Let’s face it; resorts get a bad rap. No one who claims to “love travel” openly admits to loving resorts, right? Since I’ve started writing this blog, I’ve noticed a big explosion in people who love to travel but hate resorts. I was one of them, for a long time. When I visited Cuba with my family as a teenager, the idea of staying in a resort seemed so uninspired. At the time, we ended up going to Havana and actually exploring the Cuban countryside, which helped to make the trip feel less of a tourist trap. I then went on to visit Spain, also as a teenager, with my family. And again, we ended up in a resort.
After that, I decided to do the “real” travel thing and avoid resorts. It was great, and I managed to mostly do this until this year. This might be because of a shift in my own life, but this year, I started working in an office again. I started setting into a typical 9-5 again. All I felt, for 3 months straight, was pure exhaustion. I was constantly focused on my career, landing the right job, and doing everything I could to learn about everything related to my field.
When I decided to book a trip to Mexico, I didn’t really know what would happen when I came back from the trip. Was I going to get the job I wanted? Was I going to regret dropping that much money on a resort trip of all things? Was I going to wish I spent the week driving through “authentic” Mexican towns?
Well, I decided to go, anyway. And while I feel like I’m good in terms of resort trips for a while, the trip itself was great. I went down to Mexico with my parents, with me treating my mom to a free trip for her birthday, and was able to spend a lot of time just relaxing. The whole aim of the trip was to relax, to restart, to realize that while my career and work is important, I’m also young and need to enjoy the moment again. It’s really easy to forget that when you’re stuck in an office every day.
The resort we stayed at was by far the best resort I’ve ever stayed at. I’ll admit, it felt like being spoiled. There was easy access to food everywhere, the restaurants were amazing, the views of the ocean were worth it, and it felt like time well spent. I also did my favourite thing of any beach-related trip: I got into the ocean, every day. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, the ocean in that area is considered highly dangerous (red flags on the beach every day!), and wildlife comes out near the shore. My first day of swimming in the ocean was the highlight of the trip; a small whale swam right up behind me.
That brings me to my next point: there’s seriously few things in the world more thrilling than swimming in the ocean, especially a really deep ocean. The feeling is completely freeing, and I can only compare it to being on top of a high mountain or being in the middle of the desert. I realize that I’m a little more responsible now than I was when I first started really travelling in 2012, but I still can’t help but like my nature with a side dose of a little risk/danger. Swimming in the deep ocean should have been scarier than it was, but it was and always is something that feels normal to me.
Aside from staying beachside, I personally made sure to try a few new things. While I’ve been horseback riding a few times before, I opted for a horseback riding trip through an oceanside cliff. After that, I got on an ATV and drove through the same track. The horseback riding felt natural, whereas the ATV really pushed my boundaries. Getting on a manual ATV and almost falling off a cliff once or twice is definitely the easiest way to remind yourself that anything can happen! For both experiences, I got a guide who somehow only had to guide me (all the other guides had at least 2-3 people!) and therefore really pushed me to drive faster. When I told the guide it was my first time ever on an ATV, he shrugged and said, “you can do it”.
One of the other highlights of this “boring resort trip” (said with sarcasm) was getting on a yacht and seeing the arcs of Cabo during sunset. While I’d definitely rent my own boat next time, the experience was definitely worth it.
So, would I do a resort trip again? Probably, though not any time soon. And that’s exactly how I know this trip did what it was supposed to do, which was to recharge me and let me think of the next trip without any feelings about how it’ll all be exhausting. I’m ready to hit up the next spot in a different way!