It’s crazy to think it’s almost the middle of summer already, but somehow I still find myself looking back at photos from Mexico, with a big itch to just keep traveling. Often times vacations can be filled with lots of activities and touristy attractions, that are well worth it, especially if it’s one of the wonders of the world. Which of course I always love having the opportunity to see, because they’re well-known sites for a reason, but if I had to choose my favorite places to travel when I go to a new country, it would have to be the small towns that many do not see. It’s the kind of towns that show you how the people truly live and what makes the country what it is.
You become more fulfilled on your travels interacting the locals, and get a better sense of their culture, just as long as you’re safe doing it of course. Now, Playa del Carmen is popular amongst tourists, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and resorts along the main road and beach, yet somehow the hustle and bustle of foreigners and locals intertwine into the spirit of this city.
There are the loveliest of French cafés with beautiful chandeliers hanging above outdoor seating and garden teapots, and authentic taquerias with mariachi players serenading those savoring refreshing margaritas and guacamole. Shops range from ones filled with lovely Mexican linen dresses, that I wish I came home with all, to family owned jewelry shops, like the one we encountered on of our resort’s employee on his day off helping his mother work. Even befriending us, complete strangers, whose job is to cater to us, and showing us true hospitality, introducing us to his family and even offering us a sampling of his homemade tequila and liquors. That’s the kind of memory and experience you get venturing in your own, not on some tour.
Then there was the scenic beach, with rich blues and iridescent greens and golds, simmering as waves crashed onto the sandy shore. When I look back at these beautiful images, I’m instantly reminded of the smell in the air. The pungent aroma of salt and fish, a smell so strong it could take anyone unexpectedly by surprise, growing stronger as the wind picked up. Yet so pleasant and invigorating all the same.
The fishing boats side by side, some coming back from a hard day at sea, while others just there wading along with the rhythm of the ocean. I always seem to take photographs of boats, especially when they’re fastened along the shore or dock, wherever I go. They’re just simple fishing boats, nothing as fascinating as a grand sailboat, most times old and run down from the hard the sea. Yet, I find them intriguingly beautiful. Whether it’s my love for the sea, or that they’re merely not just fishing boats but a means of life for many, a resource for food, and an escape to relax and fuel one’s passion. It’s not something to just look at and photograph, it’s its purpose and story that makes it beautiful enough to capture.
There was much to be seen in Riviera Maya and Mexico, but there is also much to be seen all over the world. Not sure where if when my next big travel will be, but I’m thankful for this recent adventure.