“Alright, I’ve got two hours to get drunk before this plane takes off” I think to myself. “uno mas cervesa por favor!” I yell to the bartender to practice my Spanish (which was incorrect) before landing in Mexico. I was in the Miami airport and drinking a corona so I felt as though I was in Mexico already. I have a pretty intense anxiety when it comes to flying which isn’t optimal for someone who craves being in a new place so often, but I manage it with alcohol before each flight. Luckily it was a quick flight(about 2 hours). My two girlfriends had flown in earlier that day (I had to fly in at a later time due to my work schedule). When I landed at the Cancun airport, I retrieved my luggage and walked outside waiting for my two friends to pick me up in our rental jeep. Unknowingly, I had a setting in my phone that did not allow me to get or send any messages or calls. After waiting about half an hour/ 45 minutes started to picture the two of them tied up in the back of a cartel van. Or maybe just passed out in the hotel room from too many room service tequila shots. Either way I was beginning to become a bit worried and frantic on how I’d manage to get to the hotel and find them with no phone service. Before I could start searching for a taxi, ripping around the corner comes the smallest red beater car I’ve ever seen honking, with my friend Lauren hanging half of her body out of the passenger window yelling at me to jump in. The car looked like one of those toddler cars you use your feet to peddle around in as a kid. I guess the rental place was out of jeeps. We were quite the trio zooming down the highway, making wrong turns here and there because our Spanish road sign reading wasn’t the best. We finally made it to our first destination- Cancun. The place was immaculate, all inclusive, modern, and high class. We were treated like royalty. BUT it was my LEAST favorite part about Mexico. I live in florida, I can get the modern, high class, tropical feel anywhere. I felt like I was back in Miami during the day and on theVegas strip at night with their similar nightlife. If I’m going to take a trip, I want to experience things that are not available to me in my own home town. I want to see some of the culture and immerse myself as much as possible. Of course in order to really immerse myself, I’d have to stay much longer than a week or so in the country, but I do have to work for a living so I can’t take months off at a time. Although that is a dream of mine. Maybe one day.
The only impressive thing that came from Cancun was our snorkeling trip at the MUSA underwater museum. It was a gorgeous snorkel tour with fun and knowledgeable guides. The MUSA underwater museum holds over 470 sculptures of models from Puerto Morelos. It is a unique way to draw people away from the eroding reefs and natural areas that are being ruined.
After a few days in Cancun, we packed up our little red beater and drove the two hour drive to Playa Del Carmen. We stayed at the Maya Villa Condos which were actually apartment efficiency type rooms with full bedrooms, kitchens, and living area. The pool in the center had a waterfall and was made to look like the shape of a gecko from above. It was located one block from 5th Ave. I must say 5th Ave was quite touristy with a giant Starbucks and monkeys on leashes to pet for a dollar, but I enjoyed it anyways. I try not to do just the “tourist” excursions, but I do take the time to do my research on the area, learn some of the language and meet the locals in the short time available to me. I would really love to live in each place for months at a time, but at the moment it isn’t plausible.
I have an obsession with sunrises and I try to capture them all. I decided I would wake up before dawn and see what it looks like from the white sandy beach in Playa Del Carmen. My two friends refused to wake up that early. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person my age that loves getting up before the sunrise, it puts me at ease. The morning I rose in Mexico and walked the not-so-quiet Mexican streets I was not at ease. I had my mother’s voice in the back of my head the whole time warning me of kidnappings and drug lords. But my usual adventurous and brave side took over.I had to walk pretty far to an area that wasn’t being blocked by tall buildings along the beach. As I walked, I passed a lot of locals still drunk from the night before I suppose and wading in the water. I passed a group of young Mexican guys and one Asian man wrestling eachother shirtless, hooting and hollering . It made me extremely nervous because young females shouldn’t be on foreign beaches alone, so I sped up my pace to reach the spot where a few safer looking people were. The group of guys was suddenly behind me and then surrounding me at the sunrise lookout area. They all introduced themselves.They admitted to having still been awake from the night before. It turned out that the Asian man was the manager of the famous DJ Don Diablo that we had seen in Cancun a few nights before at one of the clubs. The guys and I chatted for a few minutes and they were actually very pleasant and respectful. They left shortly after, hopefully to get some sleep. Afterward I felt bad about judging them and thinking they would hurt me. Now ladies, this doesn’t mean talk to all strangers and walk the Mexican streets at dark alone. The term “don’t talk to strangers” “don’t take candy from strangers” and “don’t get in the big van” all still apply. That was probably pretty stupid of me but I don’t regret it. I watched the Mexican sunrise with a full heart and started the day off beautifully.
Our other activities in Playa Del Carmen included renting jet skis, snorkeling in the Cenotes, and visiting the Mayan Ruins. After our few days there we headed to our last stop, Tulum, where we stayed in an eco-friendly resort called Azulik. This hotel consisted of huts along the cliff beach overlooking the ocean. They had no A.C. and the electricity is turned on for only an hour a day. It’s nothing but you and the ocean breeze. We arrived at Azulik at night and they were surprised to see three of us. This particular resort is geared towards honeymooners and couples of any orientation. I’m pretty sure they must’ve thought we were some lesbian trio or something. We scrambled around in the dark to put away our luggage and then proceeded to stay up until the sun rise watching a killer heat lightning storm in the distance all night. It was cool enough from the breeze and we had a bathtub outside hanging over the cliff that we used as a mini pool. It was the most magical little hut ever. Somehow we ended up nick naming it the Jaba Hut of Lightning, Sun, and Safety. We were saddened when it was time to leave our hut behind.