Thursday, April 8, 2021

Centoe Jardín de Edén near Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Our first trip to a cenote was magical! I highly recommend visiting one while traveling in Mexico. The colors were incredible. A cenote is a natural pool of water. There are a lot of cenotes in the Riviera Maya. This cenote is called Jardín de Edén. It is about 20 minutes away from Playa del carmen. It was cool and refreshing, and the water was so clear. It was really stunning!

This is the video I put together with clips from the cenote trip. You will see some fish and lots of beautiful images from under the water. We took our kids, ages 6 and 4. At first they were a little scared of the small fish. After they saw that the fish didn't hurt us, they weren't afraid. They loved swimming and playing with other kids. My husband was brave and jumped off the side of the rocks by the cenote. There were a lot of people snorkeling and some people were scuba diving. There is so much to see under the water!

There are quite a few cenotes I would like to check out while we are here. Stay tuned for more videos from our cenote trips! 

Thanks for following our adventure! -Michelle 

Friday, April 2, 2021

We made it to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico!

Marlie and Meera in front of the Portal Maya statue in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico


Our family arrived safely in Playa del Carmen, Mexico about one month ago. Since the borders are closed in China, this was our "Plan B". We absolutely love it here!

Why Playa del Carmen?

Mexico is one of the countries that does not have many travel restrictions at the moment. My teach abroad mentor recommended looking into cities in Mexico to live while we wait for the borders to open in China. I joined a digital nomad group on Facebook and asked for recommendations on the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads. I had a few requirements for the city in question. The city must be safe. The city must have good internet available. The city must be near the beach. We love going to the beach! I received several recommendations for Playa del Carmen. I did some research and we decided this is where we should live for a few months while we wait to go to China. 

We need that Beach Life! Playa Del Carmen has it! 

How did we plan our trip?

After we made the decision to go to Playa del Carmen, I booked our tickets. My mind needed a departure date. Having this timeline was important for me to plan the next steps of our moving abroad journey. Luckily we already had the documentation we needed to travel to Mexico. We had all of our passports. That was all of the documentation we needed. 

After the tickets were booked I began to search online for accommodations. Based on the advice from my mentor and fellow travelers, we booked a temporary stay for  the first 11 days, and did a search for a longer term apartment in person. The next step was to look for that temporary accommodation for the first 11 days. I set a budget for our 11 days and began the search! I found a great place with a pool, and it was near the beach. I searched on Air B&B and for our stay. The place we rented was one that I found on We loved it there!

Our first apartment from We loved it! 

Getting ready...

The next few weeks were a whirlwind of cleaning, packing, and donating. Thank goodness for the help of my family! My brother came over with his truck and took so many truck-fulls of toys, clothes, and household items to Goodwill. My parents and sisters helped watch our little girls, and helped with sorting and cleaning. When I was feeling overwhelmed and didn't know what to do next, my mom and sisters stepped in to help guide me. It was a process! I'll write more about letting go of all of our items later, but it was very therapeutic.


Finally it was time to board the plane and fly to Mexico! Our girls really enjoyed the flights. They took naps, ate snacks, and colored. They played games on their iPads and did a great job just hanging out. Our total flight time from St. Louis to Cancun was about 4.5 hours. I arranged for a transportation service to take us to our short term apartment. Many people recommended taking the bus. This would have been a good option if there weren't so many of us. We also had quite a few big suitcases. So it was easier for us to transport everything in a van. 

Matching jackets, bags, and suitcases...they were airport ready! 

We were so impressed with the beauty of the city and our first apartment. We arrived on February 24th and the weather has been perfect! It is warm and breezy. It has been great for swimming and beach days. We spent the first 11 days eating out and relaxing. The food here is incredible! I will have to write a separate post just about the food. I took off work for a week when we arrived, so we were in full vacation mode. It was wonderful! 

Full vacation mode activated! Complete with vacation hat!

It's Love!

We absolutely love everything about Playa del Carmen. We are now settled into our new apartment. We love the community of people we have met here. The local people and other expats have all been so friendly and helpful. Every time we meet someone we get their contact information and make a new friend. The girls have been adjusting really well to living here. Our son Jasen stayed back in the USA to be with his friends and keep working for now. I can't describe how much we miss him. I hope he will come to visit us soon. 

Are you thinking about moving abroad?

I love to hear from other families and individuals who live abroad or are thinking about traveling. Always let me know if you have any questions for me or if there is anything you would like to know more about. I love talking with people about our adventure! Check us out on Facebook and Instagram for our most recent updates.

Thanks for following our adventure! -Michelle