Fair skinned woman with an oversized suitcase stranded at the airport, not knowing the language or the customs, seeking advice. Yeah, that was me when I first arrived to Cancun airport. Taken back by the unknown of it all, I might as well have had “tourist” tattooed on my forehead. Have you ever felt anticipation, but at the same time didn’t know what to expect? If you did, I don’t have to tell you how thrilling and confusing travelling alone can be.
Although I had arranged to meet with my friend at my destination Puerto Morelos (a small fishing village halfway down the coast between Cancun and Playa del Carmen), I had no idea how to get there. I quickly learned that there’s always a friendly local to show you the way… and I might be slightly sarcastic when I say that. 20 minutes after my arrival I have already been through the initiation awaiting most visitors: I have been offered a bus service to get to my destination for thrice the price; hotels, sightseeing tours and all the works in a very kind yet somewhat pushy manner.
Lost and tired after the long flight I probably never felt so out of my element. I chose not to read up on Mexico because, craving an untainted experience, I didn’t want to get influenced. Regretting my choice a bit my logical mind was also telling me it can’t be that hard to figure out a solution to this problem. After a local woman speaking my language took pity on me, showed me the way, and helped secure my tickets, I was finally on the right way to my destination.
In retrospect the troubles looked much more frightening than they actually were, probably due to my own insecurities than anything else. Yet, the next 3 weeks made up for any inconvenience I had in the beginning. The country and the people I’ve met are the kindest, most diverse group of individuals, who chose to leave civilisation as we know it behind in order to live on the Mexican Riviera. But more on that later.