I said “I do” want to turn best friend’s destination wedding into a trip!
When my best friend told us she was getting married in Cabo, I knew this was my time to plan a mini Mexican adventure. I tend to overlook Mexico because it’s so close to the US, and whenever I have time to travel abroad, I generally pick a destination that’s at least a 7-hour flight away. So when the opportunity arose, I texted my best travel buddy, Jordan, and we immediately started planning our trip to Tulum before the wedding.
Making a remote-work lifestyle work for me.
With the pandemic-induced work-from-home movement, I decided to spend a week in Tulum working from there by myself. I had no real reason to be home in New Orleans, and I hadn’t been out of the country in over a year (which kills my soul a little to think about). For my solo work from home time, I decided to stay in La Valeta, a new up-and-coming residential area in Tulum pueblo. The Airbnb I booked was a little building with a wall of glass windows that looked out into your own private, magical jungle oasis. It came with a kitty cat, an outdoor shower, and a couple of bikes to get around. The place was truly serene. My soul was freaking happy. And thankfully the wi-fi was top-notch because I was still able to work perfectly fine, even though I was hundreds of miles away from home.
Nice to meet you, Tulum!
Tulum has a magical air to it. It’s an eclectic mix of local culture sprinkled with perfectly curated “instagrammable” spots. One of those being Holistika – a boutique hotel and wellness center located in the middle of the jungle. My Airbnb was a quick 5-minute walk away, so I took a quick break from work and went to go check it out. I did an hour and a half long, intense yoga class, and met a bunch of people from all walks of the earth, many of who had come to Tulum during the pandemic and just never left. Holistika has meditation rooms, a bomb vegan restaurant, and embodied all things health and wellness. The classes were taught in a mixture of English and Spanish, which fueled my soul. It’s crazy how speaking a different language to strangers can just make you feel a certain way. And don’t get me started about the plants. They were HUGE. Tulum is the perfect environment for plant growth, so heaven.
If you like Tequila Sunrises, you’ll love Mezcal Sunsets.
On the second night, once work was over, I booked an Airbnb experience to do a sunset Mezcal tasting. While traveling alone, I always try to book group activities so I can meet some fellow travelers and create new friends. Little did I know this random group of people would become my CREW for the rest of the week. A biologist and a restaurant manager obsessed with crypto, an engineer and a Facebook professional recently engaged, and a substance abuse rehabilitation social worker taking a quick break from her fiancé and their pending engagement to re-discover herself and ensure she was on the right path. I met up with my new friends pretty much every night after that.
Introducing new friends to old friends.
My travel buddy Jordan finally showed up midway through the week and I introduced her to my new friends. We all became such close friends within a short period that we ended up staying together in the same hotel room for the second half of the week. Jordan and I realized we wanted to stay a few nights on the beach. So, we canceled our hostel in town and I booked an awesome hotel for us to stay at right on the beach. We stayed with one of our new friends the first night because they already had a room, and then we were all going to move to the new hotel for the second night. The morning of our hotel reservation, I checked our check-in details only to realize that I had accidentally booked our hotel stay that night for a month later. Note to self: TRIPLE CHECK THE DATES OF ANY LAST-MINUTE BOOKING YOU DO ON YOUR PHONE. The panic started to set in. We were officially homeless for the night, and 99% of the hotels on the beach were completely booked out for the weekend. We laced up our running shoes and went on a 3-mile run around town to the different hotels, seeing if we could book a last-minute place to stay. Also, did I mention I hate running… But we were on a mission. Finally, we ended up finding a last-minute stay at a place that was right next to the place we were staying at the night before. It was lovely and rustic, and the rooms were huge. We spent the rest of the day partying at the beach, living our best lives, and laughing at the wild morning we had just had.
We watched a bunch of sunrises and sunsets; ate way too many tacos; and truly had the time of our lives. You meet the most fascinating people while traveling.
Editorial and photos submitted by Olivia Tati in collaboration with Gregory Mountain Products