International Travel in Pandemic Times: Mexico

View from our terrace in Oaxaca

It is not all back to normal by a long shot. We have now been in Mexico for two weeks and are preparing to return home in three days. We’ll go shortly to see if we can now get a required Covid test that will allow us to board our plane for Dallas on Tuesday afternoon.

We asked at our hotel, found our way to a lab, which referred us to another. Rapid tests cost 800 pesos (about us $40) or a regular test with a longer turn-around time would be 2,000 pesos or $100. We have no idea what we’ll do if the test is positive and we can’t board our plane.

That is, of course not likely. Precautions here are much stricter than anywhere I’ve been in the U.S. We wore masks most of the time in our small 15-passenger van with the group of Americans with whom we traveled and shared meals and conversations for 9 days.

Here is what I wrote after our first day in Mexico City, and the same has held true in Puebla and Oaxaca.

Uber from the airport (Puerto 7) was easy and fast despite roads clogged with traffic. The driver was amazing, like driving a Grand Prix. The long line through immigration moved relatively quickly—maybe 1/2 hour wait on a Saturday night. The pedestrian streets near Zocalo were full of families until shops closed at 10 pm. It felt safe. We seem to be by far the oldest people on the streets and on the plane. I gave the Uber driver “two people with white hair“ as our description.

Almost everyone on the street was masked last night. We had our temperatures taken as we entered the hotel and a bottle of hand sanitizer was held out for our hands. What I realize is with everyone masked it is even harder for me to understand what people are saying in a foreign country than it is at home.

There are often long lines for getting into places, and many museums and churches are closed. All the staff in restaurants and shops are masked, and only people eating and drinking are unmasked.

I’m not sure I’m happy traveling in this new world, but I’m afraid this is what I’ll probably be living with for the rest of my life.

In the airport before leaving for Mexico. Never thought we’d be wearing masks nearly all day every day for more than two weeks.

Author: Linnea Hendrickson

I am a retired librarian who walked my first camino to Santiago de Compostela in 2010, all alone from Le Puy-en-Velay to Finisterre. I've since returned to Spain, France, Portugal, or Italy at least every other year and continued to walk the many ways to Santiago.

6 thoughts on “International Travel in Pandemic Times: Mexico”

  1. That sky is gorgeous! I hope you and Kent had fun despite the restrictions. You’ll be home before you know it, and
    happy to be where you can unmask all day. Be safe, be well.

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  2. I’m glad you were able to still travel. Like you, I felt that precautions were stronger than in the US when I went on my trip to France this summer and fall. Thanks for telling us about your trip. I would love to get back to Oaxaca some day.

    Like

  3. Ah, the beautiful cielo azul de Oaxaca! Hope your return is hassle-free. Roxanna is going today to a small village in Morelos to interview potters. She will need to speak with them through a Nahuatl interpreter.

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  4. Thanks for sharing and taking us along memory lane. Took this similar trip several years ago sans mask! Awesome trip. Welcome home!

    Like

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