Since today is my last day at BMWBLOG, I’ve naturally been thinking about my time here, all the experiences I’ve had, and all of the great memories. And, more than any, the one that sticks out in my mind was also my first-ever press trip—to Mexico.

I started writing for BB in January of 2015. I remember getting an email from Horatiu saying there was some room for me here part time and I remember exactly where I was, standing near the fireplace with my then-fiancé at my brother’s house for some holiday party. I’m not quite sure what the party was about but I remember that email clearly. How could I not? It changed the course of my life.

Fast forward to August, I was just laid off from my day job and I was getting married in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Some people mock destination weddings but I absolutely loved it. While in the rooftop lounge of our honeymoon villa, I looked out at the ocean, hoping for an exciting future writing about cars. Little did I know that I was about to be back in Mexico just a few months later, in what is still the nuttiest adventure I’ve ever had.

It was early October, I was sitting on the couch on a Sunday, watching TV with my wife. I get a message from Horatiu: “Wanna go to Mexico on Wednesday?” I blinked at my phone for several seconds before responding. I had to clarify. “This Wednesday?” It was indeed that coming Wednesday. I had two days to pack and prepare for my first ever press trip and it was in another country. I had been to Mexico two times prior, and was just there two months before for my wedding, so I felt pretty confident in my ability to handle it. While I handled it just fine, there’s no way I could have guessed what sort of adventure I’d embark on.

I was flown to Dallas, Texas first and then boarded a small private plane (it wasn’t anything too fancy) to fly to what looked like an empty airport in Chihuahua, Mexico. From there, the dozen or so journalists, myself included, were supposed to board a few different single-prop planes, so we could fly through the canyon, to our hotel. However, there was too much fog in the canyon and we weren’t allowed to fly. So we had to take a bus. A five hour bus ride, at night, up an incredibly twisty canyon road, facing sheer drops offs of several hundred feet or more. Thankfully, we had no idea what was going on because the windows were tinted and there weren’t any streetlights on the canyon, so we couldn’t see out. Had we been able to see, we would have been rightly freaking out.

When we arrived at the hotel, it was a cool looking place but seemed like it was in the middle of the desert. We couldn’t see much because of the fog but we ate outside and we all walked back to our rooms. My room was in a detached strip of rooms, off the main hotel lobby, and I had to cross a small bridge to get there. I still remember the walk to the room because a stray dog was following me and was hitting me with guilty eyes when I got to my door. I couldn’t let a stray dog into my room, so I had to kindly get it to leave, which admittedly took awhile and made me feel bad.

I looked out of my balcony window and couldn’t see a foot in front of my face through the fog, so I went to bed. However, when I woke up in the morning and opened the balcony door shade, my jaw dropped. We were on the edge of the canyon and it was still the best view I’ve had from a hotel. It was astonishing.

After a quick breakfast, we walked to a line of BMW 340is in a variety of different colors and specs. It was the first time anyone in North America was driving the B58, which is one of the reasons I have such a fondness for it (it’s also just objectively excellent). The car my drive partner and I chose was a red 340i xDrive with a manual transmission and it was awesome. We drove it on the most incredible canyon road, which is still the best road I’ve ever driven. The road surface was perfect, like the Swiss had come in a paved it the night before, there were twists and turns that could rival the Stelvio Pass, and the scenery was to die for.

I still remember driving it as hard as I could, which was probably a bad idea. I was such a rookie, so green, and so inexperienced that I should have taken it easier. I could have hurt someone with my recklessness. However, I can’t deny that I had an absolute blast. It was such a fantastically fun drive that I can still feel the rush.


We also had the chance to drive the then-new second-generation BMW X1, the first front-wheel drive BMW product to ever be sold in North America. We drove the X1 through an off-road trail made by construction crews that would make some Jeep owners nervous, and then into a small, historic town called Batopilas. I loved Batopilas, it was absolutely lovely, with beautiful, colorful buildings, historic hotels, and great food.

Things got a bit crazy, the following morning, though. We had to fly out of the canyon back to the Chihuahua airport in those single-prop planes we were originally supposed to take. However, we couldn’t use the original runway that we were supposed to take, as there was a local indigenous protest at it. So we had to take off on a makeshift runway on sand and hope we picked up enough speed to lift off before the edge of the canyon’s cliff. So we literally flew off a cliff and it was one of the most scariest things I’ve ever experienced but also the most fun.

The hotel’s cliff-side lobby

Fog filled the canyon below us and it was so thick it looked like what you see out of a normal commercial plane window. Except there were little peak of the canyon sticking out through the clouds and it was magical. If someone told me that heaven is real and it looks like that, I’d believe them.

There’s so much more I want to share but I should probably leave off. But it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and the most fun press trip I’ve ever been on. Nothing has been able to top it since, regardless of how opulent some of my subsequent trips were. I’ll never forget my Mexican BMW trip and I’m so happy I had the experience.