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People (i.e., my parents) ask what I do all day now.  Hard to say since most of my days are quite varied.  On most days, I’ll make it to a morning yoga class, followed by a shower and lunch at home, and a very relaxing afternoon making a dent in my Netflix list, catching up on Taylor Swift’s instagram, writing, taking Udemy courses, or doing my bliss workshop, which I’ll write about in a later post.  If I went out hard the night before, I usually just skip to the Netflix part. While I was nursing my back (which I embarrassingly threw out from too much jump-dancing), I tore through 13 hours of Jessica Jones on Netflix in a couple days.  Respect!

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Another hard day with Brownie

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Grabbing a meal with a good friend

On non-horizontal days, I get into the water, exploring nearby areas like Akumal, Tulum, and Isla Mujeres with friends and sometimes their families.  Visiting families are awesome, because it’s nice to eat a good meal.  Feels kind of like Parents Weekend at college when I’d be semi-adopted by roommates’ parents (Hawaii is a long way for a weekend).  I also took a three-day free-diving course.  Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.

 

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Taking a business meeting


Mexican, not mexican’t

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Given limited budgets and what I can only describe as “only in Mexico” moments, living in Playa can feel a lot like camping or dorm living…when you’re missing something, just improvise!

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Who needs a door knob or lock when you have two nails and a rubberband?

I’ve been traveling awhile now so have really embraced, or at least grown accustomed to basic living.  It’s hard to believe I used to outsource cooking (to an SF startup or Tom), laundry, house  cleaning, and any other chore I could throw money at a startup for.

 

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Getting closer to Himilce by getting closer

 

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Random fist pump on ceiling.  I procured the festive gingerbread man on the window…it’s what makes a house, a home!

In our minimalist sorority house, I’ve really enjoyed learning to cook on the 4-burner stove with our one frying pan. I think of it as good practice for car camping cooking!  I eat a lot of eggs (like maybe 18 per week!), because they’re easy to cook and cheap. Mexico food math: Peanut butter + any starch (bread, tostada, tortilla) = meal.

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Sorority house kitchen!

Karen and Elia often make amazing crepes with nutella and peanut butter on the camp stove.  I really don’t want to see my cholesterol…

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Delicious crepas!


Holidays

When you’re traveling abroad, it can be hard to remember, much less celebrate, American holidays.   Without a fixed schedule, it can often be difficult to remember what day it is and sometimes, what month or season it is.  I’m always surprised when people back home mention a certain holiday, and I’m like, oh yeah, we’re in October.  I’ve also made it my job to avoid the winter so climatic cues do nothing for me.

Similarly, Thanksgiving kind of snuck up on me, because there’s no fanfare for it in Mexico; just a meager stand in Walmart with olives for the most glutinous day of the year. 🙁

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My multi-purpose expression of “Yums!” and “Hmmm…”

…though their sushi isn’t bad if you like cream cheese and it’s pretty cheap [side note: I don’t really understand why cream cheese is so ubiquitous in Latin American sushi… They must really love cheese]

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Surprisingly tasty and cheap! (12 pieces for $4)

Fortunately, I met Lauryn, a traveler scuba instructor of instructors from Minnesota.  Her family came to visit and was nice enough to invite me for some turkey and football.  I brought the traditional Thanksgiving dessert…flan.

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With Devon and Lauryn at her parents’ time share for Thanksgiving

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Life’s a beach…here are a few photo highlights of my favorite beach locales
Akumal: amazing snorkeling and turtles galore
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Me and Lauryn at Akumal

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Weird baby cuttlefish-looking thing

Isla Mujeres: beautiful island with decent snorkeling

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Punta Sur

 

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Cool art at Punta Sur

 

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Interesting rock formations

 

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Scorpion fish hanging out under rock: can you spot it?

 

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Imagine if they were piranhas (Playa Norte)

 

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