Kingdom of Palms

Travelling is one of the best things in life: is mind-expanding and allows us to discover new things about ourselves along with new places and cultures. I firmly believe that everyone should be allowed this opportunity, and yet it hurts to see how many people waste it on mindless tourism. We live in an time in history where travelling is easier and more accessible than ever, which I believe causes many to take it for granted.

 

Unlike Cancún, which was built on the very purpose to be a resort, Tulum used to be a Mayan town. The archeological site is only a few centuries old, but it's located on the coast and includes a beach where sea turtles lay their eggs. Iguanas are everywhere, chilling under the scalding tropical sun. Most of the hotels are campings are situated along the public beach, immersed in the forest. In this area electricity is available only a few hours a day for the hotel and camping guests, and there is no running water so the tanks are brought in with trucks. The beach is made of whitest sand and filled with palms to lay under.

 

I spent days in awe of this place and of the willingness of the locals to share it with us, beginning with the family who invited us under their palm and engaged us with their music and their smiles. Yet, most of the other travellers seemed far more interested in partying, rocking their new hip bathing suits, and finding the best selfie spots. A French family yelled us for sitting too close to them on the beach. I don't claim to be a model tourist nor that my way is the best way, but I find it really hard to reconcile the fact that some people are willing to travel with how little interest they have in understanding and enjoying the places they visit.

 

The silver lining is that even the masses of distracted tourists, with their sweaty faces and sunburned shoulders, are a constant reminder that we don't belong there.