A Royal Caribbean cruise thoroughly devoted to the tropical waters of the Mexican coast; it sounds prodigious, doesn’t it? Unlimited fine cuisine, dazzling shows, and the constant glint of the ever-expanding sea are set out before you. Swimming? Go for it. Hungry? No problem. Exercise? Don’t worry about it! An indoor fashion mall and a ferocious rock wall can only add to the luxury and excitement. Stepping off the safety of the wood plank and onto the unpredictable rock of the ship, shocks of frenzy fizzed in my veins. Nothing more could add to the thrills I felt. Little did I know that this was only the beginning.
The first day was spent at sea, racing the Disney Cruise around the clock to safeguard a prime spot at the port. Though we came at a close second, the rocky harbor still welcomed us in to Cabo San Lucas. There, we drove dune buggies across the rough Mexican terrain. We passed shacks, and shelters crusted with years of dust and grime. The various cliffs were littered with pigs and broken barbed wire fences. Experiencing something so shocking left a concrete knot in my stomach, weighing me down for the rest of the afternoon.
Unlike the previous day, the next few were full of relaxation. The events of Cabo were swiftly pushed from my mind. Mazatlan came, and Mazatlan went, not sparking too much interest. Instead, we stayed on the boat, eating juicy foods exploding with flavor and swimming in the crowded, warm pools. Those days were quickly interrupted with a final stop in Puerto Vallarta! There, we boarded a vintage pirate ship which set sail for a private island off the coast. Once we anchored, the fluorescent greens and yellows of the kayaks caught our eyes. Gently we slid them into the water and allowed them to guide us toward our destination: small caves hidden beneath the craggy precipice. Nothing I had ever seen before could have compared.
After Puerto Vallarta, the ship and all it’s passengers began the slow odyssey home. Though we had a few days left, it felt disheartening to know that Mexico was a permanent piece stuck in our past. It soon became clear however, that this adventure had been one that had truly allowed me to see the mysteries of our world. At the time, I thought that no where else would I have gotten to see such an oxymoron; such beauty and sadness all at once. On the arrival back home though, I realized that this theory exists to its fullest, even here. As dirty streets zigzag across the country, it’s simple to find many struggling to keep homes and jobs. It doesn’t take much to encounter those fighting to make a living. However, this country is saturated with beauty too. Whether it’s art, sunsets, people, music, food, or a lifestyle that is found beautiful, they are all accessible here. So, on my rendezvous with Mexico, I thought that I had had the privilege to encounter two worlds under the same roof. In truth, we all get this opportunity. It just has to be searched for.
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