There was no doubt in my mind that I was ready to go somewhere. Most anywhere sounded like a great idea but in truth, I wanted to find an appropriate place to dip myself back into the travel pool before another year drifted by.
The long periods of isolation during this past year of COVID pandemic quarantine challenged all of us to rethink our relationship to time and space.
When would we be free to safely travel? The weeks and months piled up and when the lost trips could be planned again remained unclear.
My pandemic days begin with gratitude and a deep breath before moving forward with work and daily life while pushing away that nagging realization that our lives may never be the same.
I never stopped longing for the travel days where I am amazed or surprised, uplifting my sense of wonder and that appreciation for finding and experiencing somewhere or something new.
Once fully vaccinated, I decided to revisit the idea of going to a high-end, all-inclusive resort. The Grand Residences Riviera Cancun resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico turned out to be the perfect spot. The stay includes private airport transportation, luxury beachfront accommodations, strict safety protocols, COVID testing onsite (mandatory to return to the US) and plenty of space.
I find in nature my capacity for paying attention grows exponentially, mastering the lost art of noticing, and out of that presence I can see beauty everywhere more easily and genuinely become happier; it’s a wellspring of relief from all that often distracts us from feeling good.
Spending time in nature always makes life more livable even in the worst of circumstances this past year. So I chose my first trip with lots of room to just be. No need to make plans each day and no need to go anywhere. I enlisted my adult son to join me and off we went, after a 15 month pause, we were up, up and away. We arrived rather effortlessly to Cancun and were delighted that the deluxe private transport was ready and waiting for us on arrival with chilled bottled water, fresh paper masks and a cool, comfy 30minute ride to the resort. Upon arrival, we were greeted with freshly made margaritas and swiftly whisked to our gorgeous suite that had an indoor and outdoor jacuzzi. Exactly my slice of heaven!
One of my favorite aspects of this visit was waking up at sunrise to an ocean view and seeing the sun creep over the horizon. The feeling of the wind, that breezy warmth on my skin and listening to the rustling air through the palm trees. Those first sounds of morning, the birds chirping and the waves lapping up to the shoreline and even the distant sound of workers greeting one another at the start of a new day.
We spent our days getting massages, ordering room service for breakfast outside with a view, eating our lunch by the pool or under an umbrella at the beach. We walked along the shoreline, watched the parasailing and discovered new species of birds we had never seen before.
I chose to practice yoga solo on my deck but there was a variety of offered exercise classes both in the fitness center and poolside. We leisurely lounged around and re-entered a world where we enjoyed a mid-day cocktail making class, a high tea service and nightly samples of internationally themed dinners while listening to live music. Sounds almost normal, right?
The reality was that the entire staff was masked at all times, guests were masked indoors unless eating or drinking and the constant cleaning protocols were nonstop. Yet somehow the resort managed to allow us to forget for a few days that most the world was still off limits to us.
The stay was just the right combination of well-appointed luxury and casualness, careful and cautious standards coupled with a warmth and friendliness that went a long way to making this the ideal entrée back to the traveling life.
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