Island dreaming

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On an already hot and sweaty morning me and my giant backpack ( Mochi🙃) were found ourselves walking towards the ADO station in Tulum, off to new adventures. I wanted to explore the islands of Quintana Roo, and find some of that pristine turquoise Caribbean sea.
The first stop was Cozumel, a paradise for divers.

I have to say when I got of the ferry I was a little bit shocked, a promenade of Cartier, Victoria’s Secret and Starbucks wasn’t the welcome I expected… Cozumel is also a cruise ship port, hence the luxury brands and restaurant chains to make people feel more home when they step off the boat…

Never mind, I was walking towards my hostel and the scenery slowly changed to “normal”, little eateries , shops and so on. i didn’t stay long here, just a couple nights, it was enough to snorkel a little, enjoy the free sunbeds and umbrellas in Playa Azul, swim and chill.
I think Cozumel is a great destination for divers, but if you don’t dive, the beaches are quiet far from the centre and let’s just say it’s not the best for backpackers budget.

 

 

 


But I enjoyed my few days here , stayed at a beautiful hostel with a lovely garden and as it always happens, I met some nice people there who gave me suggestions on further travels after the islands. Spending more and more time in the Yucatan peninsula I realised I want to change my original plans and travel further in the mainland and explore more of this beautiful and diverse country.

But before that I was heading to Holbox. And there, I found the paradise I was looking for. I think I’ve never been to such a beautiful place (in the seaside category).

 

 

 

Holbox is the perfect place to connect with nature if you up for leaving some stuff behind.
I decided to stay in a camping with no wifi ( and even when I was in town I purposefully didn’t go online) and the digital detox was just the first step to recharge my batteries, and finally feel better.
The campsite I stayed at was great (Balam Eco Camping) literally minutes away from the beach, untouched, unbuilt and beautiful.

 

I can very well enjoy the beach without bars, beds, and restaurants, but I know it’s not for everyone…If you need a bit more civilisation, Holbox has that near the “town” ( about 15 min away from where I stayed)
But I had my little private bay with palm trees providing shade , my book, my picnic with fresh fruit from the market. I was truly happy and relaxed. Barely saw any other people, but I was in very much need of some solitude.

 

 

 


Holbox has a lot to offer, you can walk to Punta Mosquito to see the flamingos, you can see bioluminescence, and I was there in whale shark season so I decided to go on a tour, which left me with mixed feelings. Although the boats and tour guides have more respect towards the animals than I experienced in other places, but still… I love animals and to observe them by chance ( like a flock of flamingos flying by in El Cuyo ) is always seem better , even if I miss out on the big “attraction”.

 

 

 

For me watching the most amazing sunset I’ve ever seen every day , swim, read, walk and practice yoga with the sunrise was perfect.
Holbox, you might see me again….

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Bienvenidos a México 🇲🇽

2C1D9B14-2894-46A9-9659-A3847848BAE2I decided to make use of a rainy morning and write my first post about Mexico. Not so bad activity considering that I’m doing all this in a hammock. After an amazing last weekend, leaving party and packing panic I left London with my huge backpack

1B8722A6-97A1-4FFE-B4ED-38E63AF170BF.jpeg ( will need reducing overtime!!) . Arrived to Cancùn in the evening and made my way to Tulum, it was pretty straightforward, changed buses at Playa del Carmen and arrived to my hostel around 10pm. The place lives up to his name ( Chill Inn), after dropping my bag ( hallelujah) I had the perfect welcome: really yummy fish tacos at a nearby place, Arena bar. Bienvenidos a México 🇲🇽
My ( very little) Spanish was immediately challenged, and realised that my understanding is better than I expected, however as usual speaking requires more confidence. But I’m constantly trying and I will get there eventually.
My bed after being awake for more than 24 hours seemed heaven, so crushed and slept like a baby til 7 in the morning. Suck it jetlag!
My few days in Tulum were a combination of chilled days when I didn’t do much other than relaxed on the beach and walked to a supermarket- Chedraui is my new happy place:) and some eventful days with visiting ruins, pyramids and cenotes. Some parts of the Mexican Caribbean was going through the “big seaweed crisis”, a totally harmless invasion of sargasso, making the crystal clear waters yellow-brownish and the beach smell like ..well rotten plants. I didn’t mind especially because I knew these were not my only beach days and for me the sea is always amazing. But it was said to see how it is affected local businesses. To read more about this natural phenomenon, see this article:
http://akumaldiveshop.com/sargassum-the-what-where-and-why-of-this-seaweed/ .
After one of my newly found friend suggested it I took a trip to Xpu ha on my last day and found almost seaweed free beach:)


An alternative to the beaches around the yucatan is the cenotes, natural sinkholes, but I like the historical background as they say the mayans used them to communicate with the gods. And it’s quite true, when you enter a cenote you enter another place and time. An unmissable experience, no excuses (they usually provide life west for non swimmers). And if you arrive early, you only share the experience with a few people. Crystal clear cool water, plenty to see underneath so don’t forget your snorkels or goggles if you have one and if you happen to be a diver there are many cenotes with caves to explore. i had an amazing day swimming and snorkelling in Cristal and Escondido, they are right next to each other, 15 minutes from Tulum centro on a bike and 120 pesos for both. Bargain;) If you decide to visit these two, it’s nice to bring a picnic, because there’s no restaurants, taco stands etc nearby. I had a lovely collection of pastries, fruit and cheese( basically this is what I lived on other than fish and veggie tacos).


Tulum is also famous for its ruins and mayan pyramids nearby. I dedicated two mornings to explore some of these treasures, with brakes in between so I won’t get “pyramided out”, I wanted to appreciate everything as they deserved it. The key again is the early arrival, we arrived at the ruins for the opening time (8am), this way the tickets are cheaper and the place was free of masses . We saw the intimidating crowds arrive when we were leaving so I was so happy for waking up early, also on Sundays visiting the ruins is free for Mexicans, so if you can choose another day( unless you are Mexican;) But the ruins are beautiful and you can read a lot about the history of Tulum, mayan times and more.


Another historic spot I’ve visited was Cobá. It is about 45 min away from Tulum, there is a bus in the morning but we missed that so took a colectivo to get there. Colectivos are minivans taking people to places, and if your stop is on their route they will get you there. They are absolutely safe to use, you can make new friends and they are reasonably cheap. My trip to Coba was 70 pesos and a lovely girl from Argentina and I used this time to have a Spanish -English language exchange:) added bonus!


I was ready to move on to new places and adventures, the week in Tulum was nice but probably a bit too long, although it allowed me to have some days adjusting and doing nothing ( much needed) without the pressure of having to do things before I run out of time.

So next I will exploring the islands of the area, keep tuned in😉

 

Travel preparations

I started writing this a few days ago, on my roof watching the sunset. Than I did a very inconvenient select all, accidentally press delete and wordpress autosave ( I’m sure it happened to many of you). So now I’m sitting in my room on a yoga mat surrounded by boxes and trying to finish what I started .
Its a bit more than 2 weeks and I will board a plane to Mexico to start my travels. If I would have a pound coin for every person who said “you are so brave” my travel funds would be sorted. I personally think everybody is brave who follows their chosen path and dare to do what they love, it doesn’t necessarily has to include a one way ticket to another continent.
But here I am, my life as I know it slowly disappears into boxes and I will start something new. I’m not gonna lie, this comes with a good amount of anxiety and fear, and it’s only natural.
Also the past few months was draining physically, mentally and emotionally. I feel like I’m Super Mario and I have the skills to jump to the next level but my energy is running low.

F099214D-3E53-4E5F-92E4-02DC1409B8D1So now I’m aiming for gold coins and Magic Mushrooms to gain my strength back and have the ability to do what I planned to do.
And these can be found in moments I spend with people I like, in activities I enjoy, places I appreciate.
I spent a week in Hungary, started in my hometown, revisited places of my uni years and just enjoyed being around my friends and family. This always comes with a strange mixture of familiar and non-familiar vibes as I don’t belong there anymore, I changed, the city changed, but there’s still a connection. I am an observer of my young(er) self taking her steps around town, memories spring up every corner. And all the fun with friends, silly selfies or just hanging out in the garden, playing with the animals ( I miss them so much!) .

 

Gold coins all the way.
I made my way to Budapest before I flew back as half of my friend circle live there. I am lucky to have some of people in my life here and there who are my friends regardless of distance or time spent apart. They are the ones you can pick up a conversation that you left many months ago with no awkwardness. That makes me feel happy as I know that wherever I go, they will be there for me. So a few more days with them and their kids, wacky races on the playground and pretending to be a tourist, singing songs to the newest baby , watching her falling asleep( self defence I suppose) creating memories , soaking everything in. The beautiful streets of Budapest, hearing chatter in my own language, travelling on trams and on the kisföldalatti ( my favourite).

 

And than taking a late night flight , delays and my grumpy sleepy self was back in London, facing some days of work and an overwhelming amount of travel preparation, including dismantling my living space and do some last minute research and in the midst of this dealing with goodbyes and an emotional rollercoaster.

Small steps as they always say, a to do list where every tick makes you feel you’ve done something, but most importantly leaving time for myself, and keep collecting my Magic Mushrooms and gold coins, creating memories with important people in my life and opening myself up to the upcoming adventure, the biggest in my life so far.
Will be back to tell you more…