28,000 feet in the air and the clouds look like giant pieces of cotton candy. I imagine myself bouncing from cloud to cloud, leaping, sliding, and giggling along the way. The sun warming my skin, while fresh air keeps me feeling alive. Looking out over the wing of Delta’s 737 aircraft into a sky blue horizon of popcorn clouds, I can’t help but smile at yet another amazing #cloudsurfing journey.
I’ve spent the past two weeks wandering through the Yucatán and Texas. Exploring new restaurants, new café’s, new boutique hotels, and new emotions, but perhaps the most memorable of this experience was getting lost. For all those closest to me, they know that my cell phone and laptop are never far from sight, and that my first instinct is to work. While traveling, I take phone calls and emails from clients, and this trip, I did something different. For 48 hours, I found myself on a secluded beach as the only guest in a charming boutique hotel at what felt like the end of the earth.
Greeted with a smile, and a tropical palm tree oasis where a freshwater pool met the emerald green ocean waters, I felt as if I had found heaven. The warm Yucatán sun kissed the color of my skin a little deeper, and the sound of ocean waves carried me into two days of tranquility. Wi-fi did not work, and what could have felt like the end of the world, was in fact, the best 48 hours of August.
Club de Patos was romantic. It was magical, and it was simple. My room was elegant, with a view of palm trees, sisal plants, hummingbirds, and blue ocean all behind a wall of glass doors opening to my private hammock patio. Perhaps someone had called the hotel to provide the secret to stealing my heart, because an outdoor shower and perfect iPod playlist awaited me.
To be the only guest in this tropical setting, was beyond being a princess for 48 hours. Meals of fresh ceviché and catch of the day Mero and lobster, made me never want to leave. It was the perfect escape. Fresh rain twenty minutes before sunset, created a breathtaking double rainbow over the waters edge, while the sun glistened across the sea of blue. It could not have been more perfect, and then I conversed with the town.
I played foosball with local children, bought seashell rings from the cutest sales kid of the century, and explored the terrain. I was whisked away into a flat bottom boat into the flamingo-filled lagoon, and taken through the jungle like vegetation to a cenoté (swimming hole), where ducking under branches took me to a place few had ever been. I ran 9 miles through the town and watched the locals of Sisal. I love life and could be accused of smiling too much, however I have nothing on the people I met or saw. The smiles were everywhere. There was no angry honking or rushing around, reminding me of a story of a fisherman. Once approached by a business man to expand his empire to run more fishing boats so he could retire and do what he wants everyday, the fisherman responded, why would I do that? “I do what I love everyday. I fish, I spend time with my family, and I drink beer.” There is something to be said for quality of life, and Sisal reminds me to laugh and love each day. Life is too short, so I may just have to move to the beach!
The last night of my trip, the whole town was out for a Flash Gordon extravaganza! The disco had arrived from Mérida, and the town park was filled with games and food vendors for adults and kids alike. I may have been the only international guest that evening, and I was treated as if I was a local. One of my favorite experiences was the tuk-tuk ride from the square to my hotel oasis, where I basked in the light of the full moon. (I am convinced that moonlight is good for the skin and the soul, providing a glow that deepens everything.)
I smile as I realize that a blanket of clouds surrounds my plane. I feel as if someone is wrapping their arms around me and giving me a huge bear hug, and that is exactly how I feel about Sisal. It hugs me to the core. It turns the corners of my mouth towards my eyes and asks me to stay. It is a world away, and yet so close.
In Sisal, sinking my toes in the sand, is getting lost. During my visit, time did not stop, however time expanded. It was time for me, time for the important things, and most of all time for rediscovering. Reconnecting to what moves me and realigning my passion and purpose.
Catching rays poolside, dragonflies flew into my sight. Their mystical meaning of discovering the deeper meaning of life makes me ponder my experience. Everything about Sisal draws me in. The history of a small fishing village untouched by the western world, intrigues me. The happiness, the fresh food, and the ocean waves all part of the local nectar that create this magical beach town. For the locals, they will have raindrops, they will have 90 degree hot sun, and they will have rough seas, yet one thing never changes… the smile and gratitude for what they have.
In Sisal, I was at the edge of the world, a place after my own heart. Cloud surfing takes me to the edge of the horizon. Discovering the péten of Sisal (a place where salt water meets fresh), was as if I were lost and found at the same time. Walking the soft white sandy beach where it was me vs. the pelicans, made it playful. Pink flamingos flying overheard made it magical. Waves lapping over my toes made it soulful. It was nurturing and inspiring. The péten was not the destination when I chose Sisal. Club de Patos had been my destination, yet it was the journey through the clouds, the town, the waters, and the culture that left me wanting more. I want the slight edge when I travel, because it feeds my thirst for knowledge and connection.
I’m on my final descent, and a rainbow has appeared through the bumpy clouds. Sisal your secret is safe with me, you are at the edge, because that is where all the opportunity and possibility exists.