The local market in Oaxaca was massive. It was by far the biggest market we had ever been inside of among all of the many markets we had traveled to. It was quite a ways away from the center of town and our hostel, but none of us minded the long walk. We crossed the big bridge that took us over the highway and down into the market.
When we got close we realized that the market was so big that it could be a place where we could easily get lost. This quickly rose the tension for me as I felt responsible for the three girls.
Upon entering the market we stood out like a soar thumb. Quinn and her sister were the only white people that we could see through the masses of people. We were pushing ourselves to the maximum of seeing how uncomfortable we could make ourselves feel in hopes to better understand what real life is like here in Oaxaca, Mexico.
We’ve always believed that it’s important in our travels to get out of our own comfort zones and continue to push ourselves through them–no matter how hard it seems at the time. This mentality in traveling has actually helped us in many different aspects in life, including making decisions with our own business. Taking risks on things that are unknown to us has gotten easier and easier the more we travel and push ourselves towards the unknown.
As we walked through the tarp covered market, local men blew kisses and attempted to pinched the girls to get their attention. The girls handled it extremely well by not making a scene and simply letting us know so that we could prevent as much attention as possible. Quinn and I had to have the girls walk between us as we walked through the maze of crooked isles to find a place to grab some cheap Mexican food. We found a small family-run restaurant somewhere in the heart of the market and ordered a meal that was delicious, big and perfect for our budget.
Once we finished our meal, we continued to explore the market and saw vendors that sold literally everything. From meat to veggies to makeup, clothes, vacuum cleaners, hats, chocolate and more. The market was so big because there was everything one could buy there. Oaxaca is where the delicious Mexican dish Mole was originally founded, so the rich aroma of deep dark chocolate mole filled the air. The more time we spent there, the more we felt comfortable.
On our way out, we each grabbed a fresh mango from one of the many fruit vendors on the outskirts of the mercado. As we ate our mangos and walked away from the market back towards town, we all felt a certain sense of relief. We had all pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones that day and had a deeper understanding of our surroundings because of it.
The streets around us started getting nicer the closer we got to our hostel and our guard slowly came down a bit more because of it. We all agreed, that we would go back to that market to eat, learn, explore and understand even more about the local culture than we did today. Each of us was now comfortable with the uncomfortable. And that is what Life Out of the Box is all about.