I haven’t been on any trips or adventures lately so I thought I’d throw it back a little and write about my experience in Mexico last year. Because, boy was it an experience…
I had always wanted to go to Mexico but was too scared to go alone, y’know.. because of all those drug mule and rape stories on TV. But when a friend of mine invited me to visit after he moved there, I jumped at the chance. I arrived in Cancun from Miami and was told by my friend to take the ADO bus to Tulum. I asked around at the airport where to get this bus and the staff were pretty rude and told me that the bus didn’t go to Tulum, so I ended up taking a taxi. It was a shared car with a driver whose English was barely there and two American girls who stared at me blankly when I tried to make conversation… it was an awkward journey. But nevertheless I was glad they were in the car too, otherwise I’d have spent the whole journey convinced the driver was going to abduct me. I soon realised everything in the media was totally over-exaggerated and that people in Mexico are just like people in any other country- most are nice, some are weird.
I arrived at the hostel my friend was staying at and suddenly felt like a high-maintenance princess. It was not the kind of place you bring a huge suitcase like I had- the 1 room the hostel had was in something that kind of resembled a tree house. The dorm floor and walls were plain concrete and the beds looked like tents. There was no air conditioning and the windows were holes in the wall. To be fair, I don’t know what I was expecting for $8 a night but I was so in shock that I found it hilarious… a theme which would continue throughout my trip. I’m glad I was able to look at it this way though as it makes for fab memories.
My friend took me for a walk around the village and we went to a small restaurant for authentic (and super cheap) tacos. Then we went to a cute little bakery and picked up some pastries for breakfast the next morning. On my first day we rented bikes- I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was a child so weaving in and out the crazy traffic in Tulum was super scary! My friend was in Mexico to build a hostel (find out more here) so I took some promotional videos of him at a beautiful, deserted beach after a long bike ride.
After this we collected our bags/massive suitcase and headed to Playa Del Carmen on the bus so we could stay at my friend’s friend’s house. I was excited to be getting out of that hostel but the house was completely not what I’d imagined. Don’t get me wrong, I totally appreciate her kindness and willingness to host us but it was just so different to what I’d pictured a home to be like. Then I remembered I was in Mexico. We arrived at night and I sat there awkwardly for a while, whilst they all spoke in Spanish, trying to keep my feet away from the massive cockroach under the table. The girl’s dad asked where I was from and when I replied Scotland, he told me he had only ever seen a Scottish person on TV. I felt like a celeb.
When I went up to bed I saw there was a gun sitting by the window. I still don’t know whether or not it was real but I burst out laughing when I saw it. My mum didn’t find it funny at all when I texted her to tell her though, ha. I covered myself in bug spray and went to sleep on top of the covers as it was so hot.
The next day I packed a small bag for the next 5 days and left my suitcase at the house. We took a colectivo (local bus) to Akumal bay where we snorkelled with turtles which was a fab experience- swimming so close to turtles was a dream come true. The remainder of my trip was filled with more interesting experiences, some great time spent with locals and a few days travelling by myself. My next post will be about part 2 of my trip so keep an eye out if you’re interested!