Being not in a relationship (yes, deliberate omittance of the term single) can make deciding how to spend your vacation days a bit more challenging than you’d expect. I’m not complaining. The discovery that I had five days leave I had to use or lose before the end of the month was of course a very pleasant surprise. But sometimes the world being your oyster can be slightly overwhelming. I mean, if you could go anywhere in the world for a week where would you go? My answer to that question was Colombia. Beach. Jungle. Ancient culture…oh and a history of drug-fueled guerrilla kidnapping. Maybe I’ll put that one on the back burner until a big strong brave man travel-buddy enters my life. Or I’ll recruit friends to go there with me. Friends have boyfriends to spend precious vacation days with or no visa, no money, or no vacation days. Or, I’ll seek out non friends in the same predicament through the power of the Internet. Google reveals a number of overpriced, over structured tour options on dates I can’t do.
So my oyster has gone from ‘the world’ to ‘destination safe for blonde female on solo budget’, which logically leads to the question: ‘Where are the world’s best boutique hostels?’ The answer is ‘Europe’ (too far) and so leads to the next question: ‘Where are the worlds best hostels on the beach? Mexico as it turns out. I hear you (and my mother) thinking Drugs. Kidnapping. But apparently finding a human head on a table in a nightclub (two degrees of separation anecdote) is only likely to happen in the border provinces. The Narcos aren’t too bothered with the American brats getting wasted in Cancun over Spring Break. That kind of activity is good for business. They’re criminals after all, not stupid.
Happily, the Riviera Maya, as it has sophisticatedly been dubbed meets all my requirements. Beach. Tick. Jungle. Tick. Ancient culture. Tick. Cheap hostel. Tick Tick. For a meager $13pppn Poc Na hostel at my first stop, Isla Mujeres, has an abundance of hammocks, coconuts, yoga, and excellent margaritas literally on its white sandy Caribbean doorstep. The best part is that all this amazingness, at a 30 min ferry ride away, is too much effort to get to for the alpha beta sigma frat kids flashing their boobs on ‘MTV live from Cancun’ across the water.
Ah, Viva la soledad.