Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Making friends on vacation

Traveling to Mexico on a yoga retreat was a totally new experience for me, and the fact that I'd be traveling alone - meaning without the company of Doug or Carrie - made me feel uneasy. I'll admit that the day before I left for my trip I was really second-guessing my decision of committing to something like that. What if I didn't have friends in our group? What if I was odd-man-out because I was traveling solo? What if no one liked me? ~sigh~ Pre-travel jitters had me wound really tight and I clung to Doug's reassurance that everything would be fine.

Well, everything was fine, and all that worry about not having friends was just plain silly.
Come in, I'll show you...
During the yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico, we had an opportunity to take a tour of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Preserve. It was such a great day in so many ways!!! On our way to the biosphere, we stopped at a cenote for a little swimming and a snack of chips and homemade guacamole made by our tour guide's helper.

It was so random to find a large panda bear in the middle of the Yukatan jungle, and I couldn't resist climbing up to have a photo shot. Afterwards I learned that the sign posted said something about "no climbing." Oops.

Really cool statues and such a beautiful area...

And these two iguanas that allowed me to get fairly close for a few photos:

Friend number one: Kat from Alaska. She had joined the retreat with three other friends from Alaska and we became fast friends. I heard one of her friends calling her Kath (short for Kathy) but mistook it for "Kat" and that became my term of endearment from that point forward.

She'll always be Kat to me. :o)

We enjoyed a snack provided by our tour guide whose driver, Armando, made the best guacamole I've ever tasted. And maybe it was the best because I enjoyed it at a picnic table under a cool canopy in the jungle next to a Mayan cenote with sweet new friends.

Oooooh, the avocados were SO delicious down in Mexico. Armando's guacamole was chunky with small cubes of avocados (instead of mashed like we do in the states), fresh cilantro, chopped red onion, finely diced tomatoes and fresh lime juice. Mmmmm - my mouth just watered!

Anyway! After enjoying our snack, we headed out to see Mayan ruins.

Here are seven of us at the top of one of the ruin structures. Always with the yoga poses...

Feeling proud...

I have always loved old structures and learning about their origins. Getting to know more about the Mayan civilization was so fascinating to me. We had a great tour guide (Cesar) who was so knowledgeable and fun to learn from.

Ok, so remember how I was worried that I wouldn't have any friends on this trip? One morning I went over to the restaurant to get a cup of coffee and I struck up a conversation with a couple from Atlanta, Georgia. They were there on vacation, and as it turned out Mindy is a yoga teacher too. As the week wore on we ran into each other here and there, had more fun conversations and just really enjoyed each other's company.

I was having breakfast with my group on the morning that Mindy and her husband were leaving, and they came to find me in the restaurant so they could say goodbye. We shared some hugs and promises to keep in touch.

As I sat back down in front of my breakfast my teacher asked, "Who was that?" and I told him. He smiled as he recalled my worry at the beginning of the week and mused, "Not only have you made strong friendships within our group, you also managed to make friends outside of our group?!"

Lesson duly noted.
I'll have more photos of our day in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Preserve in my next post.
More fun with my new friends... 


Ruth said...

What can I take from this blog post? The fact that you look just so darned happy!

Patio Postcards said...

I totally get that worry about not knowing anyone, making friends stress. I am sure there are many of us in blog land that would say, you Deb, not able to connect, nay, not going to happen. Your smile alone, welcomes people in. The Mayan culture is such a fascinating topic, thanks for sharing your great photos. By the way, nice warrior pose!

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