Articles (Blog)

Zuza in Mexico

Zuza in Mexico

Last year, when I turned 25, the only thing I felt was extreme anger. I was angry with myself that I was young and wasting yet another year in rainy Manchester when there are so many other places around the world I could get rained on. 

I reached Mexico at the end of June after storming through the east coast of USA like a mad person. My body was highly confused by the 2500m elevationof Mexico City, which resulted in me falling down various

stairs, losing half a tooth and getting a fever. I thought to myself, “Surely, it can only get better.” And it did.


Tepoztlan was my base for almost two months of my stay in the country. Just an hour and a half south from Mexico City, it was my jungle-oasis from the insanity of the capital. I had my own wooden hut in the Tepozteco National Park, three dogs, four cats and very good friends living nearby.

Most importantly, I had plenty of time for myself. When I turned 26, a month after arriving in Tepoztlan, I didn't feel that time was running away from me anymore. 

I had mangos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I learned to love corn as there was no escape from it. I rode in the back of pick-up trucks and took plenty of risky rides in buses so full that I almost sat on the driver’s lap. I slept in a hammock and witnessed the laziest (7a.m.!) sunrises

on the Pacific. My new nickname was “Grandota” because most people haven’t seen a woman 6’1" tall before, but that was all right since it earned me free mangos, shells and coconuts.

One day in Puerto Econdido, I met a group of people from Warsaw. We were on the back of the truck returning from a secluded Laguna de Chacahua. It turned out that they knew a girl I randomly lent money to five years ago in LondonStanstead and whom I visited at the beginning of my trip

in Philadelphia. We spent less than half an hour together but moments like these made me feel safe and assured me that this trip will pay off in many strange ways in the future. 

On the flight back from Mexico City I sat next to an older Mexican gentleman who was very curious as to what I had seen on my trip. When I told him that I spent most of my time in the mountains he could not believe it and said that Ihave wasted my time. “Why didn’t you go to Cancun?” he asked.

“It’s like going to New York and never going to a Broadway show.” When I told him that I hate musicals he politely changed his seat, which made my eleven-hour flight back quiet and absolutely delightful.

words and photos by Zuza Grubecka

Kevin De Los Santos