I had my doubts about Mexico. It had a reputation for drug wars, crime, violence, poverty and pollution. It turned out that all of that was exaggerated. Media reporting had focused on the northern states near the US border. Mexico City and Oaxaca where we spent our time felt safer than anywhere we had visited in South America. Quelle surprise! On top of that, the food was good. No - better than good - actually extraordinary. Mexicans were friendly and easy going and they had a wealth of culture to explore that I knew very little about. Aztecs. Mayans. Archaeological sites. Artists. Frida Kahlo. Diego Rivera. Orozco. Galleries. Museums. Festivals. And the best haircut I have ever had.
In fairness, Mexico City was probably strongly influenced by staying at the incredible Red Tree House. Having spent my life travelling professionally, I've become averse to 5 star sanitised business hotels. Boutique accommodation with character, style and friendly knowledgeable staff are what I now seek out. For more discoveries have a look here.