During the summer of 2008, I took a vacation with my family to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was my first trip outside of my home country, the United States. It impacted me in many ways because it was so different compared to the U.S. I learned a lot about the country on this trip; not only was it a great experience with my family because it was fun and exciting, but it was also a chance for me to experience the differences of one country from another. One of the main differences between Mexico and the United States is the language barrier.
During my seventh and eighth grade years of schooling, I took Spanish classes. I was able to pick up and recognize a lot of the language that people I encountered used. What I soon found out was that what I had learned in school was language derived from Spain, rather than Mexico. The people I encountered though were very polite and would make corrections to certain words I was using when I would talk to them. I learned that the Spanish language varies in every Spanish speaking country, not only are there different phrases used to describe things, but there are also slang words that are developed. These words also vary between Spanish speaking countries because they are developed especially in that country, so it is more likely that the country you are in specifically uses that phrase, but others do not. Hearing the various types of phrases and slang-in which I recognized some of the words but not the whole phrase-taught me a lot about how to explore language in different countries and how different changes are made over the years to make certain phrases their own. Mexico not only takes great pride in their language, but also the services learned in the country itself.
In Mexico, at least the parts I visited; there are not many options in kinds of jobs to choose from. In Cabo San Lucas, a lot of the jobs come from hotels and tourist attractions. What I was able to notice was that although some of the work is tedious and boring, or what could be found boring and repetitive in the U.S., they take great pride in because they want to do their very best in order to keep their jobs. Not to mention the conditions they work in. The heat in Mexico can sometimes shoot up to extremes. I live in Vancouver, Washington. We don’t see many extremes in temperatures there, so I was surprised to see that in Mexico, they work in every condition. It just shows that they take their jobs very seriously and feel happy and empowered to just have a job to the point where they will work in many types of conditions. I was happy to see what an effort is put in at the various jobs because most of them that I saw occurred outside. It showed me the kind of work ethic that they strive for. The different jobs in various temperatures were one difference, but one of my favorite differences between Mexico and the U.S. were the different types of food that they served there.
In the part of Mexico that my family and I stayed, Cabo San Lucas; many of the restaurants and hotels were right above or on the beaches, right in front of where the Baja California surf could wash up. I noticed that a lot of the restaurants we visited served different kinds of fresh fish. I was excited to try all the different kinds because I knew they were fresh right from the ocean that was right at my feet. I hadn’t had that kind of experience before. I could really taste the differences in the fresh food served than that of where I live. Not only was the different seafood we had really fresh and delicious, but I also noticed that there was a side of refried beans served alongside every meal. This was really curious to me because where I live, there isn’t a certain side served with every meal. This was a new experience. I learned that the reason behind there being refried beans served was because refried beans are really dense and offer a lot thick nourishment. This is especially important because of the high temperatures in Mexico; the beans help keep you from becoming dehydrated. I learned a lot more than I expected to about the food I was eating in Mexico.
My trip to Mexico meant a lot to me because I enjoy learning and experiencing new things and that’s what the trip continually consisted of. Mexico was a great learning experience for me and I enjoy taking trips there every summer as a tradition. I learn new things that I didn’t know before on every trip. I would definitely recommend trips and vacations to Cabo San Lucas, especially if you like to learn about the differences between language, work, and food of other countries.
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