The Road Less Traveled – Part 1

We took the road less traveled on this trip to the Yucatan!

We took the road less traveled on this trip to the Yucatan!

Dear Zen Mama Readers, I’ve been a little absent lately…teaching, traveling and going to Lacrosse games! I was recently inspired during an amazing trip. My next few posts will reflect this! Hope you’ve been well!

As you may know, we love to travel. We just got back from a 10 day Yucatan, Mexico adventure, traveling between Mayan Ruins for my middle son’s, Charlie, 21st birthday. A few years ago, we decided to take each child on a trip alone to celebrate this jump into adulthood. It’s amazing how you can connect and get closer with just one child. We learned a lot on this trip. So much so that the next few posts will be a direct result from this trip.

We traveled the road less traveled, driving all over the Yucatan in a little rental car. First we saw three sets of Mayan Ruins: Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Palenque (more about these in a later post). Then we spent two days on the Gulf of Mexico after visiting all the ruins in a town called Celestun (pronounced “cel-es-toon”). We stayed at a small self-catering place called Celeste Vida. It’s run by Karen and Kenn and Wanda (more about this place and their dream in a later post, too).

Celestun's beautiful, empty beaches filled with shells.

Celestun’s beautiful, empty beaches filled with shells.

Celestun is still the “real Mexico”. No resorts here! In fact we only saw one set of other Americans. We mostly just interacted with the townspeople. This is the type of travel we love! It’s really being a traveler, not just a tourist looking for all that you already have at home. The town in known for the flamingos that reside in the estuary and it’s empty white sand beaches that are filled with perfect shells. We loved getting up early and watching the fisherman get their early morning catch. At night their boat lights twinkled among the amazing stars, attracting sardines.
Perfect Shells Everywhere!!

Perfect Shells Everywhere!!

The setting was incredibly peaceful, just what we needed! It all reminded me of this fable of a Mexican fisherman and an American businessman. The American just doesn’t understand that sometimes we already have what we need and that less is more. Enjoy our fishermen pictures that compliment this lovely story:

The fishermen of Celestun working together.

The fishermen of Celestun working together.

The Fisherman!

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senior.”

A flounder was apart of their catch.

A flounder was apart of their catch.

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senior, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senior?”

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

One seemed to be in charge

One seemed to be in charge

“Millions, senior? Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

~Author Unknown

Breakfast at our guitar playing friend's home.

Breakfast at our guitar playing friend’s home.

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20 Responses to The Road Less Traveled – Part 1

  1. Tina says:

    A suttle reminder that life as we have today is perfect, stop wanting wishing for more with the hope that more brings happiness, I’ve had more, I lost more, and am now working on finding me. Thanks for sharing

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Tina,
    You put it perfectly! So glad to have you here as part of our positive community!
    Thanks for the comment.

    [Reply]

  2. Ted says:

    Loved the story of the fisherman and American.
    Certainly makes its point, doesn’t it?

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Ted,
    So glad you enjoyed! Thanks for being one of my biggest readers!!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  3. Ashley Slupe says:

    Oh Betsy what a wonderful story! And how great that you were able to take Charlie on this amazing trip.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Ashley,
    So happy to see your name here! Yes, it was amazing! Hope to see you soon.
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  4. Yes, the fisherman story is one I’ve told on my blog too. Isn’t it just the perfect way to express that idea that more is not better! I also love that you like getting off the beaten track to experience new things. My husband and I are going to Oaxaca this September and while not exactly an unknown destination, everyone I tell seems incredulous that we want to go there???? I definitely choose the road less traveled!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Kathy,
    Oaxaca looks wonderful! I hope to be seeing a post about your trip next October after you return.
    Looking forward to checking out your website!
    Thanks for the comment!

    [Reply]

  5. The story is one of my favorites! I love this: This is the type of travel we love! It’s really being a traveler, not just a tourist looking for all that you already have at home.

    Also I wish I could have had more one on one time with my girls. I started so young and they were so close in age, it just wasn’t something we could manage.

    The best part is it’s never too late!! xo

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Tess,
    It’s true isn’t it that so many people go on vacation and are upset if the furnishings, bathrooms and meals aren’t what they’re used to at home… crazy! We’ve never spent a lot of time alone with our two oldest so this was very special indeed!
    Thanks for the comment!!

    [Reply]

  6. Carrie-Anne says:

    What a beautiful experience!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    It was Carrie-Anne… working on part 2 now!
    Thanks for commenting!

    [Reply]

  7. Elly says:

    Two thumbs up!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Thanks Elly! Always happy to see your name here!!

    [Reply]

  8. Kathy says:

    Lovely post – and I love that fisherman story too. It is amazing how we know it to be true, but we still get caught up in living otherwise, and great holidays like you have had remind us again.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Thanks Kathy!
    So glad you enjoyed! Yes, we do get caught back in the hustle and bustle of life. I’m still trying to keep my vacation attitude as much as possible thought…
    Thanks so much for your comment. I’ll check out your site soon.

    [Reply]

  9. Vidya Sury says:

    Sounds like a great trip, Betsy.

    I love the Fisherman’s story!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Vidya,
    It was such a wonderful trip!! And isn’t that a wonderful story? I read it several years ago and was reminded of it on this trip.
    Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  10. Great reminder Betsy to appreciate what you have and that it is not necessary to stress yourself out trying to catch the “big” fish. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I too have just returned from a stay in Mexico. We are outside of Cabo on the Baja. You’ve inspired me, maybe I’ll write a post about it. I always have to readjust when I come home to the hustle and bustle of life here and to the overabundance of things to buy. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Cathy,
    I would love to hear about your trip to Mexico! On your trip you vow to come back and keep your relaxed vacation attitude but then you’re often sucked back into the busyness of life! Looking forward to your post in the near future!
    Thanks for commenting!

    [Reply]

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