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First, I should explain a few Tulum basics for your reference. It’s a small town of about 15,000, give or take. A tiny tourist cousin to it’s counter-parts of Cancun and Cozumel. It’s absolutely gorgeous and there’s very little of the rowdy party scene that you’ll find at other beachy destinations. Yoga centers and spas abound in place of tacky gift shops and bars. The people of Tulum are also very concerned with ecological conservation and have built a tourist economy around such values. Our hotel was one of many that offered “eco-chic” cabanas featuring natural thatch roofs, no A/C, and mosquito netting around our bed to allow for open doors and windows throughout the day and night. Not the place for everyone but it was perfect for us. My inner hippie was very happy.
It didn’t take long to slip into the appropriate Zen-like state – Utterly relaxed, unconcerned with time or obligations, hyper aware of the surrounding natural world. My wardrobe changed from my usual uniform of skinny jeans and preppy tops to head wraps and loose, skin-baring dresses. Flip-flops were a must. Minimal to no make-up (that was hard). Reduced technology (that was even harder!). Organic skin products whenever possible (reference also “hyper aware of natural world around me”). Sunspots and burns be damned, I baked in the sun at every possible moment. I was a regular Tulum-ian!
All good day-dreams eventually come to an end, though, and while it would be easy to be sad, I know a small part of Tulum still lives inside me. I may not have left a tanned beach goddess like I had hoped (unless “tanned” in this case means burnt in an oddly splotchy pattern of pink) and my hippie dresses may have swapped out for my usual closed-toed shoes and air conditioning, but I didn’t forget the spirit of the place. Once back in the States, I can say that I’m more than ok with my pale skin and tame lifestyle. It’s who I am. After Tulum though, you just might catch me walking around bare-foot with less make-up, a greater appreciation for our natural world, and a generally more relaxed demeanor.
Turns out daydreams are a lot more fun if you can also take a small part of them home to your real world.
P.S. Keep your eyes open for a more specific review of the places we visited in Tulum and our tips for navigating the area.