18 Days in a Super Beautiful, Remote Part of Mexico

18 Days in a Super Beautiful, Remote Part of Mexico

By |2016-10-07T10:03:19+00:00October 7th, 2016|Mexico, Perspectives|27 Comments

Remote Part of Mexico - Me and the dogs
Last month, I spent 18 days in a secluded, remote part of Mexico.

A friend and I were covering another friend’s housesitting assignment while he and his wife were away.

The house we took care of was quite isolated. On one side was an endless, empty white sand beach and gorgeous water for as far as you could see. On the other side was an immense span of jungle stretching all the way to Alaska, or so it seemed. Nothing else at all for the most part. A potholed dirt road was the only way in and out. The closest town was 25 kms away.

When we arrived in the area, my first thought was, ‘okay, this should be nice’.

Of course, at that moment, I had no idea just how spectacular the experience of being surrounded by nature for the first time in a while would actually be. Mighty, mighty spectacular.

The Routine

Quickly, I fell into a routine each day that involved…

– Watching the sunrise from my bed
– Walking the dogs on the beach twice per day
– Working from a table that looked straight out at the water
– Going for a swim in the sea
– Hanging out on the beach
– Playing with the dogs outside
– Watching the sunset from the roof top terrace

I was always barefoot, barely wore a shirt, was always surrounded by natural light and I ate a great deal of fresh fruits and vegetables every single day. So much dragonfruit!

Again, for 18 days straight.

It was a beautiful thing I tell you. Just feeling the nature every minute of every day, in front of me, on me, all around.

Regardless of my normal lifestyle, when I suddenly find myself living simply, surrounded by the fresh air, the swaying trees and the lapping waves, with my hair full of sand…my body and mind get comfortable, extremely comfortable, remarkably quickly. Strong and healthy, clearer and calmer, all systems working efficiently. Despite the long days of getting up at sunrise and going to sleep at midnight, I don’t feel tired at all.

No amount of meditation could match the near instant zen I receive from such surroundings.

Remote part of Mexico - perfect view

The Reality

We spend so much time in cities and towns, where we might get a chance to stroll through a park every now and then, walk along a beach for a few minutes every other Saturday or look up at the sky for a short peek whenever we remember to do so. Few of us live near a remote part of Mexico or anywhere else with such an abundance of nature.

For most of our waking hours, we are surrounded by buildings and vehicles and roads and signs and noise and lights and people doing all sorts of things, so much so that the nature around us, and the positive effects that nature can provide us, is so easily drowned out, turned into something we hardly notice.

Why do we allow this to happen when we know the benefits of nature? When we know it can so easily give us a boost of healthiness and happiness?

Sure, I spent 18 days in nature. Sure, I’m back in the city now and about to head off to more cities and more destinations where nature is once again pushed to the background…it’s a part of life. It’s difficult to survive by just wandering around the jungle or hanging out on a secluded island. We all need to work, we all need friends and family, we all need or want other things too, things to make life easier and more enjoyable.

I accept that. And I see nothing wrong with the cities and towns and the conveniences and aspects of modern life. They certainly add tremendous value to our short time that we have on this planet and without them, I certainly wouldn’t have had the life I’ve had so far.

(Besides, I wasn’t sleeping outside on the sand while in the middle of nowhere. I was staying in a nice house in this remote location, but everything I did involved me interacting with the nature around me.)

Remote part of Mexico - sunset over the jungle

The Solution

But in all seriousness, I don’t want to ignore the strong pull, the intense craving for nature that is clearly within.

That feeling I get when I kick off my shoes – in a remote part of Mexico or any similar location – stare out at the horizon beyond the turquoise sea, collect the salt and sand and dirt on my skin, relax in a warm breeze, admire the soaring hawks and fill my lungs with the freshest, most invigorating of air…

It’s too beautiful, too naturally therapeutic to ignore.

No, no, no…I’m not saying we should all run off to a deserted atoll, start a commune and live out the rest of our days. Nor should we bolt into the jungle with just a toothbrush and a machete.

But when we’re traveling, for example, we can seek out places that allow us to fully immerse ourselves in the forest or mountain or lake or ocean experience without being surrounded by noise and lights and structures and busy-ness. A couple of examples for me are my friend Codrin’s cottage in remote Romania and some of the less visited islands of the Philippines.

When we are at home, we can put in an extra effort to not only find nature near us, but to be present while amidst it, to fully embrace what it has to offer us instead of just passing through without paying much attention. It pays tremendously to do so, we all know that.

Time to walk down to the beach here in Playa del Carmen. Not quite the same as the above but I’ll find a quiet spot nonetheless to once again feel the breeze, the sand, the sun and the sea as if there’s nothing else around.

Have you been immersed in nature lately? Any experiences to share? Is it something you crave every now and then?

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27 Comments

  1. Anthony April 3, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    I thought I’d pop my head in considering I haven’t read in a while and also I remembered the fact that you love Mexico. I’m staying in the capital for the foreseeable future – very far from remote, but I love it all the same. Hope we manage to bump into each other one day, your blog was one of the big inspirations to me back in the day when I was considering travelling and working remotely.

    • Derek April 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm - Reply

      Hey Anthony – That’s awesome to hear that you’re in Mexico! And great choice of a city…you can’t go wrong in DF. (The food alone is worth staying there!). I’m not based in Mexico any more but if I do get there again, I shall be in touch. Would definitely be cool to meet up in person. Enjoy yourself!!

  2. April Carlson March 4, 2017 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Hello- I saw your interview with Matt on Superstar blogging and came to check out your blog. I can totall relate to this post. Being in nature is what makes me happy. I feel more at peace in nature than I do even at church. The beauty of nature is healing for sure. I have tried my best to share this love with my boys- I have 3 of them. I have told them when they are troubled to seek out nature where you can to recover.

  3. Rebecca January 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    This is my idea of heaven! I enjoy having time and space to myself! The more I get the more I want. Especially when I’m right by the ocean. So beautiful!

    Rebecca x

  4. Jake January 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    hey mate… nice post! yes it absolutely is great to get out and relax and spend time with nature. sound like 18 days of peace and quiet and serenity for you. certainly i am jealous! we all need a nice break from the concrete jungle from time to time… surely you had a great experience.

    • Derek January 5, 2017 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Hey Jake – It sure is an experience with a long list of benefits!

  5. Remsun November 3, 2016 at 6:20 am - Reply

    Havent thought that Mexicos is also having all these type of remote areas. Would love to visit them once when ever I go to Mexico. By way going for a trip to Mexico soon. 😛

  6. Nathan October 21, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    The views sure look good from the house! I agree with searching out a bit of nature every now and then. I live in Melbourne at the moment and I absolutely love the city, but it’s definitely good to have a balance. Don’t get me wrong, I could not imagine living in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it’s just what I’m accustomed to and I’m guessing that’s the same for the majority. However, getting away from it all, the noise and the crowds, is perfect sometimes.

  7. Sarah October 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    On my most recent trip I was restoring ancient stone terraces and gardens in Sataf, we took a mini jeep thing to get to our work area, snacked on wild pomegranates and carob fruit, and peed in caves. Some of the days I was the only volunteer out there and the danger of being out in the wilderness alone, with scorpions, vipers, cliffs, no extra water sources, no people, was both frightening and empowering.

  8. […] from “18 Days in a Super Beautiful, Remote Part of Mexico” on Wandering […]

  9. Marie October 9, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

    That sure sounds like some amazing 18 days! I love to experience nature as well although I am mostly a city person. I need both, the calm of nature and the dynamic of the cities.
    However, I also discover that I am attracted more and more to solitude and nature, maybe it’s a thing that comes with age.

  10. Jen - Jaunting Jen October 8, 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I really miss Mexico and can’t wait to get back there (except for Cancun!)

    Your 18 days sounds like a slice of paradise!

  11. Anita Zych October 8, 2016 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    There so many natural amazing places destroyed by human. When I travel I always feel sad seeing tons of trash and hotels built wherever. But I think common trend is to come back to the nature and respect it. There are more and more “hippy” places to stay, like wooden tents in the forest or eco farms. I think it will become more and more popular.

  12. steve October 8, 2016 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    I was in PLaya Del Carmon back in the 80″s.. amazing how things can change in 30years.. when I first visited,, it was a small town you could hardly turn a bus around in,, undiscovered, undeveloped.. now its the Mexican Riviera.. imaging that.. in less than one lifetime the planet has basically been overrun… if your reading Derek”s blog,, and you urn to wader – better go soon…

    • steve October 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      I meant “”Wander”” not wader!! sorry

      • kel October 12, 2016 at 8:10 am - Reply

        And perhaps also yearn? 🙂

  13. kevan Hubbard October 8, 2016 at 5:48 am - Reply

    I’ve just spent 6 days in the Azores great nature there extinct volcanic cones everywhere. Your Mexico article has got me wanting to set out again! I bet you got great views of the stars from Mexico? Sadly on my visit to Mexico I only stayed in cities,Mexico city and Acapulco so never saw the countryside.although I did stay in the country in another central American country,el Salvador, I remember sitting on a beach with the pacific crashing in watching the southern cross rise up,a magical moment.

    • Derek October 10, 2016 at 12:51 am - Reply

      Hey Kevan – Definitely some great views of the stars from this place. Seems like you experienced something similar in El Salvador!

  14. Anthony October 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Mike, i have just found your site. Bought your book a few weeks back, great reading. You mention the great solitude at being by yourself with just the noise of the air across the sea and through the jungle tree. In its simplicity it is all powerful and makes you feel so small in a busy world. You state you are travelling to Nepal.
    I made a trip to everest base camp 3 years ago, a excellent two week trek from the worlds worst/scariest airport Lukla. Walked through some great remote villagers and as we walked through the off season very little foot traffic. Finally reached Base camp in minus 35c and 100 klm winds. It was surreal though we were the only people there with just the ice, wind and mountains all around.
    The greatest part of this journey though is the fact that there are no roads, only tracks. No cars, motorbikes no motor propelled thing. Power is generated by wind, water or solar. Goods are carried or placed on yaks. It is a very quiet environment. About 3 days out from base camp we camped on a high ridge near a mountain called Ama Dablam. The air was freezing, but the stars were so clsoe you could reach out and nearly touch them. No noise at all, no lights and a crystal clear sky. It was as if you were the only person in the world. Totally refreshing and exhilirating. Enjoy Nepal a great land.

  15. Susan Servos-Sept October 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    I live in nature. There are not many cars, giant cedars and maples surround my house and the deer, raccoons and bears wander through the yard daily, like they own it. They do own it. Right now, I am house sitting for friends in the BIG city. Oh my gosh it is exciting! I could not do this for too long, but, the city is an adventurous and refreshing place, for one who lives normally in the quiet of nature.

  16. Linda October 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Hello from Florida—where Hurricane Mathew has passed us by. We faired very well, and feel very fortunate.

    What I am reading is the younger generation is in tuned with themselves and realizing the importance of living a balance life. Ever feel like a wind up toy to the point where the spring breaks. I wish I had recognized the stress, but I operated well under stress, or so I thought.

    We like to take a few days to go to an “inn” on Cocoa Beach with our dogs. Watch the sunrise, sunsets, moon rise. Watch the crabs busy making home and gathering food. Look for dolphins, bait fish jumping, Take long walks in the direction of the least crowded. Few clothing needed. Watch the high tide, low tide, the waves. Each day , Start all over again to the rythem of the earth, not a clock. It’s an amazing get away—yet only an hour drive. And just 3 -4 nights-leaves me wanting more, and works to reset my inner self. I can only imagine 18 days—!!! Wow!!

    Glad for you and your experience.

  17. Mitch October 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    I hear someone recently call a forest “for-rest” and it makes perfect sense to me. The Japanese have a term “shinrin-yoku” which means “forest bathing.” It refers to the restorative benefits of spending time in the forest atmosphere. I’ll be purchasing a cabin on 2 acres of forest in Minnesota by the end of the year and am looking forward to stepping out on my deck each morning and being surrounded by trees and plants. By the way, I plan on having an open invitation to family, friends, and friends of friends to come out and relax, and that invitation will be extended to you as well!

    https://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html

  18. Brenda Gardner October 7, 2016 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    I first went to Tulum in 1971. I lived in a hammock in a tree for a month before I continued my unplanned travels throughout. (Went for 2 weeks,stayed for 6 months). I’ve been since through the years, but it’s been 10 years since the last time. I’m lucky enough to be staying in a friends hotel (Las Palmas Maya). What is something totally new and different that I can experience. I plan on going to Sian Ka’an, and of course some cenotes. But if there is anything I can do that’s amazing I sure would like to know about it. I’m leaving Oct 11th until the 19th. Thanks. I so enjoyed all your blogs through the years. Brenda

  19. Craig October 7, 2016 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. Especially as I get older now, I crave to be outdoors in nature and away from the ‘noise’. Thankfully, I am reading your post at a time where I can say I will be experiencing this feeling for the next week as I embark on a river cruise on the Amazon. 5 days of peaceful bliss with nature. Cheers!

  20. Monica Scheel October 7, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Spot on. Thanks for the reminder!

  21. Mike Daily October 7, 2016 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Where in a remote part of Mexico were you?…I live in Playa del Carmen

    • Derek October 7, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

      Hey Mike – It was in between Mahahual and Xcalak, about 4 hours south of Playa. Beautiful spot!

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