7 Things a trip to Mexico taught me

Last week, Alan and I went on a much-needed vacation to Mexico. Although it was only January, the winter was already wreaking havoc with my mood. I got through each day of bitter cold temperatures and snow by telling myself, “Well… at least you’ll be getting away to some sunshine and warmth soon.”

Well-stocked with plenty of sunblock, my kindle  loaded with books, I was ready. I even bought new bathing suits. Oh, and I got a spray tan, since I always burn in the sun. (There’s just something about looking tan that makes you feel good better  in the dead of winter).

But my dreams of an ideal getaway dissipated from the time I got to the airport.

It was the worst day of airline travel in a long, long time, filled with more cancellations than delays due to a backlog of trouble from bad weather across the nation. The plane was there, but there was no pilot. And then when there finally was a pilot there was no co-pilot.

I’ll cut to the chase: our flight, scheduled to depart at 11AM, did not leave until almost 6PM.  The plane was there, but there was no pilot. And then when there finally was a pilot there was no co-pilot. The day was filled with angry, frustrated travelers who kept holding onto the hope that their flight would eventually get out. Ours was the last Jet Blue flight out before the airline shut down operations for 17 hours.

I dare not bore you with the details of being stuck in the airport that day…

Although, when I got to the resort, this beautiful parrot brought a smile to my face



Reliving it is just way too exhausting, especially since I am currently suffering with an awful case of Montezuma’s revenge as I write this and my stomach cramps up just thinking about it.

Which leads me to lessons learned. No, nothing to do with not eating the food in Mexico. My stomach may be protesting, but hubby and plenty of people remained unscathed. But I came away with more than just a bad tummy. I came away with some hard-won realizations.

  1. I love traveling but hate everything to do with getting there – beginning with packing. Packing practically gives me hives. I obsess that I’m bring too much, then pare down and fear I’m bringing too little.
  2. And really, can anyone find anything the least bit pleasant about flying on an airplane these days (except that it gets them where they want to go)? Broken seats, aggressive travelers fighting for overhead space, lousy food, TVs with no reception, screaming babies. (I always get one or more sitting directly in front or behind me. Always.)
  3. Good weather is not a given. Sometimes you get lucky…and sometimes you don’t. I can remember vacations when we had glorious weather, but unfortunately remember more when it was rainier/colder/hotter/stormier than we bargained for or ever expected. Rain and chilly in Mexico? Well, not normally like we got this trip, but then again, the weather is never really normal when you want it to be.
  4. It’s easy making new friends when you travel. They are usually like-minded people, and everyone is relaxed and in a good mood. Then again, there are those people who prefer to keep to themselves and not socialize, and that’s fine, too.
  5. Participating in a sweat lodge session with a Shaman was a much deeper and more moving experience than I ever expected it to be.
  6. When you get Montezuma’s revenge, the worst place for it to introduce itself is on an airplane.
  7. There’s no place like home (see above).



  1. Some vacations are definitely better than others! Glad you’re back safe and sound, and hope you feel better fast. Can’t wait to hear about your sweat lodge experience!
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted..why i’m charged about the lifesaver II by mioMy Profile

  2. Sorry you didn’t have a better time, Sheryl. I find myself not wanting to travel by plane these days, so I’ve been sticking close to home. Your next vacation will be better it sounds like!

  3. hmmm. I am leaving for vacation on Friday, and flying to a supposed warm climate…It is true that flying is such a pain these days. Recently spent hours/days trying to coordinate getting 5 of us from 3 destinations to arrive in sync, and not go broke. Not possible. Not going to get any better either, unfortunately, as the remaining carriers continue to consolidate. Just gotta learn to enjoy the fact that we’re away from our regular routine, and out in the sunshine….hopefully. R

  4. Sheryl,
    I’m so sorry you had such a difficult trip. One tip someone gave me a while ago (not that it helps you, now), is to drink pepto bismal to coat your stomach before eating in a strange country. Hope you feel better soon.
    Estelle Sobel Erasmus recently posted..I Took the Some Nerve ChallengeMy Profile

  5. I saw your vacation pics on facebook–they were nice. I’m sorry the trip there was not exactly a day at the beach! Get well soon! (I know all about tummy issues…..)
    Lisa Froman recently posted..Lover Of Leaving And ReturningMy Profile

  6. Sheryl, I know what you mean about the travel part. Sounds like it was tough going. When I went to France this summer I loved the trip except for the flights. I feel like United crams in the seats and I will not fly on that airline again. Hope you are on the mend.


    I’m sorry that you had a hard time and your well deserved trip wasn’t what you expected. Some times things don’t go how we want to. I hoppe that you feel better soon.

  8. Hi Sheryl….Darn! I was hoping for some happy and fun stories about Mexico because my DH and I will be visiting there in September. At any rate the BIG Message I got from your post was to prepare for the unexpected! ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted..5 Ideas To Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever!My Profile

  9. A week ago Sunday? I spent seven hours at the airport in Atlanta to make a 35 minute plane trip–won’t go into all the reasons why.

    Give Mexico another chance. It’s a wonderful country though when things go wrong….
    pia recently posted..Not One of Reva’s GirlsMy Profile

  10. This just adds up to you deserving another vacation!
    eel better~
    Irene S. Levine recently posted..My friend came into moneyMy Profile

  11. Sheryl, so sorry to hear about the stomach issues – sure you are AOK by now. Traveling is great if everything goes off without a hitch but that may be the exception more than the rule.
    Grown and Flown recently posted..During Pet Therapy, My Dog Does the TalkingMy Profile


  1. […] maybe I’m exaggerating a little. And feeling a little sorry for myself after returning from a much-needed vacation to Mexico that turned out to be somewhat of a […]

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