My YA travel novel, Sketchy Tacos, has been four years in the making, and it’s now available for pre-order on Amazon. I could not be more excited! In honor of Sketchy Tacos‘ release next week, I want to share with you about the year I spent in Mexico. Get the inside scoop on the story behind the novel!
I married my husband, Alan, on May 11, 2013, and the next day we traveled to Mexico. We spent a four days at Secret’s Silver Sands halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It really was a slice of paradise. It was the perfect getaway for our honeymoon since we had a short time and just wanted to enjoy each other and relax.
They came out on kayaks to deliver snacks to the pool-goers one afternoon!
Alan took lessons on how to catamaran. He absolutely loved it! So he took me out too. We had a lot of fun.
The honeymoon was so short because we had to return to our new home in Toluca to greet the guests for our second reception.
The Mexican reception can really only be described as a massive fiesta! There was a live band. Everybody danced. At different points in the night the band out hand out favors like these hats or huge sun glasses or glow necklaces. Everyone had a blast!
Life got a lot less glamorous after that. We settled into our house, which was painted in bright colors and had a fabulous kitchen. It was a large space that was pretty much empty because we had no furniture of our own except a bed. That Monday Alan went back to work because he only had ten vacation days. And from then until the time we left, he worked 10-13 hour days and many weekends with no additional pay. I had no car and an empty house. Even though I was newly married, I was very lonely.
Enter Pascal. We got our little pug one month after we got married. He’s been a bright spot in our lives ever since.
This was the day we brought him home. He wouldn’t leave my side for the next three days at least. He instantly became a part of our family and I was a whole lot less lonely with another living creature in the house.
Alan zonked out after a long day at work and Pascal, curious as ever.
We settled into a rhythm of writing, potty training, cooking, and other such mundane things. My favorite thing to do each week was go to the market. The food there was so fresh and flavorful and cheap! We’d spend $10 and come home with bags and bags of fresh produce.
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On free weekends, we would travel to nearby towns. We loved visiting his family in Ixtapan de la Sal, which was a lot warmer than Toluca. It had a beautiful church, sprawling markets, and Alan’s grandma–who’s the sweetest little woman you’ve ever met. She speaks no English, and my Spanish wasn’t great. But every time I visited, she wrapped me in a strong hug and called me, “Mi niña hermosa,” which means “my gorgeous girl.”
One of my favorite trips was to the sun temple in Mexico City. Pictures just don’t do it justice. It is truly immense and awe-inspiring. Breath-taking is an apt description since you will be out of breath by the time you reach the top. But the stunning view it certainly worth the climb.
We had a lot of ups and downs that first year of marriage, but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to know his family and his home country better. Mexico has such a rich culture and vibrant people. It opened my eyes to a whole new world and unlocked my imagination. I just knew I had to share the amazing way of life I witnessed there.
Though Sketchy Tacos is not an autobiography by any stretch of the imagination, you’ll glimpse each of these components reimagined in the novel. Want to see how they all fit together? Grab a copy of Sketchy Tacos for only $3.99 on Amazon! Thanks for your support!
Have you ever traveled somewhere that’s changed your life? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I want to hear from you in the comments!