reviews said that as long as you stayed in the tourists cities or on your resort, you would be safe.

Others mentioned police officers pulling visitors over and forcing the tourists to give them money, or people being kidnapped on their way to the resort from the airport and held hostage in order to get money from the victim’s family.

We thought about these warnings and decided to take our chances and go to Mexico anyway. How bad could it really be there? The night before I couldn’t fall asleep; however, it was not from being over excited, it was because I was so nervous.

When we finally stepped off the plane in Mexico after a long flight, all my boyfriend and I were hoping for was to just make it to our resort. We had set up our transportation from the airport to our resort when we made reservations for our vacation.

We were nervous it would be some shady cab driver in a car that was falling apart that would take us to a scary room where we would be tortured. However, we were greeted by a friendly young man who guided us into a large tourist van.

We finally got to our resort, and looking back, the scariest part about the drive was the speeding semi-trucks on the highway. Yes, we saw many police officers with machine guns posted along the highway, but that made me feel safer.

Throughout our vacation we only left our all-inclusive resort once, but the one time we did was a great experience. All the locals we ran into were very friendly and welcoming.

Sure, the store owners at the shops were pushy and tried ripping everyone off. And yes, if you tipped the bartenders, they instantly became your best friend. But isn’t it the same in the U.S.?

So if you want to go to Mexico, or any other country for that matter but have been too scared, do not believe everything you hear. As long as you’re smart and aren’t asking for trouble, you probably won’t get into any.

I almost canceled my trip but I am so glad I did not. I was able to experience the great food, friendly people and culture of Mexico. What I thought would be the worst vacation turned out to be an amazing experience.