I recently visited Pakistan for the first time in my life. My conclusion of that journey is clear: Pakistan ruined my future trips to any country of the world forever. The country raised the bar so high for me that it will be difficult to find a place as energising and invigorating as Pakistan. Where am I supposed to search for mountains as majestic as Karakoroum? Where will I find hospitality as the Pakistani? When will I ever experience again the magic of the streets and markets of Lahore? How am I supposed to avoid comparisons between world cuisines and Pakistani food when the latter satisfied my senses like no other has before? I have had the opportunity to visit many countries in the world, but I had never been as stimulated as I was in Pakistan. The colours and styles of kurtas are mindblowing. The religious devotion and spirituality of the people are heartwarming. Their passion and joy for cricket are contagious. The rhythm and lyrics of qawwali are so energising that I found very difficult not to dance. Pakistanis’ respect and promotion of their traditions and culture is so compelling that I came back feeling a little Pakistan myself. In Pakistan, even their language is gorgeous. The soft pronunciation of its vowels and consonants makes Urdu the true language of love. I cannot think of a better language than Urdu to recite a poem or to pray to God. Probably that is the reason why God favoured the Pakistanis and decided to build a piece of heaven on earth in Hunza. In return, in Pakistan are the most wonderful mosques that the world has ever seen. Inside old mosques, like Badshahi in Lahore, to modern ones, like Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, one can experience the peace and spirituality of the Pakistan people. Inside old mosques, like Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, to modern ones, like Faisal Mosque in Islamabad — one can experience the peace and spirituality of the Pakistanis Pakistani discussions about any topic are fascinating. Their passion, motivated by history, and their reasoning, inspired by delicious chai, generated some of the most wonderful and interesting conversations that I have ever had. Pakistani creativity and innovation are beyond reason. No problem is too big for them. They always find their way thinking outside the box. The humility and generosity of Pakistanis is indescribable. I felt like a king during the ten days that I spent there. I was pampered and taken care of by every Pakistani that I met. From rickshaw drivers in Lahore to talented cooks in Hunza, everyone tried hard to leave the best impression of their country in me. Mission accomplished! I have only compliments for your beautiful nation. Pakistan is the best kept secret of the world. Anyone would expect to encounter hordes of tourists in this magical country. The reality, however, is still very different. I was one of the few international tourists that was sightseeing the Shahi Qilaor renting a boat at Attabad Lake. For someone like me who avoids masses of tourists as much as possible, Pakistan was paradise on earth. I do not expect this lack of tourism to remain for a long time. Hence, I always tell people avid for adventure to visit Pakistan before the world learns about the beautiful secret that Pakistanis. The world would be a better place if we were all a bit more Pakistani. After this trip, whenever someone needs help I ask myself “what would a Pakistani do?” Their warmth and hospitality is impossible to replicate, but by trying to emulate them, I am trying hard to become a better human being. As a proud Mexican who lives in the United States, I go around sharing with everyone my new love for Pakistan, the country that stole my heart. Pakistan Zindabad! Published in Daily Times, August 30th 2018.