S1 Episode 1

Welcome back. So glad to have you listening to the Experience Junkies podcast. So if today it’s just to me, Um, I wanted to tell you about Uh, a recent trip. I took. Um, and just kick off the show with a little solo episode. a little bit of just me and I hope that’s okay with all of you out there listening. Um. But I was recently privileged, was in April of 2021 to go to Uh on a trip to Mexico, and this was my first time out of the country since the pandemic began. Um. I wouldn’t say post pandemic because it’s currently September 2021. And uh, I don’t know for the fourth way fifth wave. I mean lots of waves, lots of variants. It’s like we’re going through the Greek alphabet, But Um, this was my first international trip kind of during covet, if you will. Um, and so originally, I was just thinking You know it was March. It was February, March in Ohio and it was cold and I wanted to go somewhere where I could plop a squat for a few weeks and work and be in a warm location and be close to the water. So originally I was thinking let’s go to Florida right. That kind of would suffice,

But I wasn’t really a fan of how things were going in Florida, Um, or still are going during the pandemic, and Um. also, I realized it was going to be a little too expensive for my budget right, And so then I just started giving it some more thought and I said, hmmm, what about Mexico, And I know that might seem weird to some that I was okay with going to Mexico, but not Florida. Um. That could be a conversation for a whole, another day in terms of the safety of being in the country, the United States versus out of. But, based on my research, everything that I had looked at. Um. things were stable down there. Um, and I definitely found it to be that way. when I was there, I felt very safe. I felt secure. Um. in that requiring the testing to come back, and Um their protocols. they were a little more stringent on things. Um, so yeah, I was like, Yeah, let’s do it and I just happened to mention this to a couple of my girlfriends and before you know it, it became a group trip. Um, and so we were all like Yes, we’re doing this. So I decided to go to a town called Merida, Mexico, It’s on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s about three and a half four hours from Cancun area.

Why Merida? right? what? What was the driver behind that? So I am a single mom and I had started following a few single mom traveling communities on Facebook a few years back, and that city kept coming up as this kind of hot spot for single moms who were like digital nomads, or Um, you know, world schoolers with their children And there’s a community of like single mothers, and also a very big black expat community in Merida, Mexico, And I’m like. What is it with the city? And so? I just kind of looked at it, Um looked into like Why so many people were drawn there and the safety is really high. It’s one of the top five safest cities in the um. North America, So that’s including the U. S. Um. it’s very safe. Uh the weather. you, uh, have a beach that’s about twenty minutes away and it’s basically warm year round. The summers are sweltering, but the winter you know, the time of year that I was going to go was going to be warm. and so I was like, Yeah, and cost of living as a American citizen living on the U S dollar. You know, the cost of living is much cheaper. So I was like Yes, that that that should work. So went to Merida, Mexico, and we were there for a week and it was a great time. I had a great trip with my girls. Um, we explored. I got to swim in a cenote, which, if you don’t know what a cenote is, you can look that up, but it’s basically an underwater cavern. Uh, an under a cave with water in it if you will. Um. but it’s like underground. Um, so I got to do that. I just got to meet with a lot of locals and experience really authentic Yucatan Peninsula, which is a little bit different than the other regions of Mexico, Um, so it was. It was a great time,

But as the week went on, Um, I was realizing I don’t know about anyone else who is a an extravert or an introvert. I don’t know if the pandemic has altered your perspective on where you stand on that spectrum, right. I previously thought I was such an extrovert, Um that you know, I’m pretty outgoing. I can meet new people easily, but what I have found during this pandemic is I’m more introverted than I thought. Um, because I believe that the actual definition of worthier extrovert or introvert is where do you draw your energy right? Do you draw your energy being around people? Do you draw your energy being alone? And what I find is my energy is a lot more sapped a lot quicker being around people than it used to be? Um, So again, I don’t know if that’s a, a, uh, an effect of the pandemic, or if it was always there and I just didn’t realize it, and it’s kind of brought that to the surface, but I definitely am. More introverted than I thought, and I realized I need some alone time. So originally after the first week in Merida, my one friend was going to go back to the States. The the other two of us were going to go um down to the Cancun area and say at a resort with her on on some of her friends, and I decided I think I’m gonna go my own way. At this point. You can go. Yeah, um, wayy. um, sorry, not sorry, but if you’re listening to this podcast just realized that a lot of times I break out into movie, um, movie lines and song. lyrics. It’s just it is who I am. I will not apologize for it. Just know what you’re getting yourself into ,right. But so I decided. Um, I was going to rent a little small airbnb in Um Puerto Morelos, which is about twenty minutes south of Cancun, And so she and I took the. Um. We hired a private driver and we made the ride Um over to the Cancun area And then I, you know that’s one. I kind of said, See-ya, and I checked in with her all week. You know, I wanted to make sure I was safe.

I get to my Airbnb and it was perfect. It was like Chef’s kiss right as soon as I walked in, You know, you see those commercials where Um like people have uh clothes out of the dryer and they smelled the detergent and it was like breathing it in. I like taking these really deep breaths because it just smells so good. That’s what it felt like walking into this little studio apartment. It was beautiful and it was just flooded with light. That was like the first impression I got was just the light. The airiness. There were two sets of windows, so the one wall had windows on it. The other wall had. Um. There was a balcony and so there were glass doors to the balcony and there was also a window in the kitchenette area as well, so it was just so much light and it was immaculately clean. Um. the air B and B host was super warm and friendly. Her family actually lived down Uh below the units, and when I got there I was just like I didn’t know. I felt like I had been holding my breath and all of a sudden when I got there it was just like a weight was lifted and I released it right and it was just like. And then I had a week to myself in Mexico. Um, So I’m an entrepreneur and I was relatively new to the entrepreneurship life. At that point, I was maybe a month or so in, and so this week was essentially a work retreat for me. I planned to work and also play if you will.

So the first thing I did when I got there is, Um, I went down down the street. There was a grocery store and I got some food for the week and wanted to make sure that I could eat like breakfast, and maybe one other meal in the Ab. B and B, and there maybe be one meal out each night to kinda save money, but then also not stop progress. If I have to leave every time I need to eat, that’s going to really affect productivity. Um, and so then I get back to the room and I’m like, Let’s see how far I am from the beach, right. Let’s map that out. It was a two block walk. So was a approximately a five minute walk. if you will, And the air B and B host had Um beach chairs that you could take with you every day, so I was just like Yes, This, this was. This was a perfect decision to spend five days here in this little studio apartment where I can work and play and also just kind of like, Have some meantime right. and um, if you’re watching on YouTube, you can see the photos. I’m going to show them with you. but I just tell you when you when you first walk into the property. So it’s a building. I think there were four apartments in the building And when you first walk in, there’s this. You’re on the garden level and there’s a communal seating space. There’s um, the slush greenery and a big fountain, so all day you have the sound of that water feature water, just like a babbling brook in the background Like I thought it. like. Just thinking about it now gives me chills. because it was such a calming presence in that space right. So I get back from kind of scoping things out. Get my food getting situated and I’m like all right now. What what’s the week gonna look like? And I kind of mapped it out right. What is a work retreat? What does that look like? So I made sure that I planned you know, a few hours in the morning for me to get some work done. I did take a couple meetings and that was a lesson learned that I will not do that in the future if I ever do another work retreat. Because it just hampered my ability to really zone in on projects. I wanted to focus on, Um. but then I also schedule time for play. I made sure that I could have some beach time, Um every day and that’s exactly what I did, So a typical day would look like I would wake up in the morning and I would work out, so my trainer was doing virtual less, virtual Um. training sessions at the time, So I would do a workout in the morning shower, Uh, eat breakfast, and I was like ready to go by seven thirty eight o’clock every morning. Um, I do a few hours of work. Me, like I said, maybe take a meeting or so, and then after lunch I hit it to the beach. No, I would just say this. I’m really.

I never really thought of myself as a beach person like I liked going to the beach. In theory, just because it was a break from the norm Being from Ohio, we don’t have beaches. I mean, technically we have beaches in Lake Erie, but any Clevelander, anyone from the northern half of Ohio would tell you that it doesn’t count. Um, but yeah, we just don’t have like typical beaches in Ohio, so it’s just it’s a nice break from the norm. but I think in the past have always seen the beach as a hassle. either, because I’m going with my kids and I’m lugging lots of stuff and I’m dealing with them and making sure they’ s making sure they’re fed. You know, I’m in ma, mo. Um, or I’ve gone with my girlfriends and they want to be there all day, and like Okay, the beach is nice, but like, let’s move on to do something else right. That’s always been my emmo. This has been the first trip to the beach where I’ve like truly gotten an appreciation for it and I think it was because I was alone. I think it was because I was able to literally like just breathing the air, taken the surroundings. I was on my own schedule, so this was the first time I had taken a true kind of so low trip. Um, it wasn’t like a work trip, if you will, where I was going somewhere for a conference or going somewhere for a meeting. And you know, on the plain and and back home I was by myself, but during the event I was with people. No, this, this was. I was by myself. now. Obviously, there were people at there, Be, and B, You know when I went to restaurants when I went to the grocery store and I went to the beats, there were people around, but they were not the people that I came with. They were all strangers, Right And so being on the beach it was like I was praying to God. help me remember this moment

You know, when life gets crazy when life gets frantic when I feel overwhelmed to help me remember this overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Help me remember the smell of the salt in the water. the waves rushing over me, help me remember the feeling of the sun on my skin and the soft breeze on my toes. help me remember even the call of Um, the sea guulls as they flew by Right, like, Help me burn this into my memory. Burn this into my memory. because I, I don’t really want this experience to end, and like again, like my. I have goose bumps thinking about it.

I think because I was alone and I could absorb it and I could consume it in the way that I wanted to. I got there when i wanted. I left when i wanted. I was in the water when I wanted. I was in the you know, laying out when I wanted. There wasn’t anyone of influencing me one way or another. It just was such a pure experience and I’ve never felt like that on the beach before. And so it, just it just really reminded me to be grateful. That’s that. like the overwhelming sense was being grateful and also being appreciative of alone time. I loved it. I got so much energy. I got so much relaxation out of being, you know, if you will, the captain of my own ship.

One morning I got up and I said I want to rent a bike. I’d seen a lot of people renting bikes around the on island, but around the peninsula, and um, I, I decided I wanted to rent one too, so uh, I went down the street. There was like you know, it was a business, but it was run out of this couple’s home and they would rent you a bike. And so I just kind of biked around and I like filmed some of the surroundings and I just had the time of my life, and you would have thought that I’d never rid it on a bike before, But it was just like that freedom to like have serendipitous activities that were really might be boring to someone else. Like if I had gone with someone else, they would say I don’t want to ride a bike. I’m going to do something else, Ray.

I never had that experience, and so my biggest takeaway from this trip was to really seek out more time in life where I can take charge. You know, I’m I’m a what they with on what you would call a recovering people pleaser. I like making other people happy. I don’t like rocking the bow. I don’t like making waves like I. I just like there to be peace and calm, so sometimes I will yield for peace for the greater good, and I think having this experience where I was the captain, I was the leader from start to finish. Um, it gave me a little bit of that empowerment back of. Like some situations you need to take charge, Diana, some situations you need to. you know, Buck what everyone else is saying. If if you feel that a different route is better for you for the group, whatever that may be, and so that was just like –

I wouldn’t consider myself. You know, like a a uh, feminist In the term of those that are out, you know, with the with the hats at the Women’s March, or anything like that, but in that sense in that moment I just felt like I am a woman. Hear me roar right like – I came on this trip. I’ve made someone unsafe. I, I’ve have done everything I wanted to do and I left with feeling so full. a full heart. Um, feeling full of like pride in myself or being able to do it. Feeling like when can I schedule this again? I mean, I want to go back to that same studio apartment. I want to go back to that same beach and see if I can recreate any of it, But just that’s what I took home with me is just you are the captain of your ship. Um, and you need to take Uh, the bull by the horns more often in your life, because taking charge is actually like free right, taking ownership of decisions that are going to be better for you, better for your kids, better for your family.

Um, it. It’s actually going to take a load off of you, rather than taking on the load of people pleasing, taking on the load of doing like what society dictates to you, so I highly recommend if you have never gone on a solo trip to maybe try something out local. You know, go somewhere for half a day by yourself. Go for um. a. on a movie date. Take yourself to the movies. Take yourself, you know, to a restaurant, because there’s something really powerful and empowering about you know, dictating what you’re going to do when you’re going to do how you’re going to do it, and not having to check in with not a single solitary other person.

So I hope you enjoy this conversation. Thank you so much for listening. Be sure to check out the companion episode on YouTube before some pictures and behind the scenes of this trip, and definitely let me know in Uh, the reviews, if you’ve ever taken a solo trip. If you’ve ever taken a work retreat as well, Um, and your thoughts on that experience until next time on experience junkies, thanks for stopping by.

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