Thursday, 10 January 2013

Why here...

I was asked today why I choose Playa del Carmen as my go-to place. It's a bit of a long story that goes back 20+ years. But I can't sleep right now, and I know you're reading this for the stories, so let me weave it for you...

My first tropical vacation was a little over 20 years ago with my friend, Mike. Back then we didn't really have the Internet for research, so I relied on a travel agent to guide me. I wanted somewhere beautiful, hot and exotic. Without knowing anything about such places, I ended up booking 2 weeks to Cozumel, an island just off the coast of Cancun. During one of our exploring days, we decided to take a ferry to see where it landed. As we approached the mainland, my breath was taken away by the turquoise waters and sugar sand beaches. The buildings were small wooden structures with grass roofs; the beach was as far as the eye could see; the water was so clear and calm. I thought to myself that Cozumel was ok enough, but if I ever came back to Mexico, this was the place I was going to come back to. That place was Playa del Carmen.

After several more winter vacations to places like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Florida and Texas, I finally made my way back to Playa about 8 years ago. I can remember so clearly the first day of vacation, walking out of the little 20 room hotel on the beach and into the ocean. I turned to face the town and I felt a deep sense of peace in my soul. I thought to myself "I've found my place. I don't need to keep looking."

I come here for the climate, the food (ohhh, the food!), the culture, the friends I've met over the years, and for that feeling in my soul. I'm told that a visible transition happens in me... I smile more, laugh more, worry less. I'm more open, less guarded, more spontaneous. Things don't have to be perfect, and I'm rarely disappointed.

The person who asked me why I choose Playa was then making plans to meet up with me on Friday to go apartment hunting. I pulled out my iPhone to check my calendar and put in the date. He asked what I was doing. When I told him, he shook his head and laughed. "That's not how we do things here... everything so structured." I then showed him what my calendar looked like 3 weeks ago and he looked a little concerned, but then nodded and understood why I needed Playa.

I also know you're reading this for the food pictures, so here's what I had today for a snack. Shrimp tacos at PG's!


  1. Enjoyed reading how you found your place in the world. Shrimp tacos look yummy!

  2. If I remember right, I was on the beach that with you, getting very,very mellow :-))

  3. Jackie, you got the right spot on the beach, and the right look on my face for sure! But I didn't know you yet my first year... I think that was a few years later :)

  4. Mmm...deep breathing at the moment, trying to replicate that sense of Zen on a very grey and chilly Toronto day. Warm hugs to you...thanks for transporting me, even for a few moments!