Visiting Beautiful Playa del Carmen on a Budget

I’d always yearned to visit the Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. To swim in the turquoise waters of Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. But whenever I’d review the costs of this popular Caribbean coast, they were always much higher than our budget could handle. So instead we’d travel to Merida, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, or cheaper Mexican destinations. Finally, this year, I decided to make it happen. Just by thinking outside the box, we were able to enjoy a month in the Caribbean for less money. It might not work for everyone, but maybe you’ll be able … Continue reading Visiting Beautiful Playa del Carmen on a Budget

Fun in the sun

In the Riviera Maya, for one month, February 2015: We’ve swum in the unbelievably azure sea, several times now. Loved it. Downed a few Tecate Lights. We went to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. Amazing. Been to Puerto Morelos. Relaxing. Walked the 5 blocks to the spectacular beach every day, in every weather. Mostly humid and hot. Some rainy days, too. Appreciated the exercise, anyway. But, honestly, after some time I always become less enamored, kind of “habituated” to a place. That’s probably what makes me such a vagabond, a hobo, a nomad traveler in the first place.  Just need to … Continue reading Fun in the sun


LaVidaLocal I awoke this morning to the sound of falling rain. Except that it was a burst pipe, sending a stream of water from somewhere near the roofline onto the street below. I looked out between the bars of our iron-grated window. The spontaneous waterfall didn’t appear to be causing any excitement or interest outside. People simply stepped around the growing pool of water as it rapidly filled the large gapped cracks in the sidewalk. This is Mexico. Things happen. And nobody gets too excited. Especially here in the sub-tropics. Manana, manana. Stifling my usual gringo anxiety reaction, I instead … Continue reading LaVidaLocal

Playa del Carmen

Now we’re in Playa del Carmen, a Mexican town on the Caribbean coast. Our host, Alex, met us at the 2 bedroom, 1 bath home we rented in the local Mexican neighborhood of Gonzalo Guerrero. Last night we arrived after a 5-hour flight into Cancun and a 40 minute bus trip.Alex showed us the little house and provided keys, promising to pick us up in the morning for a breakfast in his family’s restaurant.  Then, Dirk and I walked over to the corner taqueria. The Tecates and tacos pastor went down perfectly with the blaring salsa music. A lone boxer … Continue reading Playa del Carmen