From Cancun to Mexico City

When I woke up the next day, I was still in complete shock from my #NoRegrets Day adventure in the open waters.

Did I really just face my fear and concur it?

Was yesterday just a dream?

How did I get to be someone so lucky to live out a day like yesterday?

I can remember laying in bed for a good solid 30 minutes reflecting back and thanking the Lord for not only the experience and chance of a lifetime, but for helping me concur something that has held me back in the past.

I knew the morning would go fast, I still had to pack and the rest of the crew was setting out early on an expedition to visit and learn about Gaby and Miguel’s restoration program (the one that Contiki is in collaborations with): Acropora Palmata Restoration Program (National Park Reefs of Xcalak).

Gaby and Miguel are the directors of this program initiated by Oceanus, A.C that began in late 2011. They currently have over 300 new coral colonies planted throughout Xcalak including Elkhorn coral a.k.a. Acropora palmata, which is the main species that dominate the reef crest and is one of the most important coral reef builders. The basis for the installment of this project was due to a massive disease suffrage that resulted in major mortality of this species. From the information provided to me by Gaby, I learned that this project is one of the first of its kind in Mexico.

While at breakfast, Gaby and Miguel educated myself and the others about the current state of their project. Most of the communication occurred between Gaby and Celine and in Spanish, which made it hard to follow, but I did learn quite a bit about the sensitivity of coral and the damage too much rainfall can cause. They explained to us that last year, one specific region, had so much rainfall that it actually whipped out an entire year’s worth of growth. I knew coral was being damaged but I really didn’t understand to what extent. I am grateful for Gaby and Miguel’s love and passion towards this project and towards our ocean and all their hard work.

After breakfast, it was time for our last goodbyes and it was difficulty to hold back tears. I know I just met these people but everything they’ve done for me during my time in Cancun, made me feel like I’ve known them for years. I didn’t want to part ways with Claire, Celine or Capkin, Gaby or Miguel, or Matteo or Luis, but I knew my Mexican Adventure was only just beginning.

I didn’t give myself much time to pack between saying goodbye and my shuttle pick up, which isn’t like me at all, but in Mexico, time seems to escape me. When I arrived at the airport, Journey Mexico had one of their employees, Alex, waiting to assist me through the airport to ensure I was set and ready to jet off to Mexico City. What I wasn’t expecting after I checked in, was the fact that I was in Premier seating (a.k.a. FIRST CLASS). That’s right, I sat in first-class on the two-hour AeroMexico flight from Cancun to Mexico City and this included free beer! Can you say spoiled brat 🙂

The flight and journey to the hotel were pretty uneventful, well except for the part where my driver drove me to Best Buy and then another camera store to purchase a new camera body. I might have left out this bit of information in my last post because I wanted that post to be about happy memories and not depressing ones. Unfortunately, I made a grave mistake and took my DSLR camera on the boat with me and the sea decided to punish me but getting it wet. I am usually very cautious with my baby and it was heartbreaking to lose something I’ve cherished for nearly three years. Thankfully, my driver was exceptionally understanding and could see my joy in holding a new DSLR camera. I never thought I’d be so attached to an electronic item before and thought I could get by, but it was barely 12 hours and I wanted to crawl into a corner and cry without one.

I arrived at the hotel with an hour to spare. The journey between the airport, the camera stores and the hotel took FOREVER because landing at 4:30 PM on a Friday in the largest city in the world meant rush hour traffic or in Mexico City’s terminology, daily traffic since nearly 22-24 MILLION people live or commute into the city daily. I can no longer complain about the horridness of traffic here in Seattle when comparing it to Mexico City. Good thing I wasn’t driving!

By 7 o’clock, I was up at the rooftop bar meeting, greeting and hanging out with my newest Contiki family (some missing) including our tour guide, Ish. Ish is the only Contiki Mexico tour guide and has been doing these tours for about a year and a half. Impressive huh?! We were missing a few at this meet-up but it didn’t matter to us. We were all so excited to be starting our Contiki tour.

I learned that although I was only doing the 9-day Mexican Fiesta tour, others were continuing on to the Yucatan portion, which is the 13-day Mexican Grande tour. It didn’t take long before we were off to dinner, asking the typical “introductory” questions. Who are you? Where are you from? How old are you? Where have you traveled? What’s the purpose of your trip? Etc. etc. etc. This has to be my favorite part of traveling: learning about other people and their journeys in life. Traveling links you to one another. It’s a bond that you can easily share and Contiki tours are a great way to travel solo and meet people!

By the time dinner ended, I was exhausted and decided to call it an early night, but I was still alone in my room. I was a bit surprised because it was nearly 9PM before my roommate arrived at my room because there was a mix up at the front desk. For the night, I roomed with Aimee, a 27-year-old from New South Wales, Australia! She had not arrived at the hotel prior to us heading to dinner and after learning a bit more about each other, we headed off to sleep as the next morning was an early one. Even though today was full of travel, it was still jammed pack with excitement. Until next adventure…

#NoRegrets Day

This day has finally arrived. It’s been a long and crazy three months since finding out I was the winner of this contest and cannot believe that my #NoRegrets Day is finally here. Let’s break this day down into 5 parts.

Part 1: Prepping Phase

The day before (April 2), we all noticed that the wind was picking up pretty intensely and although I don’t know much about the ocean, I do know that this isn’t the greatest news. Matteo, who is our diver contact with Journey Mexico and one of our dive masters, has been in contact with Celine regarding the closure of the port and the possible changes to our dives. He was up by 7am to figure out our plan for the day: diving the ocean or diving the cenotes. I’m not going to lie, upon hearing this news I was sad because I’m not afraid of freshwater caves, I’m terrified of the ocean and open water. I knew I didn’t have an option as Mother Nature can’t be controlled, but I still was sad. Good news did come the morning of the dive and Matteo informed us that although the port here in town was closed, we were able to dive off the coast of Isla Mujeres at two locations; Bandera Reef and the underwater sculpture museum by the artist Jason de Caires Taylor.

Part 2: Transportation and Arrival

It was 8:30 am when I finally made my way down to the lobby to meet up with the team. The team consisted of myself, Celine, her fiancé Çapkin (the videographer/photographer), Gaby and Miguel (who are partnering with Contiki on a conservation project), Luis (dive master) and Matteo. At this point of the day, my mind was going a mile a minute. I was still in shock that this was actually going to happen. I stayed pretty quite during the drive (which is abnormal for me) mostly because I was really holding back fear and tears. Celine also wanted our first time really talking to be during the interview. During portions of the drive, Çapkin was asking me to do a variety of things for the camera and it was odd being on the other side of the lens but Çapkin and Celine made it very comfortable for me.

We arrived at the port just north of Cancun and then the fun began! Çapkin was running the show and directing everyone on where to go and what to do. Once the van was in place, I was sized for my wetsuit and provided with flippers. I prepped all my own gear (mask and snorkel) and my bags were pack. Once the gear was ready, I sat down with Celine (Çapkin filming, microphones and everything) for our 1×1 interview. I didn’t really know what she was going to ask me and I was pretty nervous, after all this is Celine Cousteau were talking about here. She’s done so much for our ocean world and comes from a pretty well-known family. She made the interview process so comforting and asked me everything from “where my fear stems from” to “how my family has reacted to this experience”. It was so humbling being able to talk about my family and how supportive each and every one of the them including my grandma and grandpa have been during this journey. (You’ll have to wait and see the video for more of the interview). Once we concluded the interview, it was off the ocean floor.

Part 3: Dive 1

The boat ride from the dock to dive 1 only took about 30-40 minutes and I was okay with the length. The water down in Cancun/Isla Mujeres was so colorful and so many shades of blue. If you know me at all then you’ll understand why I was in heaven at this point. The water kept changing from turquoise, to bright aqua, to royal blue, to navy blue and back to bright aqua. The pictures don’t do the coloring justice. At this point, I was just following directions from Çapkin and listening to Luis and Matteo and they explained portions of the dive. I was able to capture a few images with my waterproof camera, though with the wind blowing we were getting sprayed on by the salt water the majority of the boat ride.

Once in place, with the current drifting use side to side (the current was pretty intense), it was time to fully gear up and descend. This is where my nervous kicked in. I don’t think I showed it to the crew as much as they knew, but I got really, really quiet (which is abnormal for me) and that’s how I knew I was more terrified then I thought I’d be.

For these dives, we did what we call a backwards roll entrance. Meaning, we sat on the edge of the boat and did a backwards roll into the ocean. This was my first time doing this style of entrance and as nervous as I was I had Celine directly across from me entering at the same time. I remember sitting on the edge of the boat holding on to the pole and Luis telling me to let go. At this point I knew I was going to enter the water myself and that’s when felt a pull on my scuba tank yanking me into the water.

Once I landed, I realized my mask wasn’t cooperating very well and was fogging up like crazy. So, here I am floating in the ocean (which I haven’t done in 10+ years) having to take off my mask to change it out. I have contacts and my eyes have caused me issues since moving to the state of Washington and the last thing I wanted was for one of them to pop out. Luckily, Celine was next to me talking as Luis swam back to the boat to grab another pair. Once the google situation was taken care of, it was finally time to descend.

For those of you who know scuba diving this next part will come naturally to you. For those of you who don’t, let me talk to you about something called “Buoyancy”. With many dive locations, staying off the ocean floor is a huge MUST and you must be able to control the amount of air in your vest (aka BCD) to maintain proper “buoyancy” just about the ocean floor. If too much air, the higher you swim. The higher you swim the further away from the ocean life you see. Too little of air causes you to plummet (exaggeration) to the ocean floor, disrupting the ocean life and stirring up all the sand. Both options are horrible for a good experience. Luckily, I am a science brain and I was able to control my buoyancy fairly well throughout this first dive with occasional assist from Luis.

This first dive was a reef dive , meaning we’d been since many different types of fish and ocean creatures and at most 45 feet below. Much of the dive (as directed by Ç “do this”, “swim together, over the camera”, you get the picture) was spent with Celine and I swimming alongside each other and she, Luis and our other dive master (who was monitoring location and air) pointed out a variety of different sea creatures; from fish, to blowfish, to spiny lobster. The amount of fish along this reef was unbelievable and I really had no idea the amount of species lived in one area. (remember the part about hating the ocean; this also lead to my ill-knowledge of the ocean). It was quite a sight to see and having Celine, Luis and the rest of the crew alongside me pointing things out (later explaining things) was more than I could have asked for. The reef was so peaceful and really meditative. It calmed by breathing down tremendously from the first few dives I did here in Seattle (I used 1000 PSI of air in 20 minutes my first dive; where this dive I used 1200 PSI). We stayed underwater for a good 50-60 minutes swimming between reefs, alongside reefs, and in movement of the current.

The worst/greatest part of this first dive was being dragged off by Luis to an open area where swimming less than 10-ish feet from my face was a barracuda. This thing was huge (in my eyes) and all I could picture was this thing attacking me leaving me helpless (terrifying). But it did the complete opposite. It swam stared us in the eyes (not sure exactly who) and then turned around and swam away like we weren’t even there. Did you know that barracudas acted this way? I sure in hell didn’t. I really pictured this evil creature attacking anything and everything that got in its way. Mind Blown!

After a bit longer of a swim and before out ascend, Luis and our other dive master (I forgot his name) communicated back and forth using the turtle sign. I looked at Luis and would have jumped for joy if I was on land, because this was one sign I knew. There must have been a sea turtle somewhere near us, and sure enough their 20-25 feet ahead of us was a sea turtle swimming away. At this point, I was smiling so big, under my regulator that nothing could take it off my face.

Once ascended and near the boat, I was walked through the steps to remove the gear and climb aboard (which is way easier than putting the gear together/on). Back on the boat felt abnormal and took roughly 5-10 minutes to get back to a normal groove, during which we were refueling with fruit and water. Celine and I chatted about what just happened and it’s all a blur to me now. Still hard to believe this was real and just our first dive.

Part 4: Dive 2

While eating, our captain drove us to our second location (Scuplture Museum), while the dive master (I feel really bad for forgetting his name) and the first mate changed out all the air tanks in prep for dive 2.

We weren’t on board for very long (at most 20-30 minutes) as this second dive was shallower at 35 feet. There’s this huge graph/calculation that goes with diving to monitor the oxygen/nitrogen levels to prevent “the bends” but at this point if they said jump off a cliff, I would have done it. So, when the dive masters say dive…you dive.

The first dive, Çapkin was actually in the water below the boat filming as we splashed, where this time he remained on board to capture the boat side splash. I’m not sure how all the footage will come together be he sure does know his stuff. He even directed me to film myself (with my GoPro) on the first dive and Celine the second dive. I’m really eager to see the footage captured by Çapkin because his skill is uncanny and easy to follow.

Underwater, the view of this second dive is night and day different from the first dive. There were fish but not to the scale of the first dive. This second dive was so unique in nature because no other place in the world has these specialized sculptures made out of this special material that enhances and supports coral growth. 100s of makeshift human sculptures rest on the ocean floor included a VW bug. Yes, VW bug rests on the bottom of the ocean with fish living inside it.

Unlike the first dive, we weren’t the only people at this dive sight and at times we had to stop swimming because these people were getting in our way. But we had to go with the flow. Swimming alongside these sculptures, popping in-between sets of them and swimming on top of them was quite entertaining. Luis gave me a bit more freedom this second dive and I stuck with Celine for most of this second dive.

The best moment of the entire trip was this one very territorial fish, who for easily 10 minutes, kept attacking Celine’s GoPro, biting at the silver dots around the lens. I couldn’t stop laughing (which isn’t good for my oxygen levels, but I didn’t care). It wouldn’t stop. Biting at the lens, turning away, and attacking the camera again. (You’ll see it in the video- once it’s done).

While we swam and before ascend, we started to have a little fun with our videographer, Çapkin. As a group, we sat at the bottom of the ocean floor taking pictures, trying to time our breathing patterns with each other so bubbles are surrounding our faces. I really can’t even describe how fun/funny this act was. Can’t you picture it 7 or 8 adults swaying back and forth sitting on the ocean floor with full scuba gear taking pictures. Unreal.

Çapkin also had me do some paired swimming with Celine, individual swims and ascending movements in front of the camera. I was able to get more comfortable being the center of attention during this second dive vs. the first. It’s a very strange feeling having someone film you and you basically are supposed to “sort-of” ignore them. If you’ve never had it happen before, picture someone reading over your shoulder. It’s the same feeling.

Part 5: The Journey Home

Once back on the boat and undressed, the conversations took off. We/they couldn’t control their excitement for me, my abilities to scuba dive and my new-found love with the ocean. I was having a hard time with coming up with words at this point because it was still so surreal.

Before returning to the main lands, we docked at a local restaurant on Isla Mujeres for some refreshments and some food and the post-scuba interview. Celine ordered a “michelada” (no idea) and I got one too. I didn’t know what the guidelines were for post-scuba refreshments, but everybody else was drinking beer so why not. A michelada is a mexican cerveza beverage prepared with assorted hot sauces/spices/peppers served with a salt rimmed glass, lime juice and your choice of beer. Here in America, we pretty much just use calmato juice (not nearly as good).

The interview lasted quite a while and consistent of Celine and I chatting about my experience, me asking Celine some questions about her relationship/partnership with Contiki, and Claire asking some questions and guiding me to say a few words to the camera.

It wasn’t long before the day had come to a close (mind you it’s only 4:30) and we were back on the main land, driving home to the resort. Though the day wasn’t quite over yet and the conversations continued to flow. The entire boat ride back consisted of Claire, myself, Celine and Çapkin talking anywhere from love to life to futures and it continued during dinner after we all showered and regained strength. I don’t think I could really express my gratitude towards Celine and Çapkin, towards Claire and the entire Contiki family, or towards the rest of the crew who made today one of the greatest days of my life. Words blended together in sentences don’t really show my hearts true feelings and I don’t know of anything that would be able to do it justice. Living this experience is something that nobody could take away from me and I can truly and deeply say that my fear (mostly) of the ocean is gone.

I am still terrified of sharks and will, at one point, have to face that fear and shark dive, but for now I’m not afraid of jumping head first into the open waters and swim freely among the fishes. Contiki made this possible and without them, I’d still be living with my one true regret…Fear. I know to some of you these are just words on a blog and you might not really understand what I mean when I say “living in fear is a regret of mine”, but to me these words controlled many moments of my life. I didn’t allow myself to join in with friends who were taking a midnight dip in the Pacific Ocean, or taking an afternoon refresher in the Ligurian Sea off the coast of Italy. I stayed on the side lines watching. No one should live in fear of anything and for many people we do let fear control parts of our lives and in some cases cause us to miss out on something beautiful. If it were for Contiki, I wouldn’t have this new-found passion and love for the ocean. I wouldn’t be trying to figure out how I can do my part in saving the ocean (one plastic bottle at a time). Nor would I be contemplating my next big adventure and whether or not it’s going to include diving.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that will go down in my history as “One of the Best Days of my Life”. Thank you again to everyone involved; whether physically diving with me, on the boat watching over me, or back home supporting me with love and encouragement. Each of you hold a special place in my heart and will never be forgotten.

Jungle Maya Adventure

I’ve been in Mexico for less than a day and Contiki is already pulling out the big guns! Not only am I staying at an all-inclusive resort (Now Jade) over looking the ocean, I get to spend the entire day with Claire (the Contiki rep) at an adventure park on Mayan land. The Jungle Maya Expedition is ran by Alltournative Tours and is an Me Time optional on both Contiki’s Mexican Grande and Yucatan Highlights tours.

I knew about this excursion before my departure but I didn’t do much research about what it was, mostly because I didn’t want to. I liked the unknowingness about this entire adventure. All I knew is that it was an adventure park consisting of repelling, zip-lining, and snorkeling!

We started our morning VERY early, as in we had to be in the lobby at 6:55am, and it took approximately 75-90 minutes to arrive at The Jungle Maya. During the drive, our driver/tour guide, Emilio, gave us an overview of our day including a brief history about the Mayan family, who continue to reside at the Rancho San Felipe ranch and are the keepers of the Nohoch Nah Chiich cave. This cave is the entrance to the Sac-Actun underground freshwater river system; the longest in the world at 137 miles.

Here is a brief history of cenotes obtained from the Yucatan-Holidays Website: “Cenote comes from the Mayan word “dzonot” or “ts’onot” which means sacred well. Cenotes were the main source of fresh water for the ancient Mayan civilization. Mayans believed the cenotes contained curative elements and considered many of them to be sacred. They also believed cenotes to be portals to the underworld and a way to communicate with the gods.” (

By the time we arrived, Claire and I were eager to get started and couldn’t wait to take our dive into the cenote. Before we started our off-track adventure, we participated in a traditional Maya purification ceremony lead by a medicine man. A main aspect of the Mayan culture is the worship to the elements- water, earth, air and fire. All elements which were included in this purification ceremony. I really don’t have words to describe this ceremony. I remember learning about the Mayan culture when I was in 5th grade (like 11 years old) sitting in Mr. B’s class and it was a bit surreal participating in this ceremony. It brought me back to many good memories at Lagos.

After I came back to reality, we were off to rappel 40 feet down a hole into a breathtaking beautiful cenote and swim in Yaxmuul. Yaxmuul is a natural underground pool of pristine water and rock formations. This was my first ever time rappelling and it was quite the experience. I’ve done a little rock climbing (at a gym) in the past and could understand the basics, but it really is a whole new experience rappelling down a hole in the ground laughing the entire time. Prior to our decent, Emilio informed us that the water was a tad chilly and the lady before us was squealing upon touching the water so we were a bit terrified about the actual water temperature. I remember slowing down before splashing into the water but to be honest the water was very refreshing. It was the perfect temperature after standing outside in the Mexican sunshine and swimming in this fresh water pool was unreal.

Upon exiting, we took a little hike to the original Mercedes Benz Unimogs, the major 4×4 vehicle in the world, waiting for us to take us through the jungle to the zip-lining course. If I were to describe this ride, bumpy would be a complete understatement. Shaking, bouncing, rocking, and bumping up and down, side to side for 10 minutes are just words. Watch the video below to see just a glimpse of the reality of this ride.

The zip-line course consisted of 3 lines sailing over the jungle’s foliage. This first one sends you backwards, as they have a sling-style stop, meaning it stops for you versus manually having to stop. The second one is normal and sends you flying forwards or in my case sends me twisting during the entire line. The last line is the most exciting of them all as it sends you flying at a downward angle landing you in a cenote. Aside from losing my bikini bottom for a slight second, this experience was incredible and full of laughter.

Once the entire group (a total of 6) was finished with the zip-line course, it was off to the cenote snorkeling experience in the Nohoch Nah Chilich Cavern. This cavern is part of the Sac-Actun cenote system and is recommended by National Geographic Snorkeler specialized cave divers. While in this cavern we were surrounded by rock formations and millenary stalactites and stalagmites, which are still growing and an incredible sight. I’ve only been snorkeling once (in which scarred me for life) and cave snorkeling was not in my adventure guide but this trip was about new experiences.

By this time in the day, Claire and I were famished and ready for our authentic Mayan lunch. Here at the ranch, they continue to serve food grown and cook over coal stoves. Our spread included chietas (a potato patty with herbs), empanadas, frijoles (beans), rice and vegetable soup topped of with ridiculously spicy salsa. For refreshers, we enjoyed delicious jamaica (ha-my-ka), which is a hibiscus flower based tea, and tamarind juice. Both were unbelievably delicious!

Once lunch was completed, we hiked our way through the jungle to return to the starting point, where we gathered our belongings and enjoyed a well needed tamarind margarita (sin tequila) while our photographs were being gathered. I didn’t mention this earlier, but part of the Jungle Maya expedition included local photographers who captured our entire adventure. Not to shabby of an experience huh and the best part was that this was all before 3pm!

As it was still daylight when Claire and I arrived back at the resort, we didn’t waist too much time before heading down to the beach for a relaxing afternoon. I was able to catch some ZZZs by the ocean but by 5pm, Claire had to go on a conference call and I headed up to my room to enjoy a nice jacuzzi bath. We reconvened for dinner and following dinner we headed to the lobby to inquire about Celine’s arrival and sure enough there she was! I was in a bit of celebrity shock and she was so kind and honestly reminded me a lot of my own mother. We ended up talking for quite sometime before we all called it a night. At this point, I was more ready and prepared for my #NoRegrets Day. Stay tuned for my summary of my once-in-a-lifetime day of scuba diving!!

Arrival In Mexico

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!”