What a day…what a day! Starting a morning off at 3:15AM isn’t something I normally do, but this was quite the exception. My flight was scheduled for 7:10 AM and I had prescheduled a shuttle pick up at 4:15 AM, giving me plenty of time to get the to airport, check in and make it thought security.
Once through security, I stopped at the local coffee shop that allows you to use almond milk…which is a rare occurrence and I needed coffee. I didn’t have too much time to spend at the airport so a coffee, a bagel and some journaling was about it before hopping on leg 1 of my 3 part journey.
The first leg was Seattle > Dallas, approximately 3.5 hours travel time. During this flight I was able to get a bit of editing done and an hour or so of sleep. Once in Dallas, the 1.5 hour layover went very quickly and I spend a large chunk talking to a couple about my trip and why I’m off to Cancun. It still amazes me when I tell others how absolutely crazy it sounds. Me: “Oh, I won a trip to Mexico”. Them: “Wait, you WON a trip to Mexico?!?”. Make me giddy!
The second leg Dallas> Cancun was just as uneventful as leg one and before I knew it, the captain was announcing our decent. When I looked out the window what I saw took my breathe away. Blue/Turquoise water with trees and wilderness as far as I could see. I was really close to crying at this point as it still hadn’t hit me.
This is where my story takes the most amazing turn ever.
Before I left, I was provided with my detailed itinerary which walked me though how to get from Customs to Platform 26 where my driver would be meeting me. It specified to “not stop” because as you exit the airport there are hundreds of “sales persons”. Hint the “not stop” statement. Once I exited, I located the man holding the Contiki sign and preceded to head towards the van, where I met up with Mariana, who is the lead on this trip! Meeting her really brought this trip to life for me. She was so kind, so polite, so welcoming and beautiful to top it off. She provided me with my welcome package and walked me though how to contact her if I needed anything.
Then it was off to the resort. I’m staying at the Now Jade Riviera Cancun located in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico, about 30 minutes away from the airport. This hotel is an ALL-INCLUSIVE resort, something I was not expecting and didn’t know how to respond when they first told me. I had to do a double take and I’m sure my face was priceless. I honestly didn’t know how to respond checking in to my room. He told me I had Tropical View and man oh man is it tropical.
My first view of my room made me jump and cheer for joy. I’m sure the bellman would have thought I’d lost my mind, but I told him my story of how I ended up here and that I really knew nothing about this place. I have an entire room to myself with a porch overlooking the trees and beach. It took me less than 10 minutes to change into a more comfortable outfit, repack my purse and head to the beach.
Oh the beach. The sand on the beach is so white and SO SOFT. The water is clear and blue. The smell is salty and fresh. Best part- it was quite! I stood with my feet in the ocean (just my feat though) for close to 10 minutes soaking in the experience (and maybe taking a lot of pictures). I continued to wander around the resort for another hour before I asked if the production manager, Claire, had checked in. I was able to get ahold of her and we decided to meet up for dinner. It was nice to finally put a face to the many emails sent over the last few months.
Claire came over from London to help lead the photography/videography portion of my trip and I love that I have someone close to my age with so much passion towards traveling here with me. This is her first time in Mexico and I’m so excited to be apart of her journey as am I that she’s a part of mine. We spend a good hour or two talking and getting to know each other on a more personal basis. After we finished our delicious desserts, the time zone change started to hit Claire and we both decided to call it a night (at 8 o’clock). We have a huge day planned for tomorrow and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!!
P.S. “If this not real, don’t tell me. I’m loving this mapless adventurous life and nothing you can do will pull me away from this dream!”