Welp, we have finally made it to my final installment about Mexico! The final days were mostly low key with a little drama on my way out of Mexico. But I’ll provide all the details anyway before sharing my overall post-Mexico thoughts and feelings at the end.
I decided to spend the sixth morning in Mexico relaxing at the hotel and taking a break. Partially because of sunburn, and partially because of exhaustion. It really wasn’t THAT hot compared to the heat at home, but the humidity is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I drank water pretty constantly but I think I was still dehydrated a lot of the time which made the exhaustion worse.
Dos Ojos Lodge has an upstairs roof deck with locally made hammocks and hammock chairs to lounge in. I had only spent a little time up there in the morning and evenings to visit with the monkey next door, so I decided to spend the morning there getting some reading and writing done since I had been on the go all of the other days. Because life is always an adventure. I moved one of the hammocks to be closer to the monkey and secured it incorrectly leading me to fall and bust my ass on the roof. I swear the monkey laughed at me.
Finally finding some time and motivation to write this second update. Sorry for the delay. I hadn’t even noticed it’s been nearly a month until a kind reader commented asking where this next post was! The good news is I am starting off this Mexico continuation post with what was my best day in Mexico! I am really excited by how many people were into the first Mexico post. I had actually shortened it considerably thinking no one would care. So this one may be a bit longer as a result. Thanks to everyone who read along the first time and waited patiently for this update! If you didn’t read it yet, my first post about my Mexico trip is here.
This was my favorite day in Mexico so is bound to be the longest entry here (and made me decide to make a part 3). I actually have almost no photos from day four because I was too busy having so much fun to remember to take them. I decided to spend my fourth day alone in Mexico at Xcacel beach. My host Dan informed me that it was close enough to walk to so I could get my Fitbit steps in (more on that soon…) and that it was more of a locals beach so wouldn’t be too obnoxiously touristy or crowded. It was only 30°C or 86°F but the humidity was out of control and it felt hot as hell so I put on my tiniest clothes, packed a small beach bag, DEET’d up for the mosquitos since I’d be walking part of the way on a jungle path (Important note: You are NOT allowed to wear insect repellants etc into the cenotes as it is damaging), and headed south on the highway. I guess it isn’t really common for people to walk super long distances in that part of Mexico because tons of people (taxis, truckers, families in cars, Americans traveling) tried to stop and give me a ride just like when I walked to Dos Ojos Cenote.
Eventually after about a half mile walking on the side of the highway I found a local dirt path Dan had told me I could walk safely up until I hit Xcacel. This was one of the most memorable moments of the trip. Not because of anything fun that happened, but because I was TERRIFIED. Incase you missed the first post on Mexico, I heard some news that made me terrified of jaguars any time I was traveling alone (even though the realistic chances of running into one were slim to none). I spent the first minute or so walking down the road finding myself very aware that although there was a highway ten feet to my left, if anything were to happen no one was going to know about it. This was another moment during my solo vacation where I really longed for a travel partner but I didn’t have one, so instead I started recording a video on my iPhone of me talking to myself and presumably whoever would find my remains if anything went wrong. Turns out, I uploaded the video and you can go ahead and watch me talk to myself like a lunatic here (Warning: I drop an F bomb):
This entry is sadly so so late. I tried pretty hard to make this entry short but it turns out I am incapable of making anything brief so I’ll write a TL;DR version here and you can click through if you want to hear some more details of my trip. I will put the first half of the trip here and the second half in another post.
I ended up in Mexico alone after some two friends unexpectedly canceled on me at the last minute. I wasn’t mentally prepared to travel alone or things may have gone much differently. I spent the first night in Mexico in a complete panic, I cried A LOT and wanted to go home right then and there. But I stayed (mostly because I had to, I guess) and I’m glad I did. Being alone in Mexico was one of those really important life experiences that kind of suck at the time but end up being really valuable. While I did take Spanish in school for many years, I have always been able to read Spanish better than I could communicate verbally. I spent the first three days in Mexico mostly incapable of communicating and feeling like an ignorant tourist. It was extremely difficult and overwhelming, and it made me have a lot of respect for folks who move to countries where they don’t know the language. I really thought this trip alone would be a total AHA moment for me and would make me feel more independent and comfortable with being alone. In some ways it did, but more than anything being alone in Mexico made me feel more lonely than I have in my entire life. My best friend Kipp has been traveling the world by herself since January and says this feeling passes with time, but I don’t think I was away long enough to really transcend the negative aspects of feeling lonely. Fortunately, I still feel like the entire experience was valuable and helped me grow as a person.
I should mention that Mexico wasn’t ALL bad and lonely. It took me a day or two to get comfortable being out and about by myself, but once I did I explored a different beach area every day (with the exception of one day when I went to see Dos Ojos Cenote instead). I got to see both tourist-y spots and some smaller local hang outs that Suzan and Dan suggested. I even made some Mexican friends two days before I left! My main take aways from Mexico were:
- I CAN travel by myself.
- Drink bottled water, but don’t worry about things like salads and fresh fruits, it’s a myth that it will make you sick.
- Fish tacos are amazing no matter where you eat them.
- Mexico is CHEAP. I spent $100 for my food, travel, entry to private beaches, etc for seven days. The most expensive part was traveling to and from the airport, and that was largely because I couldn’t communicate well enough to not get ripped off.
- Salsa in Mexico is HOT. Like, melt your mouth hot. Always ask about the heat before consuming.