I walked across the California-Tijuana border weeks after Donald Trump’s administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
I always thought my first trip to Mexico would be a drunken, Spring Break blur. I imagined myself on an all-inclusive Cancun resort, ordering rounds of Piña Coladas while sitting at a swimming pool bar.
How I ended up walking to Mexico is beyond me. After booking my flight from Sacramento to San Diego, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Tijuana. When I have a
stupid idea, it becomes engrained in my mind. I will go to any extent to fulfill my new-found goal, even if that means crossing the Mexico border, by foot, only weeks after the DACA controversy.
I was warned by my professors, new American friends, and roommates not to follow-through on this trip. “There are nicer and safer places in Mexico for a Canadian girl like you to travel to,” said one of my profs.
But there I was, sitting in a trolley (like an actually trolley) with a bunch of Mexican workers heading to TJ. It was about a 30 minute ride from San Diego to the border. The landscape changed rapidly. What started off as mansions, turned into boarded trailers, tents, and abandoned areas.
Bienvenido a Tijuana
There I was, in Tijuana. What a contrast this city was from San Diego. I was intrigued by the colours and inspired by the culture. I felt safe; I felt curious. This was an aspect of Mexico I would not have experienced if I merely stayed on a resort. I felt brave for taking the plunge and following my dreams to cross a border by foot… Like What!? I’m still shocked I did that!
Day 1: The Drinking & The Partying
Disclaimer: I’m going to avoid filling my post with crappy-quality, nighttime iPhone photography. It will take away from the high-quality photos later in this post.
I spent only two short days in TJ. They were filled with a lifetime of experiences and happiness though. I heard all the rumours about Tijuana being a party town. Those rumours are definitely true! Bars were bumping electronic music before dawn and club promoters were handing out guest-list cards while I still had my luggage in hand.
My hotel was on Agenda Revolucioń, the main street in Tijuana. A quick step outside my hotel lead me to an array of Mexican restaurants and bars. I LOVE Mexican food. It became a new-found obsession ever since I moved to California. For under $10 USD, I ate three tacos, drank 2 super-large margaritas, and devoured a bowl of chips and SPICY dips. This was one of the best and cheapest dinners I had ever had. As you can tell by my eyes in the first photo (see below), the drinks were pretty good too.
After the f&#%!@? delicious dinner, we found ourselves in-and-out of a selection of clubs, where we ordered the classic Corona and lime each time. When in Mexico, am I right? Instead of the usual greasy pizza and fries to end the night, I ordered this incredible Nutella and whipped cream crepe from a dessert place called 42 Sabores. My stomach was satisfied.
Day 2: The Exploration
My only full day in Tijuana consisted of exploring the area surrounding my hotel. Having limited time and being a new visitor to the area, I decided not too wander too far away from the other tourists.
Like most of my other photo-heavy blog posts, I want my pictures to do most of the talking. This is my photo journal of TJ. These photos will make any sceptic question their negative beliefs about this city. It is culturally rich – more than any other place I have ever been to. Be prepared to have your breathe taken away.
P.s. The locals are WONDERFUL! They are so dedicated to each one of their businesses, from playing instruments to selling food. The happiness in their daily lives is contagious. One business owner let me sit and take a picture with his donkey FOR FREE. He said he believes in good karma, and so do I. Those little moments of bliss and positivity mean the world to me.