My Retreat by the Sea: Tulum
What do you get when you mix 12 of your closest meditating friends with six days of unhurried time in a sacred coastal Caribbean setting? Bliss. This was my experience in Tulum.
Thanks to some dear and generous friends, I recently wound up knee-deep in the Mayan Riviera. The New York Times calls Tulum, “a hot spot for yoga tourists.” Part bohemian and part eco-friendly chic, this laid back paradise was the perfect spot to disconnect from the intensity of life for some peace and quiet. Miles and miles of pristine white silken sandy beaches? Check. Warm luminescent ocean water that glows in my favorite color of aquamarine? Check. This idyllic escape proved to be one of my fave destinations yet.
Daily doses of fish tacos and margaritas combined with sunny, cool days and evenings packed with guitars, spirited conversation and the best friends a girl could imagine? What’s not to love? For someone who could give or take Mexico (as a destination), I must admit that Tulum transcended all of my preconceived expectations. The Maya site may formerly have been known by the name Zama, meaning City of Dawn because it faces the sunrise. Tulum stands on a bluff facing east towards the Caribbean. Tulúm is also the Yucatan Mayan word for fence, wall, or trench, and the walls surrounding the site allowed the Tulum fort to be defended against invasions. From numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site, Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god.
I’ll go with this whole diving god theme. The whole time I was there I seemed to take on the persona of some modern-day mermaid. A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a woman and the tail of a fish. (Okay, I did not embody quite all of these characteristics–but I was close.) Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, China, and India. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria in which some goddesses transform themselves into mermaids out of shame for accidentally killing their human lovers. Mermaids are sometimes depicted as perilous creatures associated with floods, storms, shipwrecks, and drowning.
My favorite Tulum restaurant, hands down, is the amazing Posada Margherita featuring the freshest local and organic ingredients around. When I think back to the delectable feasts the owners created for my friend’s 50th birthday, I am simply in awe. The attention to detail is impeccable and the service unparalleled.
A heartfelt thank you to all of the people who made my presence in Tulum possible. Tulum goes down in my travel journal as one of the best vacations ever.
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