Discovering Riviera Maya: Food, Culture, Friends, Relaxation, and Mystical Experiences
Every now and then, I think all of us Type A folks need a reminder of how to relax. That's exactly what I received during our trip to Mexico's Riviera Maya earlier this month.
Although it was just a short trip—five days—I think that's the longest stretch I haven't done any work at all in, well, years... and it felt amazing.
This was a trip to celebrate my own and our team's hard work from the past year, and I also was recovering from a recent injury and surgery... so I decided to take it easy for once.
On our trip to the Dominican Republic last year, I did one to two hours of work each day, and I really didn't mind it... I love this work so much, and it's pretty convenient to just chill with my laptop at the resort and chat online with people about their fitness and business goals. But on these trips, I find that you can't do everything and there are always choices to be made. Last year, I spent less time with friends than I would have preferred, and also got less sleep than I would have preferred! So this year, I prioritized sleep and social time. It's just another example of how we CAN have what we want but we just have to make choices and let some other things go.
What was constant in both years was excursions. Whenever we travel somewhere, we love to get out and see the surrounding area—otherwise you could just be at any resort anywhere, right? As a result, we've had so many memorable experiences and learned so much—but one of these years I want to make more time to just hang out at the resort!
This year I didn't attend any of the group workouts and felt slightly guilty about that. Beachbody flies several of the super trainers down and puts them up for the duration of the trip so they can lead morning workouts. Last year I got up extra early and scarfed down breakfast before my workout so I could do all three: eat, exercise, and go on our excursion. This year I decided to sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast... and it was bliss.
Keep reading for photos and stories from our trip, and check out this virtual tour of our team and the coaching opportunity if you'd like to learn how you can come with us on next year's trip!
Our room at the resort
We were able to use our room credit (also paid for by Beachbody) to get massages and use the spa's hydrotherapy area with sauna, steam room, and hot and cold pools.
Enjoying the resort afterwards
There were many different water features including beaches, pools, and hot tubs.
Sean enjoying his breakfast
We spent our first full day exploring the Mayan ruins at Tulum and learning about Mayan civilization.
Lunch by the pool afterwards included wood fired pizza.
More lunch. Very glad I was not on a strict eating plan on this trip, and in fact needed extra calories for wound healing...
Our tours also included swimming in this cenote. Cenotes are caves with water at the bottom, which can be still or moving. Some are completely closed, and some are open at the top like this one. The people on the platform were performing rhythmic drumming, chanting, and dancing, creating a mesmerizing experience as we descended into the cave and entered the water. The Mayans believe that cenotes are part of the underworld, so going for a swim in one isn't just something you do on a hot day; it symbolizes overcoming obstacles and moving into an easier phase when you ascend after your swim.
Back at the resort. More chilling.
On our third full day we went to Chichén Itzá, one of the seven wonders of the world due to the engineering principles embodied in this building and the complex around it. We learned so much from our guide, who was a university professor as well as Mayan himself—so he knew about the traditions from his own upbringing as well as the academic perspective.
On the way back, we stopped in the town (small city?) of Valladolid, which has a beautiful town square with buildings from the Spanish colonial era, and food carts seemingly catering entirely to tourists... but the food was delicious, seemingly authentic, and cheap. We had elote (corn with mayo, lime, and spices) as well as these churros.
On our last night we were able to get together for a team dinner. We have such amazing women on our team and we don't get to spend nearly enough time together. Very glad we made this happen.
The restaurant where we had dinner. It may be at a resort but they know how to create enjoyable and charming environments.
The plaza all decked out for our farewell reception. Until next year!
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