When I was a little girl, reading my history books and studying about distant times and far off lands, one thing in particular that I was always fascinated with, were the Mayans and what are now the ruins they left behind. Finally getting to see in person something that entranced me so many years ago was such an incredible experience. My only complaint? The extreme humidity and heat. I literally don't know how I managed to put one foot in front of the other, it was so.freakin'. hot. Not to mention, we had just come from a day of jungle exploring. Originally, Tulum was actually meant to be the first stop on our tour day. I had woken up extra early to do my makeup and hair and (thought) I looked reasonably put together enough to get some decent photos, because I mean, outfit photos at the Mayan Ruins? Ummm, life goal complete. We hopped on the 7:30am ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen, met our tour guide and the rest of our group, and started driving towards Tulum. About 20 minutes later we pull into a jungle. Not the ruins, a jungle. Apparently, our schedule had been switched around and we were now doing outdoor activities first. LIFE GOAL CRUSHED. After pouting for about 2.5 seconds (ok, maybe 10 minutes), I decided to live in the moment, which was probably good because they then proceeded to have us lock away our phones and cameras. I initially thought I might die (What do you mean I can't Snapchat this adventure?! Ummm, hello! I can't go all day without Instagramming!), but after just a few minutes, I realized how nice it actually was to be sans phone/internet/connections and relished in being able to truly live in the moment. We proceeded to spend the morning jumping into caves, zip lining in rainforests, learning about ancient Mayan rituals and ceremonies, and swimming in cenotes (which are quite possibly the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen). We then stopped in the middle of the jungle for a traditional Yucatan feast (so incredibly delicious) before finally heading over the the ruins. At this point my clothes were soaked, I had just emerged from a vicious mosquito attack, my makeup had definitely been washed off (at least 3 times), I was developing a nice lobster color on my skin and my hair was acting as if I had stuck my hand in an electrical outlet. And did I mention that it was like 7.89000 bazillion degrees out?! So if I look a little, shall we say off, in the pictures below, please don't judge me. Besides, there are prettier things to look at in these photos (like that water!) than my crazy hair!
So in summary, today's lessons are:
1. Mexico is hotter than the core of hell (or so I'm guessing). Bring 5 kinds of sunscreen. And a hat.
2. Mexican mosquitos are like American mosquitos, except on steroids....aka they are vicious. Bring bug spray.
3. Sometimes, as in times where you've spent the day in jungles and caves, it's ok to not look ok.
4. Life is so much more relaxed when you go with the flow and live in the moment.
5. Seeing things in person will forever beat reading about them in the pages of history books.
Tulum, thank you for the magical (and hot) day! I can't wait to come back soon!
Helpful Tips to Remember: Wear light, breathable clothing and a bathing suit (because that's all you may want to walk around in, since it's so hot), wear comfortable walking shoes, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring sunscreen and bug spray and apply it frequently, carry only the bare essentials (it's too hot to lug around anything extra), if you do the tour, bring your camera for the ruins and a GoPro (or something similar) for all of the jungle activities, have LOTS of water on hand (there are some stores and stands, like Starbucks and Quiznos and a place selling coconuts and other tropical refreshments, right outside the entrance to the ruins), and, because of the heat and the amount of tourists, I would recommend getting to the ruins as early as you can.