So, what do you do to celebrate passing exams and finally having a PhD? Apparently you go to Cancun 😜.
Ok, to be honest, Cancun has never been on my bucket list of places to visit, but it became my first destination on an almost month long vacation I decided to take.
What can I say about what brought me to Cancun?
Well, I was there celebrating a friend’s wedding and hanging out with friends whom I’ve known since I was a kid. That in itself made it special and then, of course, there was Cancun.
Getting there was a hassle. There was torrential rain the day I was supposed to leave NY and I ended up changing my flight. I literally flew to the wedding the same day as the wedding and arrived a few hours before the wedding. I was beyond tired, so I don’t even know how I made it through that first day. Fortunately though my friends gave me coffee, told me to get it together, and to be happy for finally being done with graduate school. Of course, I listened.
After the wedding and settling into our hotel, I was surprised by what Cancun had to offer. I am not going to lie, on the one hand, it is a spring break destination and there were a lot of young people drinking at the resort that the wedding was taking place. This was a turnoff for me, just because I never really did spring break in my college years (even though I made other questionable life decisions 😉) and I wasn’t interested in having that experience now that I am 30. BUT, on the other hand, outside of the resort where the wedding took place, I was happy for having gone to Cancun.
We decided to stay at the Westin in the Zona Hotelera. It is a family friendly hotel with its own beach. The service was great and the people were friendly. Everyone tried to speak English to me even though I am a fluent Spanish speaker, so that was nice.
It definitely helped that the hotel has its own beach and I spent my last day there lounging at the beach and getting a suntan. The sun was a killer. Even though it didn’t feel too bad and I was using sunscreen, when I returned to my room, I had turned a few shades darker and there were patches where I had burned. This says a lot because I can tan without burning, so I was surprised. So beware of the sun!
After spending time at the beach, my friend and I decided to go out into town and explore. We didn’t go to the city center except to grab dinner at La Habichuela. If you are in town, definitely go there. It is a resonabaly priced dinner with a great view on the terrace especially at night when they turn on their light display and it looks like you are eating around fireflies. It was beautiful and comparable to what you would pay at a restaurant in NYC.
Apart from that, we also got a more authentic Mexican experience by driving into Tulum to see the Mayan ruins. There we got some fruit from a street vendor sprinkled with salt and lime. This was amazing and it only cost us a few pesos. After walking through the Mayan ruins and seeing the spectacular beaches surrounding them, we left this area and headed into town for some authentic Mexican tacos. We got to practice our Spanish and ended up with some delicious tacos. I do not regret having the five tacos we had at that taco stand 🙂. Every calorie and the sickness that came later aka travelers diarrhea was worth it.
I didn’t really have any life revelations while at Cancun other than love does exist and that it is different for everyone. Seeing my friends get married as the sun set and hearing their vows to each other made me feel hopeful. Love manisfests itself in many different ways and, it may have been because I was fighting off exhaustion, but I was glad not to have some revelatory moment while in Cancun. It was nice to just be in the moment. To celebrate my friends. To catch up with people that have been in my life for over fifteen years. To just smile and laugh because a life altering moment was happening for my friends and I had also just finished grad school.
All I can say is that it was nice to be. For a few days, it was just nice to exist without thinking about the past, the present or the future. Of course, I got traveler’s diarrhea on my last day in Mexico which made the flight back home excruciating. Thankfully though, due to modern and not so modern medicine, I was able to get on antibiotics and other drugs as soon as I arrived in NYC and my body was able to sort itself out.
Now, I am in yet another part of the world. Having a moment to myself. Taking care of myself-body, mind, spirit. I am glad to have gone to Mexico because it allowed me to celebrate and to set the stage for everything that has been happening in the past few weeks.
So, no regrets…even though my flight was cancelled, getting to the airport was an expensive hassle both ways, and I got sick. At some point I thought that this was a warning against me traveling by the universe, BUT I prevailed. It paid off and it served as a nice retreat from the city and the lack of sun.
How are all of you?