Monday, March 18, 2013

Into Thin Air

By Mark W. Danielson

I am writing this from Toluca, Mexico, at an elevation of 8500 feet.  The nearby volcano towering over the city is well over 15.000 feet.  This industrial town employs thousands, thanks to several US companies relocating here.  I am here because FedEx flies much of these products for them. 

The thin air affects the airplane as much as it does my body.  It takes a more runway to take off and land, and for non-acclimated pilots like myself, makes it more difficult to breathe    I have sported a low-grade headache ever since I arrived, and sleep is difficult.  But as with everything, the up side is character building.

Every author has heard, “Write what you know” and it is obvious when people fake it with stereotypes.  When I wrote I was in Mexico, images surfaced, and depending on one’s frame of reference, it could be luscious beaches, endless deserts, or beautiful chapels overlooking the city.  Like many countries, Mexico has a full range of topography.  Therefore, to write about it, one must visit it.      

To say Toluca represents Mexico is as foolish to think that Los Angeles or Las Vegas characterizes the United States.  The people here are polite, their city is clean, and the food and housing quality are good.  Unlike Mexico’s border cities, I have walked many parts of this city without concern.   

My point is to encourage people to write about their travel experiences so they can get a better appreciation for what they did.  Sharing them on your web site may also help people plan their vacation.  All it takes is a few minutes, and those moments will be forever locked in your mind.


Jean Henry Mead said...

A beautiful city, Mark, and 8,500 feet is 1,500 feet higher than our ranchhouse in Wyoming. The air may be thin but they say that people who live in the mountains will live longer than those in lower elevations.

Mark W. Danielson said...

I suspect that's true, Jean. Cleaner air, less stress, and stronger lungs make for healthy living. The folks here seem pretty happy and the mountains are beautiful.