When you have just spent 30 days on several domestic and international trips during the month of March consisting of spring breakers trying to get tipsy on a plane, 3 am morning wake up times, and paranoia of oversleeping your alarm…. You start to question your sanity and wonder when you are going to hit your breaking point.
And then you grasp you have seven days off at the end of the month and realize life is not as dramatic as you are making it out to be. I know I can be dramatic, but dang that was a rough month. I flew more in March than my time being with the company.
So, with 7 days off, you start to question where you are going to go on vacation.
“Shall I give up a few days to wait for someone to go with me somewhere?”
“Should I wait for anyone and everyone who will be able to pitch in for a cheap rate at a hotel?”
No. Travel solo Rach. Just GO.
“But, where to is the question?”
“Somewhere warm, relaxing, with vibrant culture, food, and amazing hospitality.”
“Let me check the loads of passengers for every place warm outside of US. Getting anywhere domestic right now is a nightmare because of spring break soo hmmm…”
“Let’s see…Puerto Vallarta looks beautiful. (Logs onto United Flying Together) 112 seats open. 8 open first class seats…..”
Ever since I last visited Mexico I have been eager to return to a culture so inviting. My intentions of the trip was solely to relax and bring myself back to life.
I arrived at my gorgeous accommodation and immediately went up to the rooftop pool I was the most anxious to spend during my stay. Everyday there were maybe two people laying out. It was quite peaceful and serene. The sound of the pool water bubbling and the ocean waves competing with the overall zen atmosphere made me question how I could ever leave this paradise.
My first day was spent lounging around by the pool and catching up on sleep; Hoping I would not get burnt with SPF 55 on my face. I felt as if I had been sleep deprived for a whole month. Anyone who truly knows me does know I do not function well when I lack sleep. “NO. I would not like to get you three different drinks for yourself only, but I will because I have to”. I guess I can be a bear.
It was a luxury to wake up to hear the waves crashing against the shore and ocean breeze drifting through my room. Every morning I would go for a walk around the town and decide where I would eat breakfast. I almost always got fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice. I could not resist as I watched them juice the oranges right on the spot. Plus, it was ONLY 20 pesos ($1.00 USD).
I knew I had to go on at least one adventure while I was in PVR. I chose zip-lining and then decided I wanted to water taxi over to a secluded island called Yelapa consisting of waterfalls and Tarzan-like jungles
Once I got off the boat in Yelapa, I had to walk through a town consisting of small streets winding through the jungle. I came across an elderly man who was sitting right outside of his home. He spoke very little English, but he allowed me to go inside his home and meet his wife and mother who were making empañadas. Their smiles were so genuine and nice upon meeting them. I was struck by the ocean view sitting on top of the island. Oh how I wish I could move to a small island and wake up to an ocean every morning.
Zip-lining was not exactly what I expected. Or, I guess I did not even know what to expect. I was picturing a small zip line maybe 12 feet high or something. NO. I literally swung from branch to branch through a JUNGLE. If I was to fall, I were to die. There were water streams and rocks beneath me. But, was the view ever so gorgeous? The landscaping was as green as ever with little specks of sunlight beaming through branches of trees. There were little hints of fuchsia flowers blooming around me. It was exhilarating and it only made me more eager to try the next course. I had such a rush of adrenaline that I did not want it to stop. But phew, I was not expecting to actually hike up to each course. I was not mentally prepared to climb tons of stairs through a jungle and sweat profusely. Now I know why they asked us at the beginning of the hike if we had asthma.
One of my favorite nights in Mexico was the Mexican parade consisting of different styles of dance from each part of Mexico. These young males and females were unpaid dancers who dance for fun every Friday night hoping to make decent tips. I had never seen styles of dance so crisp and on point. I loved the vibrant colors and costumes. It was such an enjoyable night.
My favorite part about my stay at the hotel was every night, until about 10 pm, a band or recording would play old 60’s and 70’s music. I always had my windows open to listen to classical oldies music until I decided to go to sleep.
I made friends mainly with the locals and a few tourists. The front desk woman named Adriana said she does not understand why so many people are too afraid to talk and ask questions to her or to other locals. She probably was annoyed with me asking so many questions and trying to learn more about the culture and city. What I loved most about Mexican culture is the people. They are so welcoming and helpful it easily makes you feel as if you are in the right place.
One night I had dinner on the beach with very inviting company. What drew me in to the restaurant was the fresh coconuts and grilled shrimp on a stick. As I sat there sipping my coconut and watching the sun set, a man came over to my table with his ukulele and started serenading me to an old Mexican love song, in Spanish of course. It was a beautiful song, in which I had him translate at the end. I think he was trying to win me over. Almost had me. After he left, Leo, another local came over and conversed with me. We talked about everything. He asked why I enjoy travel and why I would travel alone.
I told him that I chose to travel alone on this trip because I got sick of waiting around for someone to go somewhere with me. In the flight attendant industry and any daily job, everyone has a different schedule and their own life to live; Or they have their own personal restrictions. I have learned that if you are always waiting around for someone or something, then it may never happen. You cannot let anyone hold you back from your goals and dreams. You have to go after what you want. If that means spending 7 days in Mexico alone because you want a beach getaway, then GO. You are never alone when you are open to adventure. You get to learn more about the culture and you learn more about yourself when you are open. You get to stop and take pictures if you want and not worry about being rushed along by a group of people. You make your own daily routine and sleep in however long you want. It is all up to you when you travel alone. I am not suggesting to always travel alone because is nice to share an experience with someone, but know that it is is okay to conquer a journey alone. The world is yours once you let go and live the life you imagined.
Another question I seem to be getting a lot of lately is, “If you are traveling alone, then who is taking your pictures?” To answer that question, I ask any stranger if I see a view I want to capture. I usually have this idea of what I want. I show them how I want them to position the camera and then I have them burst the photo so I have many options to choose from. It is very easy to be hands on with someone by showing them what to do, even if they speak little English. I know what I want out of the picture, so I will get it somehow. You cannot be afraid to ask a stranger. All they can say is no, right? But, most of the time they want a picture in return so it is a win for a win!
Cheers to Mexico! Now, can I move to a beach already!! 🙂