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Car rentals range from US a day and bus tickets, which can be purchased online or at the station, range from US-.Uber is even becoming popular; paired with the readily available radio taxis, that makes getting around within cities a breeze.As I gained confidence, my short list of memorized Spanish phrases and road signs turned into sentences, and I found myself easily booking bus tickets and safely navigating the roads behind the wheel.On my final 3-hour bus ride from San Miguel to Mexico City, the window-seat view had become a portal to the country I was experiencing.On our first foray out of this home base, Katie and I hit the ruler-straight highway with her Puebla-native boyfriend Raul in his (new) red VW, en route to Cholula.The small city is just 40 or so minutes away and is best known for an odd landmark: a 16th-century Spanish colonial church planted atop a grassy pre-Hispanic pyramid. To be fair, as Raul pointed out, such a scene is actually a rarity in Mexico.We were just a pair of fuzzy dice shy of the quintessential road trip.Well, the dice, and the fact that Mexico probably isn’t the first place you think of when it comes to road trips.

Miles ahead, the horizon disappeared into a shimmer; the windows were down and Blitzen Trapper played on loop.While skipping the swanky resorts of the Mayan Riviera and opting instead to explore the country’s roads by bus and car may sound unconventional—and perhaps unwise for a solo female traveler—the result was entirely worth it: In addition to basking in those classic road-trip vibes, I managed to catch a glimpse of Mexico, unfiltered. Wandering through the hot airport just after my arrival, those lectures I’d sat though back home on every possible scary scenario started ringing in my ears.Contrary to what the guidebooks say, in those first moments most people’s English skills seemed comparable to my own in Spanish—that is to say, limited.Rickety pickups puttered past, truck beds filled with people—giggling kids, grandparents, maybe some friends.Old Volkswagens zoomed down the highway, still functioning thanks to careful maintenance.

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