Few things in my life are conventional, and my love for TRAVEL is one of the most unconventional to many, because I can drop everything, buy a plane ticket, pack a few bags, and be on my way to DESTINATION X (which this time happened to be Destination MEX, México Lindo) without looking back. How many of us can say this? How many of us do what we want to do, or what we feel inspired to do in the moment, without Fear or Self-Doubt, silencing the skeptics and listening to the only thing that truly matters: THE HEART?
Well after months of Yoga and Meditation and reconnecting with my many loves, Art/Music/History/Books/Family History/discovering my roots, I had a true HEART CALLING to travel to MÉXICO, a country that I love & that has spoken to me over the past decade telling me. . .
Come see Me/ Ven a verme.
I will show you some things/ Yo te enseñará algunas cosas.
Do not be afraid; you know me/ No hay que temer; me Conoces.
I am in your Blood/ Me tienes en tu sangre.
September 22, 2015 I was on a plane to Cancun, México. . . a two week trip ahead of me, there was nothing that could contain my Childlike giddiness while flying in the air. I have never been to the Caribbean Coast of México before, all new territory to explore. I don’t have a schedule, an itinerary, or bookings for hostels/hotels after the first 5 nights. I was going to try something NEW, in every sense of the word, to FLOW with the energies, to be INSPIRED IN THE PRESENT, to NOT PLAN, to NOT WORRY, and to believe that everything I was going to experience was going to be for me.
My first challenge happened just after arriving at Cancun Airport, where a delayed flight from my connection at Miami International meant no more public buses available (it was midnight) to take me into the city. Taxi Shuttles were readily available at the ridiculous cost of $60 USD. I knew this was not how my trip was going to start off. Quick Ariana Think. . . Share a Taxi! I found a Ukranian Man who spoke English paying for his taxi and offered to Split it with him. He agrees (I think he came off the plane drunk and was ready to continue the festivities amongst Cancun’s nightlife) and mumbles something to the Mexican attendant that I’m sharing with him but he’s paying. His stop is in the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone/beachside hotels) and mine of course is in town (en el Centro de Cancun) so I was going to figure out the rest once we reached our stop (they won’t do two stops apparently). On the ride we make small talk and he tells me he’s an Engineer, he lives in the United States, and he loves San Diego. I think he asked me if I was married, why I was in Cancun, and if I knew San Diego. I’m not uncomfortable because I have blessed my trip and I’m not staying anywhere near the Zona Hotelera, so I answer truthfully. Single, staying the night but heading to Tulum, and I like Sunny San Diego very much. He tells me he likes Latina Women and he likes Mexico very much. We get to our destination of his hotel and I ask the driver how I can get to town where I am staying. Ukranian Man asks for my email address, and says I don’t have to pay him (I think he thinks I am poor, or at least in comparison to him) but says if we are ever both in San Diego at the same time he will email me and I can buy him a drink. ADIOS! SEE YA!
R1, the local bus I need to take to town arrives in 5 minutes. I hop on and 30 minutes later I am in town. Using my iPhone to show me how to get to my hostel, I walk confidently with my carry-on size roller luggage and 1 backpack (I PACKED QUITE LIGHT THIS TRIP, and if you know me at all, this is quite a FEAT). My hostel is only a 10 minute walk from where the R1 dropped me off and as I pass street food vendors and a few public parks/plazas I don’t have the desire to eat or explore. I want a shower and a good night’s rest before heading to TULUM, tomorrow. El Pueblito Hostel (meaning the Little Town Hostel) is cozy and my room is simple but comfortable. I shower and pass out for the night.
My first real day in Mexico, I ready myself and my bags for my bus ride to Tulum, further down south on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast. . . but not before Breakfast. I am greeted by Hector, the owner of the Hostel who is the chef as well (breakfast is included). He tells me breakfast is ready and that I can serve myself as much as I want. He made Chilaquiles, a real Mexican dish for breakfast. YUMMMMMMMMMMM!
No one else is staying in the hostel at this time (as it is the low season in Cancun and many parts of the coasts due to the Hurricane/wet season) so he made a Mexican breakfast knowing I was Mexican from my name?/emails I wrote to him in Spanish. . . Hector tells me that often the people that stay at his hostel request Toast and Jam and other such food items when they stay, not wanting to try local cuisine first thing in the morning, or perhaps they are more comfortable with well known dishes like Tacos, Quesadillas and Burritos (which we don’t eat for Breakfast). I feel so sorry for them, because they are missing out on one of life’s simple pleasures, a delicious Homemade Mexican Meal. And Hector did it right. He sat down to eat with me and we talked for quite some time. Hector is a proud Mexican. He arrived to Cancun before he was 20 years old and he’s never left. The beaches, the food, everything about the Caribbean makes his heart full. He told me about all the women that he met over the years, mostly foreign women (Americans often) that wanted to take him from Mexico, wanted to marry him. . . but he never wanted to leave and when their vacation time was up, they always left. Funny side note** Hector has been sweating like a whore in church, huge droplets dripping down his face and forehead, some even adding salt to his breakfast dish. He has used about 10 napkins to wipe off his sweat, which is due to his love for SPICY HABANERO & SERRANO CHILI PEPPERS which he added to his dish. Hector esta sudando tan profusamente, gototas cayendo de toda su cara, también condimentando su platillo. Usaba como 10 servilletas para limpiarse del sudor, causado por LOS CHILES PICANTES DE HABANERO Y SERRANO que acompañaba su plato de desayuno.
Hector confesses to me mid-conversation that he doesn’t like eating in front of other people because he sweats so much, but on the other hand, ama los chiles picantes. Hector is still single and is a happy Mexican living in what he calls the most beautiful place in México, Cancun, and he Loves México!
“Yo amo a México. La gente, la comida, amo a México. . . Yo soy muy Mexicano. Amo a México y nunca me voy de aqui. Nunca Jamás” -Hector
He has great advice about the beaches and things to do in Cancun and surrounding, so if you stay at this Hostel and he wants to dish out advice of where to go and what to do, listen. He knows the Caribbean very well, over 30 years of living the life in Cancun. I’m so very grateful for this first glimpse into the life of a local Mexican (Lucky me, I would encounter dozens of Mexicanos willing to tell me stories throughout my trip). MEXICANS KEEP IT REAL. They don’t have to hide who they are because they are so damn proud of:
1) Being Mexican
2) Being able to share something with someone: be it a conversation, a meal, a smile, a kiss on the cheek and a big hug
3) Who they are in the Present Moment (past and future aside, Right Now they are proud of being wherever they are in life’s journey)
I said my goodbyes and took a quick stroll around the neighborhood to photograph some local graffiti. What do you think?
I was in heaven. All these murals were a minute walk from the hostel, just calling for someone to appreciate them. I noticed the little bit I saw of el Centro de Cancun had quite a lot of street art/graffiti. Happy to have seen it. And last stop in Cancun was the ADO Bus Station, 10 minutes on foot. . . I purchased my ticket for the city of Tulum, only 2 hours away but a city I knew would have my heart. Tulum has Mayan Ruins with a spectacular Ocean View and I am hoping to witness an incredible FULL MOON here in a few days.
LET’S EAT in MEXICO!! Click here. . . Con todo mi corazón.