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June 13, 2017 / Retirementallychallenged.com

GratiTuesday: Building bridges, not walls

We had several choices of airlines and flights when we booked our travel to Oaxaca. Several of the major U.S. airlines offer flights, but all of them required stops in between and planes changes along the way. Fortunately for us, we were able to book our flight on a Mexican airline that offered a non-stop flight from the Tijuana International Airport to Oaxaca. By flying out of Tijuana rather than our city’s airport, our flight was quicker, cheaper, and only required a 5-minute walk across the border over a 390-foot-long bridge to reach the airport.

The picture is a little blurry, but so were we as we set off to board our 1:10 am flight to Oaxaca.

The Cross Border Xpress (CBX) terminal and bridge was financed by private U.S. and Mexican investors. Since its opening in 2015, an average of 4,800 passengers walk over the enclosed pedestrian skywalk each day to catch flights originating in Tijuana or return from trips to Mexico. It is believed to be to only such cross-border facility in the world.

This was the second time we have taken advantage of the CBX Bridge to fly domestically from Tijuana to another city in Mexico. Our first experience, when we flew to La Paz a year ago, went so smoothly – even with our limited Spanish language skills – that we did not hesitate to travel that way again.

I am so grateful to those with the vision – and the finances – to imagine bridges across borders rather than envision walls. Although I understand that countries have to protect their borders, by working together and extending a hand of friendship and support, mutually beneficial outcomes can be realized. The CBX Bridge is an example of collaborative thinking and long-term planning. Just what we need more of these days.

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33 Comments

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  1. Terri Webster Schrandt / Jun 13 2017 5:25 pm

    This is great to read! We’ve flown from the Tijuana AP by accessing the border crossing at Otay. The flights are much cheaper and direct. Almost impossible now to get a direct flight from San Diego or Sacramento to La Paz, which is closest to La Ventana. Otherwise state-side flights go to Cabo.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 13 2017 6:13 pm

      We are lucky to have this option available to us. There is even a $10 shuttle that goes between the Santa Fe Train Depot and CBX. Easy peasy.

  2. Lies Jack Kerouac told Me / Jun 13 2017 6:28 pm

    Let’s hope the ‘wall’ talk is mostly rhetoric…as it should be.

  3. Liesbet / Jun 14 2017 12:20 am

    I had no idea about the CBX crossing; what a great initiative. When we drove across the border in Tijuana way back when, only an uncovered bridge crossing was available. And, did you say that you took a shuttle from San Diego to get there, so no hassles with parking? How long did the ride take? You sure live in a perfect location for easy Mexico visits! 🙂

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 14 2017 8:30 am

      The CBX crossing is for people with airline tickets only. The bridge starts inside the building pictured and ends inside the Tijuana airport. The shuttle is a great way to get there (or return to center San Diego like we did). It’s only $10 per person and the ride takes about half an hour. If you just want to get down to the border (to cross over on foot) you can take the trolley there, walk over, and get a cab.

  4. karen207 / Jun 14 2017 3:08 am

    Amen to bridges rather than walls, Janis. I truly hope that this border crossing, along with the markets you wrote about last week, aren’t victims of the unsettling changes in our world.
    Thanks for another interesting post.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 14 2017 8:34 am

      I think the CBX crossing is safe anyway. Because it serves the airport and was financed by investors, I don’t think it’s in anyone’s crosshairs. I hope.

  5. Maggie Wilson / Jun 14 2017 4:57 am

    Bridges, not walls. Amen to that.

  6. Ally Bean / Jun 14 2017 5:15 am

    I’ve not heard about this way of getting into Mexico. It’s brilliant, especially if you can use it to travel more smoothly. It’s been probably 20 years since we went to Tijuana, and it was a more rustic path one took to walk back and forth btwn the countries. 😉

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 14 2017 8:38 am

      Unfortunately, if you’re not flying, you still have to travel the “more rustic path.” But, even the auto/pedestrian crossing has been modernized and it’s probably easier (as long as you have the necessary documentation) than it was 20 years ago.

      • Ally Bean / Jun 14 2017 9:59 am

        Good to know. I have no plans to be in San Diego, but if I am I’ll know what to expect. Thx.

        • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 14 2017 10:48 am

          I would hope that you’d let me know if you ever come this way!

          • Ally Bean / Jun 14 2017 10:51 am

            I would indeed. But don’t hold your breath, there are no travel plans now that we’ve committed to remodeling the house. 😉

  7. Kate Crimmins / Jun 14 2017 6:34 am

    That is really cool. Although I’m a long way from the Canadian border a friend flew out of a Canadian airport to Europe because it was considerably cheaper. She was going with a Canadian friend so it made sense.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 14 2017 8:43 am

      Interesting about the Canadian flights being less expensive too. Reminds me of drug prices… for “some” reason, we pay so much more in the U.S. then they do just across both borders.

  8. Anabel Marsh / Jun 14 2017 10:11 am

    Yes, bridges not walls! Or hard Brexit borders for that matter.

  9. Donna / Jun 14 2017 6:42 pm

    Such a timely post, Janis! Yes to bridges!!!

  10. Ann Coleman / Jun 14 2017 7:47 pm

    I honestly believe that working together, no matter what our difference, is ALWAYS so much better than working against each other. Bridges are the way to go, not walls!

  11. Joanne Sisco / Jun 15 2017 7:40 am

    Hear! Hear!
    … but then again, I do like bridges 😉

    This is a brilliant idea … maybe not the 1 am flight part … but it sounds that building a bridge has certainly improved the travel experience.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 15 2017 8:13 am

      The 1 am flight was tough, but at least it got us there with the whole day ahead of us (blurry-eyed, but ready to explore).

  12. Denise / Jun 15 2017 3:49 pm

    I am old enough to remember crossing in the Detroit Windsor tunnel when all you had to do was state where you were born, where you were going, and how long you were staying. Now it is an ordeal and I need a passport.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 15 2017 4:17 pm

      Times certainly have changed. Although I don’t think travel will ever get easier, I just hope it doesn’t continue to get more difficult. I’m still holding out for transporter technology from Star Trek.

  13. Kristine Puzel / Jun 17 2017 8:20 am

    Everything looks so fresh and modern! It’s probably not new, but I have not been done there in ages! I agree with you wholeheartedly that building a bridge always trumps walls, especially with the border we share with Mexico. In college, I traveled from Tijuana to Guadalajara….on a bus; it was two days of riding. It was an eye-opening-never-will-forget-it (in a good way!) experience.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 17 2017 10:46 am

      CBX was opened in 2015 so it is pretty new. You need a passport and a plane ticket to use it (it terminates inside the Tijuana airport), but it’s an easy and convenient way to cross the border and take advantage of domestic flights within Mexico. We are lucky to be close enough to be able to use it.

  14. theunassuminghiker / Jun 18 2017 10:55 am

    I love the concept of bridges not walls – speak up so 45 can hear you. Hope you have a great trip.

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