I couldn’t wait to get to the south coast of Mexico. I had 3 weeks to explore this rugged coastline and it all started here – in a hut, on Zipolite beach.
When I started planning this trip I was excited about Zipolite – described as a place where you can easily lose yourself and waste days, lying in a hammock doing nothing.
Stripped of everything, I was surprised at how hard it was to lie there and just do nothing. Something was missing – that something was routine.
In London I hated routine. HATED it! I hated waking up early every day to brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, do my hair, walk to work, check my emails (and get angry), write my to-do list, get through the day, walk home, cook food, feel tired and go to bed, worrying about the next day’s to-do list – EVERY DAY!
Travelling was my way of escaping the dull and stressful life of 9-5 – the routine, so that I could focus more on myself and what it was that I wanted to do. But what did I want to do? Lying in a hammock didn’t help me to relax – it stripped me of everything and forced me into thinking, and I was soooo tired of thinking!
I found myself missing routine. I didn’t miss the routine of working in a job that I hated – it was a different kind of routine that I missed. I missed having a structure to my day. I missed the familiarity of doing something I enjoyed.
I got more confused as I lay in that hammock, thinking these thoughts: was my mind just struggling to adjust? Something was missing and it was only at the end of my stay on Zipolite beach that it clicked.
Routine – we all need it, we all love it, it’s what makes us happy!
Something about the sun, some dogs and naked yoga hippies…
Zipolite is famous for being one of Mexico’s only gay, nude beaches. I didn’t know that when I booked but when I arrived I thought, what the hell! I didn’t go nude – in fact not many people did but because a few people were completely dangling I kind of felt a lot more comfortable in my own skin. It’s quite a hippy beach so there was a lot of yoga activity throughout the day. It was just incredibly chilled and lovely.
I arrived at a special time of year – December. At this time the sun rises out of the water on the beaches’ western point and sets into the water in between the rocks at its eastern point. It’s the only beach in the whole of Mexico where you can see the sun rise and set on the same beach in one day. It was spectacular.
Every morning people would rise for the moment, walk their dogs, grab a coffee. The same people would gather on the beach in the evening for the sunset. Yoga gurus threw some shapes, couples held hands, torches were lit, the night was welcomed, the moon took over.
One morning after watching the sunrise I went to a bar on the beach and grabbed a coffee. I watched a man lying on the sand near the rocks, performing a series of yoga stretches.
Three Golden Retrievers came trotting along the beach to greet him. One of the dogs lay down in the shade by the rocks, another lay stretched out in the sun next to the man, whilst the third dog went into the sea, hunting for fish in the crashing surf. I watched them for some time, until the man’s routine ended and he made his way back to the other side of the beach, dogs scampering ahead.
The next day I did the same. I grabbed a coffee after sunrise and the same man lay on the beach by the rock performing the same yoga routine. The three dogs came bounding down the beach and again, one dog took shelter in the shade of the rocks, the other lay in the sun by his master, and the third went crashing into the water in search of fish. Amazing, I thought.
There they all were – man and animal – doing the same thing every day, and they were SO HAPPY for it!
We all move with the sun. We greet it, we wave goodbye, we all marvel at its passing beauty. How we choose to live our lives – the routines we set ourselves between sunrise and sunset is what determines our happiness. Without our own special routine filling our days, keeping us moving, keeping us engaged with ourselves and the things around us, we get lost.
As humans, as animals on this planet – there’s no escaping it – we all need routine – the sun reminds us of that. It’s the routine we choose which determines our happiness.
My mission is to list as many things as I can that I like doing, and start structuring those things into my days, weeks, months, in as many ways possible. I need to establish a routine I enjoy and take that routine back with me at the end of this trip. Eventually I want every routine I undertake to be one that I enjoy. The more I build into my days the things that I love, the more meaningful my routines and my life will become. I never want to be ‘stuck’ in a world where my routines ‘suck’ ever again! If your routines suck, so does life!
Now, to make a start on that list!
Check out my highlights and travel tips for everywhere I travelled to in the world: Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Argentina, LA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.