Famous dense forests filled with vegetation, legendary pyramids, the close proximity to the second greatest coral reef in the world, and the eminent beaches are only a few of the wonders that the Maya Riviera has to offer. My excitement at knowing that I would have the chance to visit such a beautiful place was enough to make me dash and win an olympic medal. Not really, but I couldn’t wait! I eagerly began to plan my trip; I prepared a To Do List and a Must See List as well. The trip was bound to bring a new adventure everyday of the week, and I was ready to begin.
The trip to Maya Riviera was very exhausting, but I felt that arriving there was well worth it. At our arrival, we lost my father and had to wait for almost two hours! Our stomachs’ were ready to devour our insides and the meager peanuts given to us on the two flights were about to fuel out.
When we finally found my father and arrived at the hotel, we rushed to our suite, only to find that the couches smelled of horrible wet cloth. The greatest trip in the world had turned sour the first day, but it wasn’t enough to turn us into a pessemistic bunch.
On the second day, my family and I visited the ruins of Tulum. It was such a gorgeous place and the history behind it captivated me. Before we returned, we stopped to but coconut drinks and the most unique experience happened to me. A beautiful, translucent butterfly landed on my outstretched hand. I couldn’t believe that it had actually landed on me and everyon gathered around. My grandmother told me it was a sign of good luck; the butterfly later died, which is the reason why it landed on me… the meaning behind it? I’ll leave it up to each individual to interpret it.
(Before I continue recounting my Maya Riviera adventures I must say that I missed out on one of the best things Mexico has to offer, Vitamin “T”. Yes, the tacos, tortas, tamales, tortillas, etc. I had just turned sixteen on August 2nd and I decided that my years’ birthday resolution would be becoming a vegeterian.)
The following days consisted of visiting Playa Del Carmen and La Zona Hotelera. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it was a way to view the city and Cancun. The fourth through seventh day we’re spent tediously roaming the hotel. It was not what I expeccted from the trip and I wanted to come home. To make matters worse, my little brother (1) was irritated and my younger sister (10) got an ear infection. They were the longest, most dull days I had ever spent in a vacation. I did go to the city once, but I was soon depressed by the sight of child labor.
… but my last day there was THE BEST! Because I had missed out on going to one of the seven wonders of the world in order to allow my parents to have fun while I stayed with my siblings, they surprised me by allowing me to do the number one bullet point listed on my To Do List… They gave me the opportunity to scuba dive!!!! I was thrilled and completely flabbergasted. It was the greatest experience of my life, and experience that words cannot explain. To top it off, I was able to see the animals that habited Maya Riviera’s forests. The trip couldn’t have gotten any better, and it seemed impossible for the trip to go wrong.
I was too quick to talk because our departure was filled with numerous quandaries. Our flight was cancelled so we had to wait to board a different plane. Instead of comin gback to Los Angeles, we were sent to Houston, Texas first. We arrived safe and eager to come home. Unfortunately my grandmother was stopped by an immigrant official, he detained her to interrogate her with a few questions which was approximately five minutes. The problem was that the thrity minute wait before the five minute interrogation led to us missing our plane back home. The rest was a chaos. We couldn’t book a spot in the plane and when we finally did, it was only enough for four of us to come back home. That included my mom, dad, and the two youndest siblings. I have to admit that I complained and couldn’t believe what was happening. I ended up waiting ten hours in Houston’s airport before I was able to come back home. So much for a great vacation…
.. and that’s when I realized how unappreciative I was. Travelling wasn’t about everything being merry. It was about the experience, the ability to see a different place out of my usual norm. I had gotten the opportunity to experience marvelous things, yet I was complaining over a ten hour wait. I felt bad for the children who were forced to work on the streets of Cancun and the Riviera Maya and here I was complaining. I soon realized that the trip had introduced me to a new place, a different culture, additional aquaintences, an abundance of new facts, and it had even shaped the possibility of my future career (marine biologist). That’s what travelling was really about. The impact a place has, and its ability to change you… to make you a better person.
After my 2009 summer vacation had seemed like a juxtapositioned trip, I gained two priceless pieces of knowledge: a) to appreciate and b) the value of travelling.
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