A fistful of mezcal and a suitcase full of sin.
Death by Relaxation
Relaxation has always been a type-A activity for me with my favorite trips being the kind that require a post-vacation vacation. Sitting on a beach void of a plan has never held much appeal with me. The drive to create, capture, and share has always dominated any attempt at total leisure. Which isn’t to say I don’t find contentment and catharsis in such activity, but that it’s derived from capturing the moment, and not in the moment itself.
worse, but I doubt that growing up as a by-product of the internet-age is the underlying cause. I’ve had a camera or sketchbook in my hand for as long as I can remember. As a fourth grader, I remember creating what I though was some mind-blowing shit with a disposable Kodak during our class retreat to Bradford Woods in Southern Indiana. On my grandparents farm, I would document cows, old bridges, and dilapidated barns and equipment. The restlessness part… that is a quality bestowed on me by my father.
It’s with this said that I find myself in Tulum, on a beach, with nothing to do, in search of the beach style vacation which for years has always left me feeling feverish. I’m burdened with the desire to explore beyond the horizon. To find a better beach, a better meal, a better view. It’s a maddening proposition, that is, the attempt to seek out the very best in a place you’ve just arrived. Chronic FOMO. Filled with anxiety to accomplish this task, as I count down the hours remaining until I return to my day-to-day, the clock ticking at my discontent.
But sometimes, all you can do is say “fuck it” and succumb to your surroundings. I am in Mexico, after all. And Tulum, which more or less has been branded as the hipster riviera, is the antidote to Cancun’s all-inclusive, Mexi-Florida, resort scene, which lies just a short hour drive to the north. However, for the reasons already stated, I can see why people opt for a setting like Dreams Cancun, where all the decisions are already made and short of someone wiping your ass, although I’m sure you can pay for that as well, you’re forced into some pre-geriatric like stupor by-way of over-processed foods, sugary margaritas, sun poisoning, and lack of brain-use.
Yet, I digress. Every corner in Tulum is filled with incredible spaces meticulously designed for their surroundings. The food is some of the best and freshest I’ve ever had. And the seascape merges into dense jungle in a way that makes it easy to imagine falling off-the-grid while expatriating indefinitely.
The Yucatan Peninsula is filled with an energy and mysticism first discovered by Mayan civilizations long before the Spanish arrived. Steeped in history and ruins, Tulum offers the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, and I am sure to depart already anticipating my return.
Below:”La Iglesia” pyramid at Coba
More than anything, travel teaches you the value of time. Assigning finite dates, within our grasp of reason, magnifies the importance of our decisions. A bad meal is one less good meal. Time wasted in line or meddling with unnecessary tasks comes at a higher cost than it does back in the real world. Once this is realized, it’s easier to imagine how we might spend our time without the constraints of financial or employment obligations.
However, the truth is that all of our time is finite, yet we treat our daily routines as though it is not. What are we living for if not moments and experiences? There is no final destination, no championship game-of-life. The more present we are in the mundane instances of our day, the sooner we can begin to lead more fulfilled lives. After all, there is no reward for living well, instead, living well is the reward.