Hey guys! It seems things are ‘trying’ to return to a some sense of normalcy around here. More places are opening up around the country, even if in limited capacity. More countries are opening up to U.S. citizens, an I couldn’t be more excited. International travel from the U.S. requires a bit more planning now, as you must research the Covid travel requirements for your destination, as well as coordinate a test for entry back into the country.

With that being said, my good friend Daphane and I decided on Mexico. I recently returned from my 1st international vacation since 2019. Never thought I’d say that. This trip was fun filled, with one of the highlights being my Mexican Cooking Class in Tulum.

posing on front porch
Mexican cooking class menu
To start this wonderful journey, the chef’s son met us at the pick up point, along with a taxi. My friend and I hopped in the taxi that followed his car. We headed to the house, which was about 10 minutes away. Miss Lily warmly welcomed us into her home’s kitchen/dining area.

We chatted a bit about where we were from. There was also another tourist there (a digital nomad from Los Angeles), as well as Ms. Lily’s sous chef. She offered beer, water, and watermelon juice which was amazing (even though I don’t like watermelon).

chef for Mexican cooking class

As captivated participants, we helped to prep for the 5 course meal. Each person had assignments: chopping peppers, breaking cheese into strips, chopping veggies, etc., one of which was a cross between an apple and a potato. Ms. Lily told us great stories about her life, the background of what she was cooking, and why she chose specific ingredients. As a result of everything being from scratch, she ground fresh spices in a bowl and pulsed veggies and broth in the blender. Of course, she frequently had us washing our hands.

The smells coming from the kitchen were absolutely amazing! At one point, we sat on the front porch to eat pineapples with Tajin, drink some local vodka, (but I passed on that) and some crickets or grasshoppers. I can’t remember which. However, a bug is a bug, right?! LOL. They tasted like lime, just as she said. I had one and can now check that off the list forever. Ms. Lily says trying new things on vacation transforms you from a tourist to a traveler. I’ll take that!.

shucked corn from Mexican cooking class
pineapple with Tajin
lime insect treats

Over great conversation, we ate an amazing meal. There was the best guacamole I’ve ever had in my life, along with spicy salsa, a tasty soup, and the most tender chicken. We also pressed the tortillas for the quesadillas and mini tacos. Ms. Lily even told us how she got started with the cooking class and taught us a dance. A nice bonus was that she emailed the recipes to us to recreate, so I’ll definitely make that guacamole!

In all, I had a wonderful experience in my Mexican cooking class in Tulum (search Rivera’s Kitchen Tulum), one that I would gladly repeat, as well as similar ones in other countries I’d visit.

When you travel, do you participate in something to make you feel like a local? I highly recommend it, as it definitely add local culture to your vacation!

best guacamole ever