I’ve never been one for reunions. There’s something about forced get-togethers that feels foreign, or sanitized, or distorted. “At this time, at this place, we’ll all talk, and we’ll speed date our way through memories and times that were never quite as good as we thought they were.” It seems kind of false, right? Nostalgia has a way of stripping the bad away with a potato peeler, while forgetting that the skin was there to protect those moments from going rotten in the first place.
A little over a year ago, a close friend – you know the type, one you’re 100% yourself around, one you can fill an entire day talking about nothing with, where every story has been told so many times that it feels like quoting a movie – started discussing the idea of bringing a group of us from high school together. It seemed impossible at first. So many of us have spread out across the country, while others lost touch, got married, had kids, or were maybe never truly friends in the first place. Meanwhile, communication today has made it so convenient to talk that it’s even easier to avoid seeing each other. We like and comment on posts about a kid’s first step, the house someone saved up for and finally bought, or a new job. But we don’t go bother physically hanging out.
This nostalgia-hazed friend hated the idea that we only ever see each other at big events like weddings. There shouldn’t need to be an excuse to hang out, crack bad jokes, and watch the day melt away without an agenda. So he proposed “Man Day,” a little over a year in advance — where we could all get together for a few days, rent a house, and be together. No huge plans, no crazy logistics, just an airbnb and a weekend we agreed upon way off in the distance. The idea was simple: We may all be different as adults than we were a decade-plus ago in high school, but something made us friends in the first place. It’s worth revisiting.
The first “Man Day” my friends and I held earlier this year wasn’t perfect (nothing is), but it did the trick. We ate and drank and talked about our lives, catching up more than just the standard, “How’s your wife?” or “How’s work” chit chat. It was successful enough that we scheduled another one for next year. The location will change, but the group will stay largely the same. And, after a recent trip, I have my location nomination set: Mexico City.
The earthquake that rattled Mexico City left damage in a number of places, but as is the city’s way – as it has done for centuries – it bounced back quickly. Mexico City has seen so much in its history, another natural disaster isn’t the type of thing to slow it down. They pick up the pieces, they restore, and they invite people to join them again. Those same qualities are why it makes for such a good destination for a group with varied interests, varied backgrounds, and a common goal: To spend time together.
There’s still some infrastructure work to do, but now is as good a time as ever to get down to DF (as the locals call it), share new experiences, and help the city rebuild. Not to mention it’s super affordable, so your dollar goes a long way.
If you are thinking about making the trip, here are just a few ways to keep your group happy.