Hello everyone! Welcome to this blog. We’re finally going to the Americas! The first chunk of our trip has been deemed “Northern America” where we touched base at 3 different spots in the area:
1) British Columbia, Canada
2) New York, USA
3) Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Now, I’m saving you the whole rant about what’s the proper way to talk about and divide the countries in America according to the Continent Models. As a Mexican we are thought the six continent model and America being one as a whole. America is then divided into North, Central and South.
“Northern America”, as a term distinct from “North America”, excludes Central America, which itself may or may not include Mexico. In the limited context of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the term covers Canada, the United States, and Mexico, which are the three signatories of that treaty.
Got into a bit of a rabbit hole and there’s other ways of dividing the continent but since this is what I was though, this is what I’m going for. If you’re curious about the dets on this, check out this blog:
One of our main excuses to come to this side of the world this year to begin with was to attend Jono’s best friend’s wedding in British Columbia. Therefore, to start off our trip to the Americas, we flew all the way to the Vancouver (YVR) from Auckland (AKL).
As the INFP that I am (a dreamer), I originally had planned on doing a big trip from Vancouver to Toronto through the Trans Canadian Railway. This was the first time I’d ever stepped on Canadian soil after all. So I was really excited to try and hit as many of the popular hotspots as possible. Taking into consideration that our other must do destination was New York (to visit my brother) all the way to the east, Jono and I talked about taking the Canada Train from Vancouver to Toronto.
Visiting all of Canada in one trip is a massive undertaking after all. Canada is the second largest country in the world, spanning an astounding 4 million square miles and 6 time zones. Over 6,350 kilometers (3,946 miles) separate Vancouver from Halifax — about the same distance separating London and New Delhi.
This seemed to be the best way tackle the most area in Canada with the least amount of money at the time.
Jono and I were actually looking at this option quite seriously for a while but after weeks (and maybe months) of consideration, we decided to go easy on North America (at least Canada and USA) since we were also planning on following up with a Central American trip and we much rather spend a few months all over Mexico and Central America than a few weeks in a handful of North American cities.
Plus, most of the popular spots are pretty well developed at the moment (same with USA), so we thought Canada’s hotspots will be there whenever we decide and have the chance to visit again in the future.
We concentrated our visit into British Columbia.
We ended up staying mostly in the Vancouver Coast area, including:
- Sunshine Coast
Similarly to what happened for the Canadian trip, my completionist mind wanted to at the very least tackle a sub region of the country… If we’re already in New York, why not tackle at least the states and / or cities around it, right? But low and behold, I came back to my senses and agreed to only stay one week in New York to move on as soon as possible to Mexico, were we would be able to travel more comfortably for waaaay less money.
New York city has a lot to offer after all and I was told by the locals (my brother) no matter how long I stay in the city, I’d never run out of things to see and try to take it easy.
We came here to visit my brother Jorge, who had been living and working in the US before and after Covid. We flew my parents there so we had our family meeting together where Jono got to meet everybody.
I was born in Monterrey and grew up in one of the metropolitan cities. Although my hometown and the whole state of Nuevo Leon aren’t necessary know for it’s tourism, they have lots and lots of culture to experience and iconic places to visit.
The theme for this trip for me was to visit the three main cities of Mexico (Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City) and their surroundings within each of their states to show the amazing culture beneath each of the cities’ the surface. Unfortunately, we had to come back to New Zealand before we had planned so we only visited my hometown Monterrey. We spent a whole month there visiting family and recurrent and iconic places from childhood.
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Monterrey is the capital of the state of Nuevo León, in northeastern Mexico. It is a sprawling industrial and commercial center surrounded by mountains. We’re, in fact, nicknamed “the city of the mountains”.
The Palacio del Obispado, a historic Baroque palace with a regional museum, dominates the city’s skyline. In the center is the Macroplaza, a vast green area of connected squares that houses the striking Museum of Contemporary Art and the Faro del Comercio tower, which projects a green laser light into the sky.
Guadalajara is a city in western Mexico known for tequila and mariachis, both originating from Jalisco, the state whose capital is Guadalajara.
Its historic center is dotted with plazas and colonial monuments, such as the neoclassical Degollado Theater and a cathedral with two bell towers with golden spiers. The Government Palace houses famous murals by the painter José Clemente Orozco.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is the densely populated capital of Mexico that is located at high altitude.
It is famous for its Templo Mayor (a 13th-century Aztec temple), the Baroque-style Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico from the Spanish conquistadors, and the National Palace, which houses historic murals by Diego Rivera. All these landmarks are located around the Plaza de la Constitución, the huge main square also known as the Zócalo.
This was the first part of our trip in America where we also visited 5/7 countries in Centro America. Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Check out the blog here:
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