Just before my 30th birthday, I took an agonizing 12-hour flight from Germany to Cancun. Before meeting my dad, I spent a couple nights in Playa del Carmen, which is a step up from Cancun.
Crowded streets chocked full of Australian and European backpackers that hung out at street side taco stands, sipping on the good life, a Corona. Where am I? Thailand?
I instantly fell in love with Playa del Carmen (though my love affair deepened once I got to Tulum) as the air had this sultry sensation between man, earth and guacamole.
Jet lag, I arose close to five in the morning where I made way to the beach. Not surprised, I as well as many other techno-loving partiers enjoyed the sunrise while dancing and still drinking beer. If there is such a thing as heaven and earth, I think I found it. My eyes gazed at one of the most dramatic skies I've ever seen. I peeled my eyes to the sky waiting for some Mayan God to burst from the dark and stormy rain clouds.
Blistering my feet in flip-flops, I paced up, down and around every street in Playa del Carmen. Broke and unemployed, I needed to control my inner “consumerisitic” warrior from shining. From handmade necklaces that draped over one’s backside to la-la-luxurious $250 swimsuit wraps, I found an entirely new wardrobe and apartment décor collection. Sadly, I had to walk away from any "bad" decisions.
Playa del Carmen is a place for partygoers and the young at heart. Here, visitors can rent affordable guestrooms or apartments that are neatly decorated with tropical flowers and Mexican-style tile.
But, let’s not forget about the “Americanas”…
To me, Playa is a fusion between the trash of Cancun and the class of Tulum. I took a beach walk one afternoon since I wanted to photograph the beach. Near the ferry dock is the popular Senor Frogs establishment. At about 1pm, drunken beer-belly American men grounded the shit out of women to 1992 “big butts” hip-hop music just like a local trying to mortar some cumin. In fact, they had about a 10-person dry-humping train that choo-choo’d for more shots of tequila.
But, the Mayans must’ve noticed the magnetic energy that surrounds this area. With broken ruins and bursting palm tree-like leaves, a little peaceful sanctuary exists away from Playa’s main drag.
Such roots. Such history. Life is amazing. At one point of human existence, intelligent tribes came here to discover the “x, y and z’s” about life. Now several blocks away, over-intoxicated drunkards pissed on the palm trees near these very ruins.
For some reason, a small part of me felt at home. Playa is the perfect mix of peace and quiet and party-time bars that remind me of my study abroad trip to the Gold Coast, Australia. It's amazing how memories are stirred from a place's sight, sounds and scenery. Although playa can be expensive, at least the guacamole is tasty and affordable.
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