Why we travel: Accidental discoveries

Why we travel: Accidental discoveries

In a sign that Mazatlán must be changing us for the better, we decided to head to our dinner reservation early, which is a thing I’ve maybe never said about us until this moment. Stopping a block short of the restaurant due to a closed street in Old Town (Centro Histórico), our pulmonia driver pointed us in the direction of our final destination. We hopped out and prepared to traverse the construction-laden road, but something caught our eye before we hit the rubble. Down a cobblestoned side street, a row of vividly-painted homes – in teals and magentas and mustard yellow – begged for a closer look, their facades so immaculate they almost didn’t seem real. We had no choice but to investigate.

Walking along the rainbow row of homes – built on an incline leading to the sea – I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of colorful lives were led behind these vibrant doors. Giddy from our serendipitous discovery and lost in this thought, it wasn’t until we were more than halfway down the block that we saw where we were headed: at the end of the street, an indelible pink and blue sunset was setting over the ocean.

Being from LA, our bar for knock-your-sandals-off sunsets is pretty high, but this was something else entirely. It was electric, the pink sky almost neon. People all along the malecon stopped in their tracks to take in its wonder. We were transfixed, completely present, again awestruck. It’s something I’ll never forget.

And this is why we travel, isn’t it? In the end, it isn’t so much about the restaurants or the beaches, but the moments you get lost on foreign streets and stumble upon something magical. Had Centro Histórico not been under construction, we might not have found this hidden gem. There’s an upside to a city in transition.

As for me and Ian, it turns out we’re not all that different, after all. Mesmerized by our cotton candy sunset, we completely forgot we had anywhere else to be other than on that boardwalk, taking in nature’s bounty. Needless to say, we ended up late to dinner.