Hopping Borders: California to Mexico

My mom told me right before I started college in San Diego that if I ever went to Tijuana (AKA “TJ”), she would pull me out of college. She’d heard many terrible tales about girls getting too drunk in Mexico, losing their friends, and never being found again. This of course completely freaked her out and thus, freaked me out too, so I never even thought about driving the short distance to the border.

Then, second semester of Junior year, I went on Semester at Sea. I visited countries with high crime rates, saw poverty beyond my belief, and even traveled alone in some countries. I came back to America and one of my friends invited me to go to Rosarito with her which is a city in Mexico about 40 minutes south of the border. I said “yes” right away and my mom was skeptical at first, but I eased her mind by telling her about everything I had encountered while on Semester at Sea.

If you’re ever in San Diego, I highly recommend taking a trip to Mexico or staying for the weekend. Here’s why:

-The border is only a 20-minute drive from Downtown San Diego. It takes a longer time to drive 1 mile in LA!

-You can cross the border via car but I always cross on foot. The longest I’ve ever waited is 5 minutes

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-You can cross without your Passport: if you try to, don’t tell them I told you. As long as you have your driver’s license, they will let you cross (don’t worry, you won’t get stuck in Mexico)

-Taxi’s are cheap! It costs about $5 to get to clubs in Tijuana, and $30 to get to Rosarito which is a 40 minute drive

-If you decide to pee on the street and get caught, you can bribe the officer that catches you so that you don’t have to go downtown to the station (not like I know this by experience…okay, okay, I watched it happen to a friend, alright?)

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-Alcohol is cheap: the quite fancy club I go to in TJ called El Alebrije has lady’s night on Fridays where it is $5 entry and unlimited free drinks all night for women

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-Tacos are cheap, like $1 per taco cheap for the best taco’s you’ll ever have. Uh, give me 6 please

-Hell, everything is cheap. Food, drinks, and transportation is all you need in life

-Everyone just wants to have a good time

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-There are shops and vendors in Rosarito, and many shop owners will lure you in by offering free shots of home-made tequila, AKA the smoothest tequila you will ever have

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-You can drink on the street

-You can ride horses on the beach

-The sunsets are absolutely breathtaking

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-It’s a vacation and a whole new culture without having to go far, especially if you live in a southern state of course

-Papas and Beer, a huge outdoor club, is in Rosarito & Ensenada and is always a good time

-Clubs and bars are open all night. I think the latest I’ve stayed out is 5am but some of my friends have made it to 7am….

-People love to give you free stuff. Besides tequila, I’ve gotten light-up mouse ears, a shirt and many many glowsticks

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-There are fun themes at clubs

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-And lastly, puedes practicar tu Español. “You can practice your Spanish.” Mas cerveza por favor! (A sentence you must know…Google translate now if you do not)

Just be smart about it; going to Mexico is an absolute must if you’re ever in San Diego for a few days. As long as you don’t get insanely intoxicated, lose your group, and go off with some stranger, you’ll be fine and it will be so worth it. In very few places can you experience a whole new culture just a 20 minute drive away!

Adios mis putas <3

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