Posts Written OnJuly 2013

As we prepared for our move some of the questions we heard most often from people were about how we would deal with medical issues while living in Mexico including “Can you understand the doctors?”, “Are Mexican doctors “real” doctors?” and “Do you trust the Mexican health care system?” After living in Mexico for almost six months and having availed ourselves of the Mexican health care system a couple times now we are finally in a position to provide an answer based on experience rather than our extensive research. The answer to all of those questions is a resounding YES!…

Mexico Minute - AWOL Americans

The Riviera Maya is full of parks that offer everything from historical immersion in Mexican culture to zip-lining and cenote spelunking. With plans to explore all of the parks at some point, a recent family visit was a good excuse to try one that we hadn’t been to yet. Xcaret is a park that combines natural beauty and cultural wealth to highlight the diverse traditions and cultures of Mexico. I was busy taking pictures of the agave plants (tequila!) when this group of horseback riders dressed in traditional attire came out to warm up for a show  Good timing!

When we moved to Playa del Carmen we of course expected to find a lot of differences in our city. What we’ve been pleasantly surprised by is how many similarities there are. A couple weeks ago we were walking around town and noticed lots of activity around the city center. We soon found out the fair was coming! The Feria Playa del Carmen is an annual event held each July in honor of the Virgin del Carmen, the town’s patron saint of fishermen and sailors. The setup looked very familiar to annual summer carnivals and fairs that we used to…

Mexico Minute - AWOL Americans

We took this shot in a shop on Fifth Avenue recently when we were out for a stroll after dinner. These lights are available all over Playa del Carmen. They are (we think) made of dried gourds, pumpkins and some other kind of jungle fruit and all the stones have different meanings. For example, some are for protection, some are for guidance, etc.  I absolutely love these and wish we had a place to put one in our apartment.

I turned 40 last week. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that many woman (and quite a few men) dread this day. And by that token I feel the American stereotype means I should have spent the day shriveled up in a corner under an over the hill sign with all my new gray hair and bemoaning the loss of my hearing, eyesight and memory. Or is that now 50? Is 40 considered the new 30? Is 50 the new 25? I don’t know anymore. Am I supposed to be embarrassed about even putting the number out there so…

In the ten years or so we’ve been traveling to the Riviera Maya we’ve been hearing it from everyone – on dive boats, in restaurants, on the beach, on the plane, you name it. “Have you swam with the whale sharks? You’ve GOT to swim with the whale sharks!” As avid scuba divers and lovers of all things ocean related, the idea of swimming with the largest fish on Earth definitely appealed to us. Isla Mujeres, a tiny island just off the coast of Cancun is arguably the best spot in this hemisphere to swim with these gentle giants in…

Mexico Minute - AWOL Americans

One of the things I love is experiencing Playa del Carmen through the eyes of visitors. We’ve seen this beautiful ritual ceremony of the Voladores (“flying men”) multiple times while living here but stopped for another viewing recently when we had family in town. I love how our niece was engaged and watched the whole thing. It is yet another reminder to me to not take for granted where I live and the cultural heritages and experience I engage with daily.  

Helping my parents plan a recent trip to Playa I was struck with a bit of a dilemma, I really wanted to show off my adopted city to my parents but would they be able to fully appreciate it?  My parents are disabled and while both are able to walk on their own for short distances, Playa is very much a pedestrian and bicycle town with tons of steps, few ramps and even fewer handicapped parking spaces. Thus, the planning began to revolve around a central theme -is Playa del Carmen handicap accessible? The first thing we had to figure…

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