Every year on January 12th, I struggle a little (and sometimes more than a little…) with the fact that I’m getting another year older. I know the saying goes, “Do not regret growing older, it’s a privilege denied to many.” This I totally agree with. It’s not the getting older part that bothers me, it’s the fact that with every year that goes by I feel like I’m running out of time to do all the things I want to do. (This list is massive to begin with and seems to grow by the day….)
Most of the time, I can push this feeling away and just continue to cross things off my life “to-do” list. But then January comes around again- a new year and only 11 days until I get older. As that feeling becomes more overwhelming, I start looking for ways to slow the rising panic. Travel tends to be my remedy for all life’s stresses and birthday trips definitely ease the panicky state.
While any kind of trip is great, the beach always has a calming effect on me. So, I decided to take a short getaway to Montego Bay, Jamaica to spend my day on the beach with sun, sand and slushy drinks.
This year, I learned that birthdays are definitely better on the beach and when the sky paints you a stunningly colourful sunset, you can almost forget you are now a year older.
If you’re only going to do one thing while in Cozumel, Mexico, let it be snorkeling. This island, a short ferry ride from Playa del Carmen, has some incredible reefs to get out and explore. On a recent visit, I set out hoping to find some sea turtles on the famous Palancar and Colombia reefs.
Check out the video to see all the incredible creatures I found in the warm waters off the coast of Cozumel.
Looking for a change of pace from Cancun’s busy strip? Then, Playa del Carmen is the place to be! While it’s no longer the small fishing village is was until the 1980s, Playa (as the locals call it) is still definitely more laid back than nearby Cancun. Less than an hour from Cancun’s International airport, and only a ferry ride from Cozumel, Playa has become a busy vacation hot spot.
The clear turquoise waters and white sand beach, is filled with beach volleyball, sunbathers and beach bars, along with numerous hotels and resorts.
Just up from the beach is Quinta Avenida or 5th Aveunue, Playa’s main drag. This street is a see-and-be-seen spot. Spread along the avenue are mutli-coloured shops, restuarants, bars, cafes, hotels and nightclubs. While strolling along here you almost feel like you could be somewhere in Europe- but with tastier Mexican dishes!
Looking for the less touristy side of Playa del Carmen? All you need to do is head a few blocks away from 5th Avenue. Suddenly, the delicious homemade tacos drop from 80 pesos or more down to 10 pesos, the beer to 15 pesos and the crowds of people almost disappear.
Colourful artwork along the avenue
Delicious Mexican food at La Vagabunda
Unique street signs
Church on 5th Ave.
Brightly coloured souvenir shops can be found all along 5th Ave
Beautiful statue greeting you at the beach
Strolling along Quinta Avenida
10 Peso tacos!
The sun setting over the cove in St. Lucia
The bustling alleyways of the Castries Central Market, filled with everything from fruits to souvenirs
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception’s ornate interior filled with colourful biblical scenes
The Cathedral overlooking Derek Walcott Square, a quiet park in the middle of the city
Sailing towards The Pitons, the most photographed landmark on the island
The Diamond Waterfall, located in the Diamond Estate Botanical Gardens
With the colourful buildings & Pitons standing guard, Soufriere is thought to be the heart & soul of St. Lucia
Beautiful Marigot Bay, which was once said to have hidden the entire British fleet from the French
The shoreline in Soufriere, looking up at The Pitons
The end of another gorgeous day in St Lucia
Recently I spent a week at Smuggler’s Cove in St. Lucia where my best friend got married. After performing my maid of honour duties, I got a chance to see some of what this beautiful island has to offer. From sailing and snorkelling to shopping and sulphur spring mud baths- this island has something for everyone!