Since I was about 10 years old, I have been hopping on planes from the United States to a singular destination in Mexico, Cancun International, with direct transportation to Hacienda del Secreto. You know the spot, right? I have already spoken so much about it and the beauty of the Mayan Riviera in my previous posts. Not to mention, it is the home of The Butterfly Landing Yoga and Wellness Studio, my home studio and happy place!
But, okay, to the point.
If I was going to travel to Mexico, I was headed to #HDS. From ages 10 to 28, Mexico for me meant the state of Quintana Roo. Though I always packed grand intentions of exploring greater Mexico, I always ended up finding myself content with the area surrounding Hacienda del Secreto, never unpacking the action to travel somewhere outside the magical state. Therefore, for around 18 years, I stayed within the harbor of Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa Secreto, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. Today, I know these places like the back of my hand. My limited travel of Mexico, also had a lot to do with the fact that the family and friends I had traveled to HDS with in the past, never really cared to leave HDS. I could say, “let’s go to Tulum or Holbox,” but that meant leaving the most beautiful place on earth, and who would do that in exchange for a cheap hostel and an unknown city.
There is only a few thousand people on this planet who would make the exchange, I have come to think.
But, eventually, as in all things, the timing for a taste of greater Mexico came. In June 2015, a group of my girl friends from the Netherlands flew into Cancun International for what would be about a month long trip for them! Their first stop, Hacienda del Secreto. Their second stop, Valladolid. And me, yup, I joined in.:)
As we took the bus from Playa Del Carmen to Valladolid, I kind of amazed myself. I had been explaining the how-to’s of Mexico travel for some time, but had yet to adventure it on my own, but there I was feeling like I knew the ropes. Valladolid is only about a 4 hours bus trip with one stop in Tulum. Easy.
When we arrived, I really could not believe that we were only 4 hours away from Hacienda del Secreto. The city, also known as the Sultaness of the East, is beautiful, filled with colorful Spanish style architecture and quite, laid-back streets. One of my favorite moments is pictured above, when a few of us woke up extra early to see the town’s market at sunrise. The market itself was less than spectacular, but I think that is exactly what made it so perfect. Just simple people like you and me, selling their goods. No big money in mind, just some bananas here, cactus there, watermelon juice over there, and pork hung somewhere around the corner.
I would stay in the provincial town at least a few days, as it makes a great hub for visits to Chichén Itzá, Ek’ Balam and a number of nearby cenotes. As for us, we ventured to
Chichén Itzá for a full day of self-guided exploration. It did not disappoint.
In the end, the lesson I learned from little Valladolid, is that sometimes, you just love where you are. Sometimes, you may see no need to adventure. But, always, truly-always, there is something beautiful and rewarding, waiting for you around the bend. You just have to unpack your intention to explore, make an opportunity and go for it.
2017, for me, is going to be a year of going for it! I promise you will not only see posts from my upcoming trip to Asia again, but also in the lively states of Mexico.