Vacations are Good for the Body and Soul

Enjoying the VIP section of the beach

Enjoying the VIP section of the beach (Jan 10)

Vacations are good for the body and good for the soul.  If you do a vacation right, you come back feeling refreshed and eager to return to work. (Quoted from The Little Book of Stress Relief by David Posen.)

I just returned from a one-week vacation with my sweetie. We stayed at the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico… and had an excellent time. This was my first all-inclusive experience. I loved it and so did Vera!

Welcome to Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda All-Inclusive Resort!

Welcome to Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda All-Inclusive Resort!

 

The lobby is quite welcoming and relaxing

The lobby is quite welcoming and relaxing

 

The Pool [photo credit: bluebayresorts.com]

The Pool [photo credit: bluebayresorts.com]

Not taking vacations can decrease your overall productivity, increase stress and other health risks, and increase the likelihood you’ll burnout at work. But taking a vacation helps revive the heart, rejuvenate your body, recharge your mind, and soothe your soul. Studies have found that people who engaged in more leisure activities reported more life satisfaction, fewer negative emotions, tended to be more spiritually connected, and reported having a lot of support from family and friends, making them feel more content.(Quoted from Psychology Today.)

Well then, sign me up for more vacations! (The last tropical vacation I took was in January 2011, to the Puerto Vallarta area. The rock I’m climbing in the photo below is quite interesting in that the lower layers are made of sandstone embedded with black volcanic rock. The sandstone is prone to crumble and the volcanic rock falls out, if you’re not careful to put as little weight on the footholds as possible. Once above the sandstone, there are layers of more solid and safe grey-coloured rock to climb more securely.)

Climbing at a secret spot near Playa Chacala, which is near Puerto Vallarta

Climbing at a secret spot near Playa Chacala, which is near Puerto Vallarta

Last Monday, Vera shot me doing a little barefoot climbing on the beach accessible from the Tulum archaeological site…

We only had a few minutes here this time! I'm going back again! (Jan 13)

We only had a few minutes here this time! I’m going back again! (Jan 13)

That rock is beautiful limestone, formed from coral and shells. You can see more photos that we took at Tulum below…

Not taking time off regularly can lead to serious health problems. The results are comparable to chronic stress, when there is no reprieve not just from one’s workload but also from repetitive routines. (Quoted from Huffington Post.)

Last night Vera told me she hadn’t realized how much stress she was under before the vacation, because she was so used to it. She was carrying a lot of tension in her body. But once we were away from the people with whom we normally spend time… and away from our usual environments and routines… she was able to really relax and that’s when she realized how high-strung she’d been before. Now I know that the vacation did us both a world of good.

I’m so glad I decided to join a vacation club and get back into taking vacations regularly. 

Get away — often.  It’s a fact: People who take vacations have lower stress and a less risk of heart disease — not to mention a better outlook on life and more motivation to achieve goals. (Quoted from WebMD.)

Vacations and breaks are just what the doctor ordered!

If you’d like to see some photos and hear some stories from our vacation, read on…

On our second day there (January 10), a professional photographer guided us through a photo shoot.

Enjoying the warm sunshine and the breeze

Enjoying the warm sunshine and the breeze

By the way, we took this vacation to celebrate our successes. Vera, graduating at UBC, and myself, getting a great job in 2013 and surpassing my income goal for that year.

Almost every day we saw groups of these cute little critters…

A group of Coatimundi

A group of Coatimundi

 Here’s one of them close-up, sticking out his tongue…

Coatimundi - a Mexican relative of the raccoon family

Coatimundi – a Mexican relative of the raccoon family

We ate in the Mexican restaurant that night and thus began our descent into alcoholism… (Just kidding.)

My sweetie

My sweetie

 

Mango Daiquiri time

Mango Daiquiri time

The next day (Saturday) we spent some time in the lovely pool at Blue Bay, where you can lie on lounge chairs right in the pool.

Welcome to the pool and beach!

Welcome to the pool and beach!

It was so relaxing here.

I love it here!

I love it here!

Wow.

Vera getting some sun

Vera getting some sun

It’s truly a place of beauty. Before this, Vera was used to spending much of her time in a place of mind (UBC).

View from our table at lunch

View from our table at lunch

We ate so much delicious food! And back to the pool after lunch…

My view of paradise

My view of paradise

Then we moved so we’d be close to the fountain in the pool, as well as the beach…

Hello!

Hello!

As we were leaving the pool, we noticed a beautiful light effect in the sky…

I was fortunate enough to catch this beautiful shot

I was fortunate enough to catch this beautiful shot

Wow. I believe we ate in the Italian restaurant that night. It was the best one.

On Sunday, we lounged on the beach, explored the resort and did some levitating. And Vera managed to make me look great in a photo. She wants me to get into modelling. I want her to get into photography.

Vera enjoying the shade of a little palapa

Vera enjoying the shade of a little palapa

 

Some much-needed relaxation

Some much-needed relaxation

 

I think I look a little tipsy here but Vera really likes this photo, so...

I think I look a little tipsy here but Vera really likes this photo, so…

 

Vera tells me this is how I look, to her

Vera tells me this is how I look, to her

 

My special lady, the photographer, looking out to sea

My special lady, the photographer, looking out to sea

 

The view while booking our Xel-ha and Tulum excursion for the next day with Lomas Travel

The view while booking our Xel-ha and Tulum excursion for the next day with Lomas Travel

 

Isn't she cute?

Isn’t she cute?

 

... I just had to join her

… I just had to join her

 

The fountain of youth

The fountain of youth

 

Lift off!

Lift off!

 

Floating up...

Floating up…

 

Looking pretty in front of the restaurants

Looking pretty in front of the restaurants

 

Amazing smile!

Amazing smile!

Vera was so happy because I caught her properly in the air shot. The timing was a bit of a challenge. She did a happy dance… anyway that’s why she’s beaming in that shot.

Super excited to go back to Tulum tomorrow!

Super excited to go back to Tulum tomorrow!

The first time I went to Tulum was at age four. My dad took me. At age five, I returned with both my parents.

This one was good enough to change my Facebook profile picture to, while I was there

This one was good enough to change my Facebook profile picture to, while I was there

I was stoked to be going back to Tulum!

I even got that far-away look in my eye...

I even got that far-away look in my eye…

The next day (January 13) we went to Tulum to see the ruins and the beautiful white sand beach.. and then to Xel-ha in the afternoon for some sightseeing, eats, drinks and siesta…

We're almost at Tulum!

We’re almost at Tulum!

 Here we are at the entrance to the ancient city of Tulum, which was a port…

This rock wall is the original barrier around the ancient city of Tulum

This rock wall is the original barrier around the ancient city of Tulum

It is amazing how long these stone buildings last.

One of the buildings close to the shore

One of the buildings close to the shore

 

Tulum Ruins Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum is a magical place

 

Many Mayan ruins in the area are still covered with vegetation, but these are uncovered for us to see

Many Mayan ruins in the area are still covered with vegetation, but these are uncovered for us to see

 

The thatch part has been added recently to show what it would have looked like originally

The thatch part has been added recently to show what it would have looked like originally

 

The Iguanas roam free here

The Iguanas roam free here

 

Did you notice the lower one before?

Did you notice the lower one before?

 

The Iguanas are the kings now

The Iguanas are the kings now

 

Do you see the face on the building corner?

Do you see the face on the building corner?

Tulum Ruins Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseTulum Ruins Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

This is paradise!

This is paradise!

There is a coral reef (I think) about 300 metres off shore. It breaks the surf so it’s much gentler at the shore. You can see the surf breaking on the reef in the photo above.

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

You see why I want to go back and climb this place more, right? Super interesting rock.

You see why I want to go back and climb this place more, right? Super interesting rock.

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseHappy Couple Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Iguana Fight!

Iguana Fight!

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseTulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseTulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Vera cooling her feet

Vera cooling her feet

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I decided to try a little climbing...

I decided to try a little climbing…

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseRock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I cut the fingertip of the middle finger on my left hand on the second or third little climb. But I still went for it again. Next time, I’ll bring finger tape so I can protect my fingers and climb more adventurously without getting hurt. I’ll bring my climbing shoes too for the same reason.

Tulum White Sand Blue Water Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

The combination of white sand and blue water is so beautiful!

 

Here I go!

Here I go!

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I love climbing limestone above sandy beaches or over water, partly because it’s beautiful and partly because I can jump down to a soft landing whenever I like.

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I would have loved to have spent more time on the beach at Tulum (and I will another time) but we had to get back and catch our bus to Xel-ha. So we climbed back up the stairs and did a little more sight-seeing on the way back…

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Fishing Boat Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Beautiful Young Woman Tulum Ruin Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

That was it for Tulum. Just a very short visit this time.

At Xel-ha, we saw dolphins jumping over people, relaxed in hammocks while listening to marimba music, had some drinks, ate a delicious Mexican lunch with mole, went sight seeing and rode bikes. The place is super cool. There are parrots flying free and you can get within a few feet of them.

Lagoon Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Dolphins are cute

Dolphins are cute

Hammock Relaxation Relaxing Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Pelican Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

A Cenote

A Cenote

Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Cenote Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseElevated Walkway Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Clouds Sunlight Effect Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Clouds Sunlight Effect Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Clouds Sunlight Effect Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Coral Walkway Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Dead coral from the reef. When it’s alive, it’s coloured. These are like apartment buildings for the little coral animals. They build them. Each species builds its own distinct shape.

Xel-ha White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Xel-ha Moon Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Interesting local plants

Interesting local plants

… That was quite a wonderful Monday! The last day we spent relaxing at the resort.

One last visit to the pool (this time!)

One last visit to the pool (this time!)

 

Poolside accommodations. We actually stayed in a different building nearby. But they all look alike.

Poolside accommodations. We actually stayed in a different building nearby. But they all look alike.

On our last night at Blue Bay, we ate in the Italian restaurant again because it was our favourite.

We were so blessed that the weather was sunny all week. The weather report was for rain most of the week, but after we landed in Cancun, it stopped raining as we were in the shuttle bus to the resort! And the sunny weather held all week until the last night, when there was a torrential downpour before dinner. We used an umbrella from the room and it was like another little adventure. We actually danced in the rain! After we left the Italian restaurant, there was a private wedding going on, on the patio… and Vera loved the music so we danced under the umbrella in the rain. It wasn’t coming down so hard by then. A young lady from the wedding party actually ran out into the rain barefoot with no cover and asked to take our photo because she said we looked so cute!

Wow. It was a truly wonderful trip!

Cheers! To your next vacation!

Cheers! To your next vacation!

 We wish you all the best in life… and that you get everything that you want.

Bevan & Vera

About Bevan Bird

Bevan Bird is a creative Online Marketing Coach that helps business people get better results by working with them collaboratively. He's also an expert on Facebook and Twitter that helps people get their message out there in a practical and authentic manner. He lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where he was born, and he has traveled a lot since then. You should follow him on Twitter here.
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5 Responses to Vacations are Good for the Body and Soul

  1. It’s a very nice place, pool and beautiful sky.

  2. natgreenonline says:

    Looks like you had a great time Bevan! So nice to get away and enjoy other countries.

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