I've seen zero evidence of any nation on Earth other than Mexico even remotely having the slightest clue what Mexican food is about or even come close to reproducing it. It is perhaps the most misunderstood country and cuisine on Earth.
- Anthony Bourdain
Back in 2010, I lived in a little town called Juluchuca, Mexico, near Zihuatanejo, for roughly five months. I worked at a regenerative resort called Playa Viva as their "Concierge". I would greet guests, take them on tours and make their infamous basil margarita. It was a wonderful and educational experience for me that I could add to my résumé, but probably the worst of it was when the salty air ate away at my HP mini laptop, which resulted in the loss of all my data. It wouldn't have been a big deal had I backed everything up via external hard drive, but as a backpacking twenty year old, I didn't even think to bring one. Instead, I lost everything, essentially all of my travel photos, documents and video up until that point, which was surprisingly a lot. This is the reason why you never see any of my old photos or journals, I simply lost them all. I was incredibly down because of this, and I felt that it was a sign to move on. Once I left Mexico, Instagram came about, and I immediately hopped on board back in 2011. I didn't know then, but it would be a safe place for me to showcase all of my photos until this very day.
After my time in Mexico, my view was changed completely on the country. I was eager to go back.
Later on Expedition 196, I had the fortunate occurrence to go back, but this time, to Cancún. As a rustic traveler, I had no desire to ever travel to Cancún, knowing that it is a prime spot for Americans travel to, and when I travel, I like to go where there are little of my own kind in order to experience the cultural heritage of the places I travel to. But there is indeed an authentic Mexican culture of Cancun that I was really excited to dive into. My hosts were so kind and educated me on the history and Spanish colonization that lead to the many blonde hair blue eyed people of whom I encountered. I spoke to the students at the Universidad Anáhuac Campus Cancún, and we planted a tree. It was a wonderful experience and it totally changed my perspective of Cancún.
(little pixelated, sorry!)
By now you guys know I love exploring new places that I've never been, and Tulum is one of those places. I've heard raving reviews of Tulum for this place being a less-touristy, more rustic place to be, as opposed to its neighboring Playa del Carmen or Cancún, which is more hyped up and dressy. I was really surprised. After arriving in the all too familiar Cancún airport, I rented a car and headed out for the one hour and fourty-five minute drive to Tulum. The drive was long, but straight forward, and involved one straight, main road. It was pouring rain, so it made the drive go by a bit slower than anticipated. Nonetheless, I arrived at the beautiful Sanará Tulum, where I was greeted and then shown to my beautiful and spacious villa. I've had the chance of staying in some eclectic and intriguing hotels all around the world, but the architecture, serenity and rustic beauty of Sanará was most definitely one to write home about. Spacious, quiet, and immersed within both the jungle and the beach made this place the perfect escape from reality.
I've spent the past decade backpacking around the world to over 200 countries, so when I have the opportunity to stay in a more peaceful, serene or luxurious hotel whether on my own dime or through sponsorship, I fully take advantage. I appreciate the time and space I'm given that allows me to complete my important work for my two businesses. Sometimes, escaping from your own apartment and home to a new location, allows for a creative flow and inspiration to cultivate new ideas. Sanará Hotel did just that. I was able to not only relax, but relish the moments as I completed the final edits of my manuscript and book cover for my pre-sale launching 6/18. Are you excited?!
Where's your favorite place to stay and in which country? Let me know in the comments below!