Well, it happened. It finally happened. Winter is here and it completely blows. It was only two days ago that I sat outside along the Chicago River for a commercial shoot with no coat on, the sun shining in my face, thinking that hell must’ve frozen over because it was Nov 17th in Chicago with 70 degree weather. Welp, it was fun while it lasted, but now we can all begin our 5+ month winter hibernation period, OR we can use this as an excuse to plan a vacation.
Over the past few weeks I have been ITCHING to get out of town. I can literally feel the need in my bones. I have been lucky enough to travel to some really amazing locations over the past two years and it all started with a group trip to a little slice of heaven called Tulum. Tulum is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico I have ever seen. Its spectacular coastline is my idea of paradise, with white sand beaches and crystal blue Caribbean waters. It is the ultimate beach vacation for anyone looking to disconnect, slow down, and veg out under the sun.
Tulum holds a very special place in my heart. It marks a turning point in my life that really lead to some much-needed self discovery. With the encouragement of some pretty amazing friends, I booked my flights to Cancun a few months after a heart-wrenching breakup. I was so lost, and depressed, that it seemed nearly impossible to do just about anything. I cannot thank my homies enough for pushing me to take this trip because it was truly life changing for me.
We went salsa dancing on our first night, and I met a fabulous dance parter – who we later realized was a masseuse at our hotel- Miguel. A live band played on the beach, and our entire group danced into the moonlight, while Miguel twisted and turned me to the beat of the music. For the first time in a really long time I felt genuinely happy. There was something truly magical in the air that night, and I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.
The rest of the week only got better from there. We ate homemade pasta and drank delicious wine by candlelight at Posada Margherita. We celebrated a birthday dinner on our very own private beach with fire torches, a piñata, a personal bartender, and lets not forget the epic limbo dance party into the ocean. We climbed on to the roof of a friends casita to gaze at the mesmerizing moon and star display. We laughed, we drank, we danced, and we became our very own little Tulum family on that trip.
On bitter cold days like today, I close my eyes and dream of Tulum. I hear the relaxing sounds of the soft ocean waves meeting the sand, and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. Experiencing all of the beauty that this world has to offer through travel is an essential part of life. Explore, discover, get out of your comfort zone, and go somewhere new. You might just end up like me, and fall in love.