It’s officially been a month since I got back from Tulum, and I miss it so much. It was the first time all year that I felt at 100% at peace, and ever since my trip, I’ve made a conscious effort to try to maintain it. What I’ve discovered has helped me the most is disconnecting from social media as much as possible, getting outside, and focusing on the things I love to do.
I’ve had my photography page on Instagram for about a month now, and it has become my escape because I follow nothing but art-related content. My personal account, on the other hand, is just about everything else. I have to give myself some credit, though, because I only follow a couple of hundred accounts (including about five celebrities). I unfollowed most news and gossip outlets. If I want to know what’s going on, I will go find out instead of having it all over my feed. I’m all about protecting my mental health by any means necessary so being mindful of who and what I follow on social media has helped a lot.
Before this trip, I wasn’t getting out as much as I wanted to. Since late May, I had been out of school, so I lost the distraction I needed to keep my mind busy. Spring 2020 was a unique semester because all of my shooting assignments were done indoors and around my home. I was too paranoid about going anywhere anyway outside of physical therapy and the grocery store, so it worked for me, at least for the first couple of months of lockdown.
Since I got back from Tulum, I’ve made a conscious effort to get out more. My morning walks with my dog, Marley, are an essential part of my daily routine because they set the day’s tone. I use the time to listen to music/podcasts and take in the world around me. I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful city because there’s so much to do and see. The trip reminded me that being outside brings me peace, so I’m back to shooting outdoors more consistently. 2020 remains the year of bad news, but I’m still trying to push through and take care of myself regardless because there will always be bad news.
When we decided to take the trip, I knew I wanted to make the most of the opportunity and take as many photos as possible. In my previous blog, I shared that this was my first time traveling with my film and digital cameras. I was very minimalist with film, packing only the camera, some film, and one lens. As far as my digital, I packed my camera, MacBook, several lenses, filters, memory cards, and a tripod. We visited Quintana Roo the year before, staying in Akumal that time, but I regretted not having various lenses. I was ready for any and everything this time, but honestly, I didn’t shoot as much as I thought I would. I used the time to relax and live in the moment. The things I captured were little moments that stuck out here & there.
I took these pictures around our private villa, which blew me away. Outside of this place, I didn’t need much. I’m an all-around nature lover, so this place was Heaven on Earth to me.
We’re huge fans of cenotes. I took these pictures at Cenote Dos Ojos. This was one of the times I used my digital camera over my film while out because I didn’t swim. I had hip surgery the summer before and didn’t want to overdo the swimming… I should’ve just gone swimming because what’s going on behind these pictures is me being eaten alive by mosquitos.
Of course, we went to the beach. We discovered that beach clubs are the way to go in Tulum. We visited Ziggy’s and Payaya Playa Project. I booked the reservations a day in advance online. You get a private bed/cabana, with a server, but there’s a minimum spending amount. Papaya Playa Project had a $30 (USD) minimum per person, and Ziggy’s had a $50 minimum per person. The drinks and food were incredible at both locations. We also walked the beach and took in the scenery.
The overall experience was just what I needed to get through the rest of this crazy year. The best part of it all was that I was able to do the one thing I love the most, photography 🙂