Like damn girl, I’ve already been to Mexico! She had already been to Mexico. The last place I wanted to be was with a bunch of tourists and college students on a trip that was supposed to be about me. And then, she changed my whole attitude. No Cancun. No Playa del Carmen. No Cabo San Lucas.
“How about Acapulco?” she asked me.
Acapulco? To be honest, I forgot that place even existed. So it was a perfect destination for me. Seriously, when was the last time you heard someone say they were going to Mexico, you asked them their whereabouts, and they told you “Acapulco?”
Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
So we bought the flights immediately, business class of course because everyone needs that one bougie friend to push you into splurging on yourself every now and then, and waited for our Mexican adventure. And upon waiting, we discovered a week before the trip that the U.S. State Department put Mexico on a “Code Orange” travel advisory warning. For those who don’t know, there are 4 different travel advisory levels for traveling abroad:
1 (Blue) - Exercise normal precautions
2 (Yellow) - Exercise increased caution
3 (Orange) - Reconsider travel
4 (Red) - TF are you doing? Do not go past stop.
So what’s a girl to do? I had already rearranged my plans before but the State Department was telling me, “Eden… you in danger girl.”
Should I stay so my friend and I remain safe and secure at home? Or should I risk it for a biscuit?
Flashforward to me inside Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, with biscuit in hand, waiting for my flight to Acapulco with a layover in Mexico City. Travel advisory what? That wasn’t going to stop my birthday shenanigans. We opted to thoroughly do some research, find a hotel that was close to the airport with all the amenities so we wouldn’t have to go far, and not do a lot of exploration in each crevice of the city like I would normally do in any other city. I was reminded, this was a trip to RELAX. Something I rarely do when I travel, so it was much needed.
So how was it you asked?
Acapulco was amazing and I’d recommend it to ANYONE who just wants to get away, and not be bothered. We stayed at the Encanto (which was also rented out by J.Lo at one point) and the customer service was immaculate. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you really abused the privilege of room service. As far as venturing out into other parts of the city, we only did that twice in the 5 days we were there. Once, to visit their beach club and actually lay by the water. The other was in the evening to see what was going down on their club/bar strip. No ubers there so we had to take a taxi. The man who was called to pick us up from the hotel ended up giving us his personal number so we could call him whenever and not be ripped off by other drivers. That ended up saving us a lot of money but I also realized not everyone is so lucky. You have your push peddlers always trying to sell you junk but that’s to be expected at any country you visit. The only thing that throws you off if you’re not used to it, are the semi-automatic weapons the police walk around with throughout the city. It did make me a little uneasy because I’m an avid watcher of all things Narcos and you know, El Chapo and his peoples, but no one bothered my friend and I. As long as you’re not walking around in a “Make America Great Again” cap, you’re good.
Honestly, I felt fine during my stay in Mexico. Especially in Acapulco. I really chalk it up to people (the pigment-impaired) being fearful of brown countries that they may have pissed off. BUT I'm also very attentive and alert when it comes to being a woman traveling abroad. Put it this way when it comes to visiting other countries here's SOME tricks I've done to stay safe:
- Make sure you have copies of your I.D. and passport on phone or keep an extra copy printed.
- TAKE CASH with you when you leave. Of course have your travel credit card for the unknown, but a dollar make ya holla boo.
- Give at least two people ALL of your itinerary so they can get ahold of you.
- Research where your consulate (American, British, etc.) is JUST IN CASE some sh*t happens.
It was truly the first time I’d ever been somewhere where I just let the chips fall and enjoyed another year circling around the sun. I do recommend using the travel advisory as a guide to help you decide, but if you’re ‘bout it ‘bout it like myself, just go. The greatest takeaway from Acapulco was the reminder to appreciate the traveling and just breathe. Not every destination has to be crammed so you can be on to the next. It’s good to be present and appreciative. Acapulco is a go.