When you travel, you get a hands on education and a real look at history. Travel improves lives in so many ways, seeing new places, meeting new people, trying new foods, learning a new language, and experiencing different traditions and cultures. All of these experiences makes for a better well rounded individual and a global citizen.
Our family of four traveled to Cancun, Mexico from Los Angeles, California. Our direct flight took four hours followed by a one hour car ride to Playa Del Carmen. Playa Del Carmen is a city located along the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico also known as the Riviera Maya.
The culture, language and food of Mexico are spectacular. Spanish and Mayan are the native languages to this region. Do you speak Spanish or Mayan?
Hello in Spanish is Hola.
Hello in Mayan is Ba’ax ka wa’alik.
There are several opportunities to learn and expand your mind while traveling. Reading skills tend to improve when you travel the world. Read the airplane ticket, read a book while in the air, read the signs at the airport, read to find the bathroom, read the menu to select your food, read the signs leading to your destination and read the brochures to find the perfect excursion. Reading increases exposure to vocabulary and ideas while also exposing you to the culture and language of the country you are visiting.
We were fortunate to spend seven nights and eight days at a wonderful all inclusive resort right on the Caribbean Sea. Our resort had the perfect mix of cultural, adventure and ecological tourism, with a number of activities to participate in. You could visit the onsite zoo and see some interesting animals including crocodiles, iguanas, “Tlacoache” (Ta lock a watch ay), lemurs, monkeys and much more. You could go sailing, parachuting, kayaking, diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating, yoga, enjoy spa treatments, view live theatrical performances, play soccer, tennis, basketball, golf, swim in seven different pools including a natural saltwater pool, in addition to swimming in the ocean making for an unforgettable experience. You certainly did not have to leave the resort!
On one of our days we took a short bus trip to the city of Tulum to visit the Mayan ruins and to play at the beach. The ruins were big; they were very old and told the stories of civilizations from many years ago. Our tour guide provided us with a great history lesson.
Fast facts about Tulum Ruins
- Tulum site is one of the very few walled cities built by the Mayan’s. These walls are located on only three sides of the settlement as the ocean protects the eastern borders.
- The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft.) cliffs along the Caribbean
- Tulum had an estimated population of 1,000 to 1,600 inhabitants.
- The wall around Tulum is three to 5 meters (16 ft.) in height, 8 m (26 ft.) thick and 400 m (1,300 ft.) long on western wall parallel to the sea.
- The Castillo (main pyramid/castle) is 7.5 m (25 ft.) tall and appears to have built in stages.
- Tulum was a major crossroads of trade from both land and sea managing trade from Central and South America into the Yucatan.
- Tulum honored the “diving god” or “descending god” and “the god of the bee”, an important insect for the Maya even today.
- Tulum is the single most frequently visited Maya ruin in the Yucatán Peninsula, receiving thousands of visitors every day.
While in Tulum, we negotiated with vendors and purchased some pretty cool souvenirs using pesos. We applied verbal and math skills making for a fun learning experience. Counting in Spanish is easy to do, uno, dos, tres; do you know how to count in Spanish?
We learned that approaching strangers with a smile and a little humility will get you far while traveling. You definitely get more bees with honey. You will meetunforgettable people; you will take in history and understand a different way of life. Travel as a family and have fun seeing the world and other cultures up close and personal.