So I didn’t go to Aruba. Or Bermuda. And I didn’t go to Antigua to visit my college roommate. Or to any of the other places (besides NY) that I’d originally planned to visit when I first decided to take an imprumptu mini-vaca somewhere tropical.
No, I went to Cancun, Me-he-Ko! Which in America is known as like, the place to get shitfaced if you’re in college and on spring break. It’s also known as the poor-man’s Miami, but with no drinking laws, prettier beaches and road-side taco stands. And it’s known as somewhere couples, honeymooners or families go on vacation.
But what it’s not known for, is an ideal destination for single, 26-year-old females traveling alone. I guess the idea of walking along white-sand beaches at sunset, surrounded by couples holding hands or frolicking in the surf…completely alone doesn’t appeal to most single women, or men for that matter.
At least judging from the number of women I saw (Mexican or otherwise) traveling alone which was um, none. In fact, I saw only one single traveler in the entire four days I was there and he was male, and a backpacker from Israel who’d only wound up in Cancun for our hostel’s free Internet access.
I had a feeling it was going to be like that. But I decided to venture to Cancun anyway and not just because I love Mexican food and coconut cocktails and the beach. There were some logical reasons behind my decision as well.
1. The low airport taxes. Even though I work for an airline I therefore don’t have to pay for airfare, I still have to pay the taxes for traveling internationally as well as any fees involved with the country’s airport. If I went to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for example, I’d have to pay nearly USD $100. But to go to Mexico, I only had to pay USD $25.
2. Lots of open seats on the flight. I fly for free, yes, but not on a confirmed reservation. I fly on a space-available basis, which means that I only get a seat on a plane if there’s one available. The flight to Mexico had 90 available seats. 90! A fact that I later realized was due to it being hurricane season in Mexico at the moment. Oh and Cancun is humid as hell in September, too.
3. My hostel only cost USD $4 per night. Which is about USD $196 less than the cheapest hotel I could find in Bermuda (an island which by the way, lacks youth hostels, guest houses or any remotely affordable form of accommodation).
So even though a visit to Cancun was never exactly on my bucket list, I chose to go there because I’m cheap…and broke. And because I’d spend less on a four day vacation in Mexico then I would if I stayed home in San Francisco. Isn’t that wild?
Although I think that next time I’ll try to organize it better so that I can go with a friend (or if I’m really together, a boyfriend). Because traveling by yourself should really only be reserved for quarter or mid-life crisis, or post-break-up Eat, Pray, Love type spiritual reprieves in Indian ashrams. But not resort towns in the tropics…no, definitely not.