I am trying to squeeze every bit of Oaxaca into my last days in Mexico as I possibly can. I don't want to go home wishing I did this, or wishing I saw that. After nearly two years exploring this fascinating country, I am heading back to Australia for some quality time with friends and family. But, until my last day I am enjoying all that Oaxaca has to offer and the XX Feria Internacional del Mezcal (20th International Fair of Mezcal) was in town thanks to Guelagetza 2017 and I was not going to miss out on a day of tasting mezcal from over 55 different distilleries.
Here is a brief break down of Mezcal, incase you were unsure of this very unique, Oaxacan liquor. Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from many different types of agave plants that are native to Mexico. The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl mexcalli metl and ixcalli which means "oven-cooked agave". I have been told from many people in Oaxaca that Mezcal doesn't get you drunk, it gets you get high....
Coffee, the elixir of life. Here in Mexico we are lucky to have access to some of the highest quality, organic coffee in the world and there a many little cafes making damn good brews here in the city. Coffee plantations are dotted around Mexico, predominately in Chiapas and Oaxaca. There is a long and heavy history with the Mexican coffee industry, I am not well versed enough on the subject to delve deeper but I know that thanks to local famers forming their own co-ops and fair trade agreements, they are finally securing partnerships around the world on their terms for the right trade prices.
Now, I am definitely not a coffee snob. A cup of americano never disappoints, but when I want to get a bit fancy I go for an espresso cortado or a latte with almond milk and these are the places I found in the city that deliver the goods every time.
Last year whilst living in Puerto Escondido, I was lucky enough to volunteer with Esteriliza Y Educa. A non-for-profit animal clinic who are helping educate people on animal welfare as well as providing veterinary care and sterilisation campaigns (de-sexing) for dogs and cats in the area.
Volunteering with Esteriliza Y Educa made such an big impact on my life. I was able to meet people from all around the world who were volunteering their time and skills to help these animals in poor situations. There were veterinarians from other states of Mexico, Australia, America and other far lands lending their talents at the clinic to make sure every animal that came in had a fighting chance at a better life.
The owner Alejandro García opens his home, which is also the clinic every Sunday so that people can bring their pets or strays that need help in to be de-sexed and examined for little to no cost. It is a basic set up but they get the job done with what they have.
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If you are waking up in Oaxaca City on a Sunday, a bit hazy from a couple of mezcales the night before, searching for a coffee and possibly some food to settle your stomach, you might be out of luck. Nearly everything is closed on a Sunday in the city, due to it being a day of rest and many are spending time with family or heading off to church.
But, Sunday in many other parts of the world is for brunching. So, for those who need that mimosa or two, I have scrambled together a list of the best places (That are open) to serve all your brunch needs so you don't need to do anymore work than you need to, because you know, it's Sunday.
I have been missing home so much lately! Sydney feels so far away from me after spending the last two years on the other side of the world. I have actually had dreams of being back in Sydney, walking along the beautiful Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk. When I woke up all I could think about were the awesome places I used to hang out in Summer... I know it is winter right now in Australia but it's summer here in Mexico and all I want to do is cool off at these amazing spots again.
I am living in Mexico right now and I have been thinking about the other places in the world that I need to see in the next few years. I have had a weird feeling lately like I am running out of time. I have to remind myself I have PLENTY of time to explore this beautiful world and I am so lucky to have already seen so much. There is no rush, but holy crap I can't wait to cross these destinations off my list!
So I have been diving deep into Pinterest and travel sites to create my ultimate list and I wanted to share my final cut with you.
If you have ever taken a long flight or endless bus ride around the world you know its tough. It is hard on your body and normally if you are changing timezones you will be all jet lagged and loopy.
After taking many crazy long flights, I have figured out my little routine to battle jet lag and survive the flight. I try to book a flight that is flying during the night so it feels more natural to my body to get some sleep. I have my meal*, get some work done, watch a movie and take some melatonin tablets to help me get some rest. Melatonin is great to take after your flight for a few days also, as it helps with jet lag recovery.
I also meditate before I go to sleep so my mind is not distracted and I have the best chance of getting a few hours of rest. There are some great apps for sleep meditation available and also some calming music apps that might help you relax also.