WEEK ONE IMPRESSIONS
In this crazy world known as Remote Year, time flies. With an initial whirlwind of meeting new people, adjusting to working remotely, and exploring this massive city, the first week was, to say the least, a tad overwhelming (but don't worry, I kind of love it).
Upon arrival in Mexico City, we were shuttled off from the airport to our coworking space here in the city (which is amazing, but more on that in a later post) where a group of other remotes had gathered and were getting to know each other. Whenever we were ready, we were given keys and bussed over to our apartments. In my case, a short 8 minute drive or a 12 minute walk. Entering my apartment, I met my first 3 roommates for the year, all wonderfully interesting and unique people from New York & Ireland. Albeit a bit dated, the apartment is spacious with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large kitchen, and shared living area. We even have a dishwasher (lacking in my SF apartment), fast and reliable wifi, and a washer/dryer (eeeeee!).
Meeting 70+ digital nomads from all over the world was a bit like speed dating at first - giving the where you're from, what you do, and a brief life story on repeat to each new face. There were a lot of new faces. Yet, after a few days many of the faces became familiar, shared dinners and experiences were had, and a sense of community began to form. Considering I'm a sort of a judgmental person (admittedly one of my flaws), I was a tad surprised to not be annoyed by anyone yet. Weird, right?
Considering some remotes traveled from Europe, or one even from Moscow, my short flight from San Francisco seemed easy. Having been to Mexico City before early in 2016 (you can see my 3 day itinerary here), I knew a bit about what to expect, but "living" in the city makes me appreciate it even more. Mexico City is a city of contrasts - of old and new, of colonial and concrete, of rich and poor, of hardscapes and landscapes, of bougie and down-to-earth. You can buy a taco off a street vendor or have a lavish multi course tasting menu at Pujol, yet enjoy both experiences equally. Despite its sprawl, Mexico City is chock full of greenery. On every street you find trees or a nice park, softening the endless sea of concrete and providing an oasis within the city. The colors are vibrant, the people are kind, and the giant wooden doors lining the streets of Condesa, Hipodromo, & Roma Norte (the neighborhoods we are mostly in) are totally my jam.
On a money standpoint, as a San Franciscan, Mexico City is remarkably inexpensive. You can uber 30 minutes for $7, buy 4 churros for 75 cents, or have a complete meal of chilaquiles with two eggs and beans for $1.75. Thanks to our wonderful team on the ground in Mexico City, Paulina and Diego, recommendations of what to do, where to eat, and solutions to basic issues are all just an email or slack message away. For example, I broke a nail this past weekend, so Paulina recommended a great place to have nails done for less than half of what I normally pay in the states. Yep, got that booked for Thursday. Despite traveling for an entire year, I'm quite certain I will save money this year...
Some highlights so far include the modernist masterpiece, the Luis Barragan House (more in a later post), exploring Chapultepec Castle at golden hour, and eating all the foods. Looking forward to seeing more of this city, but also coming to terms with the fact that a month won't be nearly enough time to experience it all. C'est la vie.