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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day

I have been trying to formulate this post in my head for over a week now, and it is ironic that it happens to be coming to fruition on Groundhog Day.  You see, I spent last week in Mexico.  We went there for the wedding of some dear friends of ours and our group (42 of us) stayed at an all-inclusive in Nuevo Vallarta.

The Happy Couple

First of all, let me just say that the wedding was fantastic, absolutely beautiful.  The bride and groom are so perfect for one another and deserve all of the happiness in the world.  It was definitely one of those weddings where you 'just know' that it's the real deal.  It also brought up a lot of happy memories for me, as Trent and I got married (almost 8 years ago!) at an all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica.  Given that the past year has been a bit of a tricky one for us (there is merit in the '7 year curse', I swear!), it was a great time for us to remember our wedding day and to re-affirm our commitment to one another.  We left Chephren at home with my parents, so it really was a nice trip for us to reconnect.

Our wedding in Costa Rica: March 2004

Now, with all of that being said, did staying in an all-inclusive resort ever PUSH MY BUTTONS!!!!  The irony of this fact is not beyond me and I spent a lot of time reflecting on the fact that Trent and I also chose an all-inclusive resort for our wedding.  We had 30 people along for the ride which made us feel so very grateful and honored and it was a really, really fun week.  It helped that we finished off the trip with a 3-month long honeymoon travelling in Central America.  It was definitely a trip that I will never forget.   

Happy in Honduras

The funny thing is, I can't put my finger on what exactly bugged me about our resort experience.  It was a very nice resort; very clean, nice amenities, great view of the ocean from our balcony (we saw dophins!), nice beach and a great group of people.  And while I did enjoy parts of the trip (especially the company), I couldn't help but feel that something wasn't right.  To be honest, I am still trying to work it out in my head.  Here are some theories:

Our room
1. Guilt.  Guilt.  Guilt.  Over what?  Well, the list is long, but here are some of the things on my list:
  • The tremendous disparity of wealth between us and the workers at the resort (I made a point to talk to a lot of them and find out their stories - how much they made, who they were supporting, where they lived, etc.  I was reassured by many, many Mexicans that working at the resort was considered a good job). 
  • Travelling without Chephren (okay, I don't think that is it... It is my belief that a week away for mom and dad is more than okay and even healthy for the marriage).  Plus, he was with his Grammy and his Grampy and I am pretty sure that he likes them more than us anyways.
  • Excess (too many drinks, too much food, and oh, did I say too much DRINKING?!)  You feel guilty if you don't eat/drink yourself silly... after all, you paid for it, right?  This kind of mentality made both Trent and I crazy.  I feel the same way about buffets... they create all kinds of unhealthy eating habits and behaviors.  Actually, this reminds me of going to a buffet with a good friend of mine long ago.  He was determined to 'get his money's worth' and therefore made it his mission to not only eat as much as he could -- but also to eat only the most expensive things at the buffet.  Dude polished off about 30 crab legs... There really is such a thing as too much of a good thing!!!
2. My second theory is that it has something to do with the fact that I was yearning for a 'real' adventure.  I say this because Trent and I invested a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to get off the resort.  We wanted to ride the local buses, eat at some sketchy restaurants and check out some of the cool little surf towns in the area.  We did do some exploring of the area, and other than the wedding, I would have to say that these were my favorite experiences of the trip.  Trent and I did our fair share of travelling before we had Chephren (okay, let's be honest, it was more like 'dirtbagging' than travelling) and there is a huge part of me that is craving this lifestyle again.  I love the uncertainty and the challenges associated with this lifestyle and we gave it all up to have a family.  The question we were asking ourselves in Mexico was: was that really necessary?  There are families out there who are managing to maintain the dirtbagging lifestyle even with small children.  Either way, it was good to get us talking about it and has helped us to identify how much we miss our 'old life'. 

3. Finally, and this is kind of related to the 2nd reason, the resort ended up feeling like 'Groundhog Day' to me (the Bill Murray movie I mean).  Not at first, but by day three you are thinking, really?  Again?  The same food, the same faces, the same activities, the same, same, same.  As an adult living with ADD, Groundhog Day is something that gives me nightmares...

So, that's it then.  I wish that I could leave you with some glowing nugget of wisdom or some heart warming realization that I have come to.  I am sure that it will eventually lead to this kind of epiphany, but I'm not there yet.  And since it's Groundhog Day (for real), I thought maybe I would throw it out to the Universe to deal with.  Anyone have any brilliant insights?

May your days be filled with peace, love and VARIETY!



1 comment:

  1. Loic says: "so, should we all be booking our trip to Thailand for next summer?".
    It was fun sharing this post with him! We just got home from Maui and had some similar thoughts watching the people around us while we were there. We did manage to carve out a 'loic/tess/taoi' trip -we observed what you are talking about from a distance. Thanks for all of your great tips on Maui! We enjoyed a perfect balance of: north, east, south, west; relaxation and comfort, sweat and roughing it and nature.