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How Mexico Changed Me

I’m deathly afraid of heights, particularly when it comes to climbing up and looking down. This is the only phobia I can’t seem to shake. I exhibit all the symptoms – apprehension, dizziness, weak stomach, heart palpitations, and difficulty moving. Fast forward to Mexico. I spent a week in Mexico CIty, and the real test for my acrophobia was going to be a day trip to Teotihuacan to see the pyramids. I was feeling pretty confident about climbing the Pyramid of the Sun, even though it stands at a monstrous 210 feet. I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I had to do it. However, when the two of us became up close and personal, my confidence took a detour. My companion was so supportive, reminding me over and over again that I would regret not doing it. I almost gave up many times, but determination prevailed.

I finally made it to the top of the stairs and panic set in. I backed up against a wall and couldn’t move. I wasn't even done yet, because there was still a small area to climb unassisted by steps. All I could think about was getting back down on solid ground. About 15 minutes later, I forced myself to continue, crawling up on my hands and knees like an infant. Once I got to the top and looked around at the astonishing views, my fear genuinely floated away. I had never felt so victorious in my life, and there was no stopping me now. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I wasn’t even afraid to descend back down when it was time to go.

In addition to my phobia, I contracted food poisoning, resulting in a severe case of Montezuma’s Revenge. I was pretty sick with the flu on a trip to Europe a few years ago, and didn’t handle the inconvenience very well. I felt sorry for myself and was a bit of a “party pooper.” Fortunately, I turned into Wonder Woman this time around. Despite the extreme difficulty stalking toilets (note that most public toilets don’t have seats here), I didn’t let it ruin my visit. I took the unpleasantness with a grain of salt and rarely complained. I also participated in every activity I had planned including Lucha Libre, attractions, a dinner with locals through EatWith, sightseeing, and of course, tackling the Pyramid of the Sun.

Thank you Mexico for showing me that I’m more resilient than I thought. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.


Profile photo of Sher BonDurant

I have been living in Chicago for the past 7 years until a recent return to my hometown of Madison, WI. For the past 3 years, I was a freelance writer for the Chicago Tribune. It started with a blog about Couchsurfing and led to a second blog about events and venues in Chicago.I enjoyed writing so much that I started my own blog and travel/leisure Facebook page. I travel as much as possible and can't wait to write about it when I get home. My current addiction is Europe. I can't get enough and explore new countries every year.

6 thoughts on “How Mexico Changed Me

  1. Profile photo of Kendra SeignoretKendra Seignoret

    I had the opposite of you! Going up was fine and reaching the top was fantastic! But coming back down on those narrow steps and people all around me – all I could think of was this will hurt severely if I fell! I’m glad you made to the top, though 🙂

  2. Profile photo of Sher BonDurantSher BonDurant Post author

    I was petrified at the thought of going down until I became so victorious by reaching the very top Kendra! I really didn't think I would finish, and when I did, nothing was stopping me from getting down:) Thank you for sharing!


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