Cancun, Mexico blog & vlog — And, a near-death experience

Last year I visited Cancun, Mexico on a business trip with Travelocity (If you’re not aware, I am a Gnomad travel ambassador). While I was there I had an opportunity to do some really fun stuff, so I thought in addition to writing a blog, I would edit a vlog video about the experience. Most of my videos are more refined, not so much vlog format. My experience filming and editing vlog style is limited, however I have found that when I release a vlog, my viewers tend to enjoy them.

It has been a year since I was in Cancun, and I am just now getting around to sharing a bit of the experience and putting together the vlog. I had never been to Cancun before, and this was actually my first time to Mexico in over a decade, even though I live right on its border in Arizona.

This trip to Cancun was both a business meeting, and also a thank you of sorts from Travelocity for all of our hard work. It was so much fun to actually get to travel, without being responsible for working.  I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have to get paid to travel the world, but what many people do not realize…it’s not all fun and games. Well, some of the time. 😉 Most professional travel bloggers work their tails off. And, those of us who produce video content are often working twice as hard.

While the experiences are amazing, we never really get an opportunity to just relax and take in the moments because we’re too busy documenting them. Mind you, I’m not complaining, I’m one of the luckiest people I know to have the opportunity to do what I do.

On to Cancun!

When I arrived in Cancun I was greeted by a hellacious crowd trying to get through immigration. Nearly an hour later, I breezed through customs. Since I was in Cancun for a business meeting, transportation promptly greeted and whisked me off toward the resort in which I would be staying for the next five days. Along the way, I discovered a beautiful palm tree-lined highway with massive resorts positioned along the beach. I was really struck by the unique architecture of the resorts, many seemingly taking design cues from the ancient Mayans.

Cancun street aerial photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

Cancun is located on the most southern tip of Mexico, at the Yucatán Peninsula, which is flanked by both the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The beaches and warm coral blue-colored waters makes for a magnificent setting. When my driver dropped me off at the Live Aqua Resort, I was quite impressed. As a professional travel blogger, I stay at many really nice resort properties, my initial impression of the Live Aqua did not disappoint.

Live Aqua and Cancun resorts aerial photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

As I made my way up to my room where I would call home for the next five days, I discovered I was staying on the club lounge floor with full access to food and drink. If you’ve never had lounge access, it’s pretty sweet. At the Live Aqua the lounge provides sweeping ocean views with a full bar and snacks throughout the day. My fellow Gnomads and I spent a fair amount of time in the lounge getting caught up with one another, and, getting to know those who were newer to the program.

When I walked into my room I noticed a design on the bed. As I got closer I was blown away to find that the “Welcome” design was made out of colored rice. Really an extraordinary gesture that I had never seen before. One of the drawbacks to being a professional travel blogger is the fact that our expectations continue to rise since we’ve seen and experienced so much.

Live Aqua resort Cancun welcome

That first day in Cancun was spent at the resort mingling with the other Gnomads over a number of cocktails. It also happened to be the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday in which the Live Aqua had a celebration event with live entertainment, face painting and a lot more (be sure to watch the video).

Day of the Dead face painting with Jina Michael

The next day was spent in an all-day meeting where we learned about some of the Travelocity programs being implemented, some of the future opportunities with the Gnomad team, as well as some brainstorming sessions. It was a lot of fun and we all left that meeting feeling really pumped up about our future involvement. We also left that meeting feeling more like a team. Since that meeting back in October, we have all worked well together helping each other individually, as well as collectively to promote Travelocity. We want everyone to Wander Wisely. 😉

Day Three in Cancun

On Day three we broke up into two groups, some went to a sister property for spa treatments, while the rest of us road tripped to Tulum, a well-known 13th-century Mayan archaeological site that attracts a lot of tourists. Along the way a very tragic event took place.

I was sitting in the front seat of a van with the driver and another passenger in the middle. We were traveling around 100kph when I noticed something out of the ordinary—I was witnessing something very tragic about to happen. I think I must have said “Oh my god (or the like)” which made our driver take notice. He then sped up and began to move to the right, as a full size pickup veered off the on-coming lanes into the median, eventually coming straight for us. Just as the truck was to enter our lanes/side of the highway and smash head-on with us, one wheel cause the truck to veer from its direct course. The truck narrowly missed the back of our van and ended up slamming head-on into the cars right behind us. Sadly, three people lost their lives in that moment. Many others were injured and sent to the hospital.  The video below doesn’t show much, but was posted shortly after the accident by a passerby.

 
We were all really shaken up by this experience—it zapped our excitement for a good while. Everyone was pretty quiet and the somber mood stuck with us for most of the day.  It was one of those life-affirming moments. The fact that your life can be extinguished in just a moment puts your mortality into perspective, which is quite sobering.

When we arrived at Tulum we decided to go our own way and meet back at a designated time. While Tulum is very tourist, it is really an impressive place to explore. And, the setting along the sea is just stunning.

Tulum in Cancun Mexico by MikesRoadTrip.com

After Tulum, we needed to have a few drinks to take the edge off, so we stopped by the Live Aqua Boutique property in Playa del Carmen (a sister property of the Live Aqua where we were staying). Just like the main resort in Cancun, the Live Aqua Boutique did not disappoint. The property is so unique and thoughtfully design with subtle, and not so subtle, details throughout. We made our way to the top floor where there was an extraordinary outdoor lounge and pool, where all the cool people were hanging out. The views from here were amazing, a bit inland from the beach, but from a few floors up, the sights did not disappoint. This was exactly what we all needed to try and get over the events from earlier in the day. We met up with our other Gnomad friends who had been lounging at this property all day being pampered with spa treatments and the like.

To Cozumel We Go

The next day we all boarded a bus that took us to a ferry terminal. We were all soon on board a really nice vessel that took us out to sea where we would eventually land on the island of Cozumel.

As you would expect, Travelocity has some connections, so they hooked us up at another resort property, The Explorean Cozumel, where we could hang out to secure our belongings, while enjoying some fun-in-the-sun. Since we left Cancun really early in the morning, we were all famished, so we enjoyed the breakfast buffet the resort had on display.

It wasn’t long before we all switched into our swim attire and hit the turquoise blue waters off the shore from the Explorean resort. Some of us went sailing, while others paddle boarded and snorkeled. It was a fantastic morning playing in the warm ocean waters of Cozumel. By 1pm or so we all met up for lunch. To our surprise, a full Mariachi band came up to our table to preform. I must admit, I have never been a big fan of Mariachi music, but after listening to these guys, I was blown away. So much energy and diversity in the music. It was such a great way to kick off our amazing and healthful meal.

After lunch we had a bit of time before we had to head back to the ferry terminal, so many of us hung out by one of the tranquil areas of the resort where they had a small pool and some water features. Later that afternoon we boarded the ferry to begin our journey back to Cancun.

The explorean Cozumel resort pool by MikesRoadTrip.com

Back to Live Aqua

The Live Aqua has many restaurants on-site, and we had tried several during our stay, but this evening was special. We all donned our best clothes and headed to their fine-dining restaurant for a meal fit for Aztec royalty.

Our final day in Cancun we were on our own. Many of us chose to just relax on the beach and feast on food and drink because having to head back to our respective homes.

Beach in front of Live Aqua Resort in Cancun : Photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

My time in Cancun really surpassed my expectations, it is a places of great beauty that certainly lives up to its reputation. If you’ve ever been to Cancun, Mexico, leave a comment below and share your experience.

 

Mike Shubic

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Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.

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