I Had A Revelation In Mexico City For My Birthday
I’d like to start off with a disclaimer, before I went to this amazing trip to Mexico city, I had never took a trip, a break, vacations, baecations, not even something close to a nap since I was 18 years old (really disturbing I know but hey that’s my life).
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If you didn’t get it by now, I’m a workaholic, a work horse, a work-oriented person and a part-time stressed out individual (okay a full time one actually).
You would think that my birthday coming up would’ve been enough to slow down and take some time off, at one point I thought so.
Somehow my 29th birthday sounded like a magic number to me. That mean’t I wasn’t 20 anymore and I was about to be 30.
Watch The Full Trip Here
I wanted this upcoming decade to feel and be special. They say insanity is about doing something over and over and expect a different result. Yeah you got it, I was insane for most of my twenties.
I needed to push the reset button. Put things into perspective while doing something I don’t normally do.
My partner in content, Steve Daniel gave me the missing piece to this puzzle.
I remember vividly his usual-overexcited-face as he said: ”How bout turning 29 in Mexico city bro?!”.
It was for the weekend of ”Los Dias De Los Muertos”, Mexico City’s biggest cultural weekend of them all.
It sounded good. I could see myself with the traditional masks on, at this point I had taco fever just thinking about the trip.
I needed a ticket. Straight through because I expected a long day at work the day of the flight and I couldn’t see myself doing the ”connect flights” thing.
Once again my partner Steve Daniel came to the rescue by introducing me to Interjet Airlines.
This airline specializes in destinations all over South America and the United States. From Columbia To Cancun all the way to New York.
They have their own separated booth at Montreal’s airport. They provide you all the information you need about who is who and what is what in Mexico and all their destinations.
For a control freak like me, I was sold from the jump. Before I knew it, the flight was booked.
I had 4 days of I-dont-know-what-to-expect ahead of me and over 5000 in Mexican pesos in my pockets (I literally felt rich for a minute).
A real desire for new adventures started to grow on me.
The Beautiful Unfamiliar
Since I only speak ”Un Poquito” Spanish, it was only right that I had my friend traveling with me.
As a content creator, on a first trip, loaded with gadgets for photography and videos, of course I over-packed.
Fortunately enough, Interjet Airlines had it covered in some of the most spacious airplane seats I’ve ever seen in terms of leg room (I’m 5.11 and kinda chubby so I guess I know what I’m talking about here).
We took the flight the Friday of my birthday, so technically I’ve turned 29 in the sky somewhere between Montreal and Mexico.
When we touched down, we had no specific plan, I didn’t took notes of what to do or what to see.
It was 4 AM, I had to accept that the only thing to do at that point was to reach our Airbnb.
After rounds of back and forth and google-translated convos, my friend and I got lost.
Usually, the excessive time-management-freak in me would’ve lost it but strangely enough, I was trusting life for once.
We got to a gate where two guards came out of with barking dogs hungry for young Montrealers.
Disregarding my extreme phobia for dogs, I was trusting life again and since I’m still here to write about it, I guess it worked…
I was ”going with the flow”.
A couple minutes and some broken Spanish instructions later, we got to our destination safe & sound.
The transformation was beginning but I didn’t know it yet.
Sure enough, forget about 8 hours of sleep, we’re in Mexico City baby!
The 4 of us at the Airbnb decided to hit the streets early to see what the whole ”Los Dias De Los Muertos” was about.
Nothing written down, just a few addresses to stop by. The ”go with flow” version of myself was in and so we went.
Our first stop was…You’ve guessed it the Nike store!
I Made One With My Environment
Usually I try my best to stand out and not follow protocol but usually I’m in Montreal, so I think these rules do not apply.
”Los Dia De Los Muertos” is a cultural event where the locals celebrate their lost ones by painting their face, put on costumes and throw parades in the streets.
For Mexican people, death is a natural step in the human journey and that specific day is where the spirit of each past away loved ones get to reconnect with them.
Skulls are everywhere, flashy makeups too, the streets is full of spectacles and we decided to take part. Literally!
The parades were beautiful and overwhelming at times but in a positive way.
Even though we couldn’t relate on a cultural level to how important this celebration is to Mexican people, we felt their energy.
It taught me that sometimes, you need to let go of your barriers and just feed off the crowd.
”Take part of what’s going on, be one with your environment.”
After that amazing afternoon of parades and skulls, it was time to eat and sure we did!
A Foodie And A Dream
I told you before about my need for routines and schedules right?
The same usually goes for my food but for some reason, Mexico city erased that habit in a fun and exciting way.
Before we get to the nitty gritty, I must say that their range of food was actually impressive.
You got your usual McDonald’s and Starbucks of the world but in the meantime you can have a taco place next to a steakhouse and next to it, a Chinese spot in the same food court.
First we went for breakfast at Crepes & Waffles, a Colombian restaurant chain in the style of your regular breakfast joints BUT with a twist for flavor, presentation and TASTE !
And Then This Happened…
Blame it on the euphoria of the weekend or the couple ”Cervecaz” we had.
My friends and I decided to go out to the San Juan Market to try and eat some…(my stomach still can’t believe it as I’m writing this) B-U-G-S !
If you think about those cute candies where the bug represents 20% of the actually mix, you’re far from the truth.
I’m talking about grilled grasshoppers, tarantulas and the worst of the worst, ROACHES.
Before this trip, I was known for playing it safe and never breaking the cycle.
Here I was, a grasshopper in one hand and a roach in the other.
This represented what overthinking actually looks and feels like.
You look at things you don’t know with fear and even repulsion and then you try it and guess what :
You absolutely enjoy it (especially the tarantulas!).
Trust me, the minute before taking any of these bugs into my mouth were priceless.
What Happens In Mexico City Stays In….
Of course we had to take part in the nightlife scene out there.
I feel like you don’t really know about a country or a city until you hit their local clubs, strip clubs and bars.
That’s where you get to meet the regular folks who are just here to have a good time.
If you lucky enough, you’ll stumble upon some locals willing to help you get your feet wet into some Salsa or Bachata.
Speaking of, we did find ourselves in several different clubs sometimes in the same night.
Once again, that currency thing will make you feel like a Warren Buffet up there.
For the equivalent of 40 Canadian dollars each we had a constant flow of bottles and drinks coming our way.
You can tell by the lack of footage or pictures that those nights in Mexico City were meant to be written down in the books (for what I remember from them).
I’ve Climbed The Mountain Top
I”m not the athletic guy in no shape or form.
This 15 minutes walk or crawl in my case all the way to the top was an experience in itself.
Those Aztec Pyramids felt serene, it literally rocked my soul and made me think about how small my world actually is.
Just to think about all the things I haven’t seen yet, places I didn’t go, people I didn’t meet.
I was starring down at what seem like the world from the top of the mountain and felt like I needed more moments like these to come and feel complete.
I’ve Found Out Something About Me In Mexico City
I’ve heard many times that traveling cures ignorance and now that I have a first hand experience with it, I can say that it’s 100% true.
Everything you thought you knew, every stereotypes you had in mind about certain folks or countries disappear when you get to see things from close.
You lose your regular parameters all of sudden and forces you to improvise which improves your resourcefulness.
You can be the best prepared human being on earth, there are times where you will either get lost or you will have the wrong information period.
A part of the fun is to make it out of those of ”problematic situations” and improvise.
I’ve found out that:
beyond a comfort zone and a routine lies excitement and discovery.
I’ve found out that I was way more flexible and relax when I let things go instead of forcing things.
I’ve found out I was able to ask for some help since my non-spanish-speaking-self couldn’t order a water bottle even if my life depended on it.
Most of all, I’ve finally come to the conclusion and there are far more things in life than W-O-R-K, ”Getting Shit Done” and ”Building An Empire“.
Honestly, I’ve realized that I was more of an adventurer than I thought.
I’ve even reconsider my way of doing things totally.
I could see myself rearrange my workflow to have the freedom of enjoying experiences like these on a monthly basis if it was possible!
Did I just caught the travel bug? Or maybe it was the actual bugs I’ve ate at San Juan Market, who knows?!
One thing’s for sure, if it wasn’t for Interjet Airlines, NONE of this would have been possible and our team and I would like to thank them again.
Take my word for it; from an ex workaholic and control freak, take that trip!
Take out the Visa and treat yourself. Mexico City is place where you can feel outside of your element enough to recharge and put things to perspectives.
It’s a like sunnier Montreal where everybody speaks Spanish and where the buses actually arrive on time.
Sounds like a place you would visit? Check out Injerjet’s flight schedules and see what works for you!
Myraï Lavoie Is Taking The Fashion World By Storm With The Glitch Fashion Show
Myraï Lavoie Is Creating Her Own Universe And You’re Invited
What I appreciate the most about my work is the fact that I get to meet great minds & humans with a powerful story and this time around, I got to cross path with the talented Myraï Lavoie.
The city has been quiet fashion wise over the years and as platform that mostly talked about fashion in its inception, we’ve felt it the most over here.
There would be sparks of hope here and there but besides Festival De Mode & Design, not a lot of things really stood out.
When I heard about ”The Glitch” it’s like I knew what it was about without nothing what it was about.
I mean good branding is good branding but it was more so who’s behind the good branding this time around. I had the chance to work with Myraï Lavoie in the past and one thing I can is : there’s a method to her madness.
Every artist has an eye and that eye is shaped by our views of the world and life experiences. Myraï had an interesting life.
One where being different is actually the move. One where if you don’t fit somewhere, you don’t try to get in the mold, you bend it.
For all the lack of support or misunderstand she got in Montreal, she found a place to be creative working or being in room with the likes of Paris Hilton & P. Diddy to name a few.
What she’s learned from coming out of her shell and experiencing the world she’s about the share it with us with her own fashion called ”The Glitch” tonight.
”The Glitch” is exactly what I thought it was going to be. A standout experience and experience and something you’ve never seen before just like its creator.
The 50th Anniversary Of Les Grands Explorateurs Presents A Touching Documentary Exploring Africa And Its Wonders
An Amazing Story by Amazing Creators!
Les Grands Explorateurs Is Celebrating Africa In A Real Way!
Curiosity has to be the most incredible human quality there is and Les Grands Explorateurs has been putting it on the forefront for the past 50 years!
We are now entering an era where we want to know more about what is going on on the other side of the world.
How people are living, their culture and what is their reality compared to ours.
Sometimes the depiction of such reality is either unfair or made to look down at somebody. Other times, filmmakers have the challenge to depict a reality in a way to uplift what other cultures are bringing to the table.
Milan Bihlmann and Muammer Yilmaz are two filmmakers who know where they stand when it comes to that.
”Rêves D’Afrique” is the epidemy of that. The two filmmakers decided to go to 7 countries in Africa to not only paint the picture for the world but to give the good people out there something we forget to give one another : ”a piece of yourself’.
Armed with a backpack, film gear and true altruism, the duo spread love and good deeds wherever they could throughout their trip.
Watch The Trailer
Les Grands Explorateurs being this platform to uncover the world made the right choice by adding this beautiful piece to their program.
Up until November 1st, you still have the chance to see the beautiful piece in theater and then online starting November 2nd.
Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais: An Unlikely Journey For An Unlikely Unique Success Story
A Change Is Coming…Finally?
I grew up in the 90’s and although we can only realize it now but seeing people like Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais striving in a space where not a lot of us do is what was missing this whole time.
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The thing about representation is that you won’t know you need it until you need it. As most of us were just looking at society, we didn’t see ourselves but also normalized it.
I think Isabelle saw something that we couldn’t see in ourselves. The truth is not at the extreme it’s right in the middle. The intersection between being different but also a part of the ecosystem was what she saw.
Representation is not about doing what’s right because it’s right but more so because it needs to be done.
Starting her career in the public sector wasn’t a thrill anymore. Then she did some soul searching and probably came to the conclusion we all come to at some point in our existence:
Life Is A Joke
For her it was literal though. She figured out that humor and the business around it was her calling so what was the first step? Becoming a comedian herself and teach a thing or two to Dave Chappelle?
What about producing your own show with up and coming artists? Well, for Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais the start of this new chapter was simple as getting a non-paid internship.
Just For Laughs became her new home and with that started her mission to be at the forefront of what the landscape in comedy was to become.
Through thick and thin, work and dedication, intuition and know-how, she pulled through and the big way too!
Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais became the director of ZooFest. With her pulse on the scene, she fought and pushed for upcoming talents that are more than just tanned.
We’re seeing more BIPOCs getting a chance on stage and I would like to believe that this is just the beginning.
Speaking of ZooFest, if you want to see for yourself how this festival has grown in diversity and get a good kick out of it. You still have the opportunity to do so tomorrow as the last day of the celebration
With french performers like Lenny M’Bunga, AZ, Marine Ella, Meryem Benoua, Ayoub Marceau & Hugo.
Live podcasting will also be a part of the last run of the show. In the corner of Jeanne-Mance & Maisonneuve, you can can get a good view, a good potential date, you get to see greatness in all shapes, size or color AND of course a good laugh!
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